Partner Momentum Grows for Microsoft Office System With Innovative Solutions Featuring Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10, 2003 — Today at the Microsoft®
Worldwide Partner Conference, Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Productivity and Business Services at Microsoft Corp., announced that partner momentum is rapidly growing for the Microsoft Office System as independent software vendors, system integrators, resellers and other Microsoft partners look to capitalize on what analysts reports indicate could be a $117 billion (U.S.) partner services opportunity by 2006 for business intelligence, collaboration, work management and business process solutions.

One of the key attractions for industry partners of the soon-to-be-released Microsoft Office System has been Microsoft’s new information-gathering program, Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003. Solution providers, systems integrators and other Microsoft partners around the world have praised InfoPath 2003 for its robust development platform and are using it to build more than 100 solutions in areas such as business process management (BPM) and automation, electronic forms, back-end system integration, migration and collaboration, as well as meeting the needs of customers in vertical markets that include healthcare, insurance and financial services.

InfoPath Partners Praise Application’s Robustness as a Development Platform

Built from the ground up on industry-standard Extensible Markup Language (XML); included in Microsoft’s most popular edition of Office for businesses, Microsoft Office Professional 2003 Enterprise Edition; and also available as a stand-alone program, InfoPath 2003 has received praise from numerous partners for its extensibility, ease of deployment and manageability. SourceCode Technology Holdings (SCTH), an independent software provider that develops solutions to automate business processes and create integrated workflow environments, uses InfoPath 2003 to enable companies to rapidly automate complex, forms-based workflow solutions in their organizations.

“Although it is a new product, InfoPath 2003 really appealed to us because of the robustness of its development platform,” said Adriaan van Wyk, chief executive officer of SourceCode Technology Holdings, responsible for the K2.net 2003 workflow software. “In a recent Meta study, 85 percent of organizations reported plans to implement BPM solutions by the end of 2004. We believe InfoPath 2003 can be a great tool in helping create BPM solutions for our customers, who are looking to empower knowledge workers in their organizations to take ownership of information and tasks. InfoPath 2003 has allowed us to extend the power of rapidly building workflow-enabled business forms into the hands of knowledge workers in the enterprise.”

Headquartered in Boston, Digitas Inc., a global relationship marketing services provider with approximately 900 consultants, is using a Microsoft Office System solution featuring InfoPath 2003 and Microsoft Windows®
SharePoint (TM) Services to streamline the provisioning of activity codes throughout the organization. By reducing the time required to generate and distribute activity codes, Digitas expects to save money and improve company knowledge-sharing through real-time access to work in progress and corporate best practices.

“The time and cost savings we are getting from using the Microsoft Office System solution is way beyond our expectations,” said Erik Dubovik, vice president and director of Information Technology at Digitas. “We are saving tens of thousands of dollars every month using InfoPath to automate a single manual business process.”

Verticals Line Up for InfoPath 2003

Featuring a flexible object model, a drag-and-drop design environment and rich editing controls, InfoPath 2003 enables developers to create solutions quickly and easily without having to perform any custom coding while also providing a script editor and other tools for those who want to create more complex solutions. This flexibility enables partners to customize InfoPath 2003 forms quickly and easily and integrate them with a variety of servers and XML-based Web services.

Avanade, a premier global technology integrator in the enterprise, uses InfoPath 2003 in several of its vertical industry solutions. Designed to help manage the flow of communications across the insurance supply chain, Avanade’s Enterprise Orchestrator for Insurance (EOI) uses InfoPath 2003 to process virtually any standard insurance transaction, such as submission of new policies or processing a claim report. By automating manual transactions, EOI enables real-time communications with external business partners and internal operations. As a result, the need for duplicate data entry is eliminated, and the manual steps required to complete individual transactions are significantly reduced.

“With the information-gathering capabilities of InfoPath 2003, we are able to relieve the insurance worker’s common headache of manually preparing and submitting countless insurance forms,” said Mark Munie, insurance solutions manager at Avanade. “Ultimately, this presents a great opportunity for improved data accuracy and increased employee productivity for the insurance industry.”

Standard Register, a leading provider of information solutions for healthcare, pharmaceutical, financial services and a broad spectrum of other industries, for example, is using InfoPath 2003 to automate the capture of patient data and clinical assessment information in hospital emergency departments. The electronic triage solution, which runs on a Tablet PC, enables physicians and other healthcare clinicians to record data as patients move through the emergency care process, making it immediately available to all caregivers and ultimately the hospital’s admitting department. The caregiver writes on a Tablet PC with a stylus just as she would with paper and pen. The dynamic InfoPath form is the medium by which the handwritten data is collected and interpreted.

“InfoPath 2003 is a perfect fit for the healthcare environment where fast, easy access to information in a secure format is so critical,” said Doug Patterson, vice president for digital solutions at Standard Register. “The electronic triage solution has blended the simplicity of pen and paper with the power of digital technology, enabling healthcare facilities to truly streamline the triage and admitting processes and facilitate enhanced patient care.”

In addition to developing vertical solutions, independent software vendors have also created a variety of third-party solutions to aid companies in migrating their existing forms and forms solutions to InfoPath 2003. For example, ScanSoft Inc. has built native support for InfoPath 2003 into its OmniForm product, and Texcel Systems Inc. has extended FormBridge® , used by many partners in the electronic forms space, to convert forms from PDF, Microsoft Word and other sources into InfoPath. CASAHL Technology Inc., a leading provider of migration and coexistence of collaboration application software, has developed a solution, Casahl ecKnowledge 8.1, to assist companies that want to migrate from Lotus Notes forms-based applications to InfoPath 2003, Windows SharePoint Services and Visual Studio®
.NET. And for companies that prefer to blend electronic forms with paper-based ones, Cardiff Inc. and Formic Ltd. offer electronic forms solutions that integrate with paper form processes. Formic’s r4 suite, for example, offers the ability to automatically “read” handwritten information from scanned images of paper forms and incorporate it into an InfoPath form, from which it can be shared across the enterprise as XML.

Partners and Solution Integrators Building Solutions on InfoPath 2003

More information on Microsoft Office System solutions can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/Office/preview/solutions/directory.asp.

Pricing and Availability

InfoPath 2003 will be available as part of Microsoft’s most popular Office edition for businesses, Microsoft Office Professional 2003 Enterprise Edition, with stand-alone versions available through Microsoft’s volume licensing channels as well as at retail outlets for an estimated retail price of $199 (U.S.; retail prices may vary).

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers, services and solutions, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other — helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio®
2003 and the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, InfoPath, Windows, SharePoint, Visual Studio, FrontPage, OneNote, Visio and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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