Office 97 New Corporate Standard for 16,000 Desktops At The Williams Companies

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 12, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft® Office 97 is the new companywide office suite standard for over 16,000 desktops at The Williams Companies, the nation’s largest-volume system of interstate natural-gas pipelines and provider of leading-edge energy solutions and international satellite and fiber-optic services. The Williams Companies cited their initiative to reduce software support and administrative costs by 20 percent and their need to share documents easily among business units and global business partners as key reasons for the move.

“We’re standardizing on Office 97 as our desktop suite to help our employees work together easily while at the same time lowering our support costs,” said Doug Foster, director of enterprise systems at The Williams Companies. “The bottom line is that our business units are all committing to Office 97 because it provides the best set of productivity tools – it’s the obvious choice for us, and for any company planning for the future.”

By moving to Office 97, The Williams Companies are working toward a 20 percent savings in the costs of deploying, training and supporting their desktop applications software. For the IT department, upgrading to Office 97 means employees can focus on managing and supporting just one integrated set of tools instead of juggling a mix of applications from different vendors that lack even basic integration and file compatibility.

“We anticipate that innovations in Office 97 such as the Office Assistant will keep our help-desk calls down to a minimum,” Foster said. “Office 97’s built-in capability to help manage and administer our desktops on an ongoing basis was a very compelling argument to make the move.”

Intranet Publishing and Document Sharing With Office 97

To help The Williams Companies share information and make better decisions internally, they have developed a corporate intranet that hosts Office 97-based Web sites for all of their business units. With Office 97’s built-in Web capability, users will be able to take greater advantage of the Web by being able to publish their Office documents directly to their intranet, in HTML or Office 97 formats, all without learning new tools. This capability will further enhance document and information sharing among The Williams Companies’ business units.

The Williams Companies join the growing number of leading firms that have selected Microsoft Office 97 as their corporate standard. For more information on other companies that have chosen Office 97, visit the Microsoft corporate desktop evaluation Web site at

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