Microsoft and ASAE Work Together to Foster Technology Leadership, Encourage Development of Electronic Communities

BALTIMORE, Dec. 8, 1997 — The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the world’s leading membership organization for the association management profession, and Microsoft Corp. today announced plans for an alliance designed to build technology knowledge and leadership within the nation’s association communities. The program will bring technology training, education, information resources and other support to ASAE’s 24,000 association executive members representing more than 12,000 associations serving more than 287 million people and companies.

Speaking today at the ASAE’s Management and Technology Conferences, ASAE President R. William Taylor, CAE, said,
“Today’s technology is creating tremendous opportunity and challenges for association leaders. Associations are positioned to be a catalyst for creating electronic communities within the industries and professions they represent. All associations should be thinking strategically about how they’re going to take advantage of the technology available to create electronic communities and better serve members.”

Taylor also encouraged association leaders to act now.
“Through the alliance, Microsoft is taking a giant step in helping associations redefine themselves as creators of electronic communities for the industries and professions they represent.”

Electronic Communities Are Key to Serving Members

The alliance between Microsoft and ASAE will equip ASAE’s members to increase their knowledge through exposure to technology trends, education and products that will enable them to make key decisions for their communities and implement them to better serve their members.
“Today, technology redefines community – how people interact, work together and generate commerce. Yet many associations face the challenge of identifying which technology tools are most suitable to their organization’s goals and missions. Through this alliance with Microsoft, ASAE will help develop the necessary leadership and knowledge about technology within the association community,”
said Taylor.

Microsoft has been working extensively with business and professional associations for the past two years through its small-business marketing group. The alliance will further extend the group’s commitment and focus.
“Microsoft and ASAE share a common vision of community,”
said Nigel Burton, director of small business at Microsoft. Also presenting at the conference, Burton pointed out the importance of community for small businesses.

“Nowhere is the reliance on community more important than in the small-business segment,”
said Burton.
“Small-business owners lack the ‘built-in’ community environment of their corporate counterparts and are interdependent on their colleagues, peers, suppliers and customers. Much of that interaction takes place through associations. These business owners look to their associations for leadership in all areas – including technology – and we want to strengthen associations’ ability to provide that vision and support.”

Building a Blueprint for Technology Success

The ASAE/Microsoft Technology Alliance Program has two objectives: The first is to improve access to basic resources that can help associations and their members better understand and use technology. The second is to create a
for technology success that associations can follow to facilitate building electronic communities that serve members.

To meet these objectives, the alliance will offer a variety of tools and support. In addition, new features of the program will be designed after the initial launch to be rolled out at periodic intervals based on feedback from participants. To date, the program includes the following:

  • Discounted application and technical training on Microsoft products is available through New Horizons Computer Learning Centers and Productivity Point International, Microsoft® Authorized Technical Education Centers (ATECs), for ASAE members and their association staff.

  • A Web-based news-wire service features articles on various technology topics that associations can use in newsletters and magazines. The service is designed to make it easy for associations to disseminate information about technology issues and trends that is relevant to their specific industry or profession.

  • A Technology Resource Center will be available at the ASAE headquarters in Washington, D.C., which is also the home of a large percentage of the nation’s national associations. Scheduled to open in early 1998, the resource center will provide
    access to hardware, software, and peripherals, and showcase how an association can use technology to support and manage a wide variety of operations and communications.

  • Microsoft is using the latest innovations in Internet technology to enhance ASAE’s Web site ( with the objective of creating a model for other association Web sites. The site will feature online commerce, advocacy forums with voting and polling features, and other implementations showcasing innovative association use of Internet technologies. The site will also feature How We Did This buttons that will provide visitors with an overview of the specific technologies used and how those technologies were implemented. ASAE’s popular Gateway to Associations will be further enhanced as one of the Internet’s largest searchable directory of association Web sites – a valuable research tool for Web users, students, professors, consumers, government officials and the media.

Enhancements to the ASAE Web site – built by Syscom Services, a member of the Microsoft Site Builder network – that debuted in conjunction with this week’s conference include an interactive show floor map that uses Active Server Pages technology, live and on-demand streaming audio and video of conference events built with the Microsoft NetShow
server, and the ASAE Book Catalog Online built using Microsoft Site Server Enterprise Edition for enhanced electronic commerce.

  • Scheduled to begin in January 1998, topical technology events and seminars will be available for specific segments of the association community. These events will provide an in-depth look at key technology products and trends, such as the Internet; electronic commerce; and communications technology including e-mail, computer-based fax, and broadcast multimedia.

  • All ASAE members will also receive a version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.

  • An association-specific
    news service, built using BackWeb Technologies’ push technology, will deliver association and technology news.

The American Society of Association Executives, Washington, D.C., is the world’s leading membership organization for the association management profession. It is an individual membership organization made up of more than 24,000 association executives and suppliers. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies, and voluntary organizations across the United States and in 44 countries around the globe. It also represents suppliers of products and services to the association community.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and NetShow are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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