Microsoft and VARBusiness Announce “Best Solutions for Small Business” Contest Winners

Microsoft and VARBusiness Announce
“Best Solutions for Small Business”
Contest Winners

REDMOND, Wash., June 8, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. and VARBusiness magazine, a CMP Media Inc. publication, today announced the winners of their
“Best Solutions for Small Business” contest. Designed to recognize the innovative efforts of independent computer resellers and technology consultants, the contest produced 10 finalists who had successfully solved a small-business problem with a Microsoft® technology solution.

The grand prize was awarded to Executive Consulting Services Inc. of Chattanooga, Tenn., for its installation in a local law firm of a networked solution running on Microsoft BackOffice® Small Business Server with Microsoft Access 97 Runtime. Because the bankruptcy industry has gone to a per-case fee arrangement, Executive Consulting Services developed a software package that tracks bankruptcy and collection cases, allows electronic court filing, schedules dockets, receives and calculates payments and payoffs with or without interest, and schedules the attorneys’ time. Its installation for Fields & Bible, PC has allowed the law firm to go from 150 cases per month to well over 650 cases per month in four states, increasing monthly revenue by 30 percent.

“We value this recognition of our efforts to serve the small-business market effectively,”
said Jeff Averbeck, president of Executive Consulting Services Inc.
“This award demonstrates our dedication to and success in implementing Microsoft-based solutions and adding value for our small-business customers.”

The following four finalists were awarded second prizes in their selected categories.

Best Communication and Collaboration Solution

The Best Communication and Collaboration Solution award recognizes the company with the solution that best enables interpersonal and team communication and collaboration by providing a platform for publishing and sharing information. This award went to Ten-4 Global Internet Solutions LLC of Cupertino, Calif.

Ten-4 developed an Internet-based solution incorporating wireless data applications to create an online dispatching program to run on the Windows NT Òoperating system with Microsoft Internet Information Server and Microsoft SQL Server™ . Instead of using traditional voice dispatching, the solution allows field workers to use data transmitted to smart phones, Windows® CE-based or other wireless devices via the Internet and wireless data networks. Field workers can verify times, addresses and other details, thus increasing their productivity and reducing the total cost of operation.

Best Customer Management Solution

The Best Customer Management Solution award recognizes the company with the solution that best demonstrates an integrated approach to managing and sharing an organization’s knowledge capital and investment. Important aspects include access to timely and reliable data to support decision-making, and collecting relevant data, sorting and staging it for future use, and making it available for users to extract, manipulate and analyze. This award went to PaisleyWeb of Campbell, Calif.

PaisleyWeb implemented a local area network for a photography studio to replace the manual and paper-based process the studio used to handle the scheduling of more than 6,000 high-school senior portrait sittings. Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server with a customized version of the Outlook
98 messaging and collaboration client increased the staff members’ productivity because they could collaborate electronically though shared scheduling, journals and internal e-mail. The studio was able to handle a significant increase in the number of senior portrait sittings without adding additional employees.

Best Infrastructure Solution

The Best Infrastructure Solution award recognizes the company currently completing outstanding implementations of Microsoft technology as the underlying architectural infrastructure for an organization, with an emphasis on increasing productivity and flexibility while reducing costs. This award went to Top Dog Technologies of Chattanooga, Tenn. Top Dog was able to put a small-business customer back on track with an installation of Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server.

“This customer was lost. He couldn’t tell if he was coming or going, and faxes and data were constantly misplaced,”
said Sean McDonald, CEO of Top Dog Technologies.
“The business became 40 percent more productive and its income grew fourfold because of our implementation of this solution.”

Best Business Critical Solution

The Best Business Critical Solution award recognizes the company that best custom develops a line-of-business application to meet a business challenge or solve a particular problem specific to a customer’s business. This award went to GO Software Inc. of Savannah, Ga.

GO Software was able to help VBXtras, a mail-order software reseller, create an easy-to-use and efficient electronic commerce solution to expand its service capability by processing orders directly over the Internet and distributing software electronically. By using Microsoft Site Server for its virtual storefront and GO Software’s own PC-Charge version 3.1 to process payments, VBXtras has become more productive and responsive to customer needs with a real-time
e-commerce solution. Since the site went live in June 1997, it has generated approximately 15 percent of total sales.

Third prizes were awarded to these companies:

  • Bassett Computer Systems Inc., North Haven, Conn.

  • Cyberia, Mumbai, India

  • DATABASE Development Corp., Westford, Mass.

  • LaGarde Inc., Topeka, Kan.

  • Thomas Computers , Dry Ridge, Ky.

“Microsoft is proud to support such talented value-added providers,”
said Paul Bazley, general manager, small-business marketing and value-added provider programs for Microsoft.
“These award winners showcase the innovative work being accomplished in the small-business market today. We are honored to have such outstanding firms working with Microsoft.”

Award-Winner Selection Committee

Winners were selected by a panel of judges made up of Microsoft Direct Access team members, including Paul Bazley; Deidra-Ann Parrish, management editor of VARBusiness; and David Gabel, executive technology editor for VARBusiness.

Details of Prizes for Award Winners

The grand prize winner receives a cash award of $4,000, a copy of Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server, and a Sidewalk
98 city guide Enhanced Directory Web site (EDWS) for one year, which includes an enhanced directory listing, a tile
ad, and a four-page Web site. The EDWS is valued at over $2,500.

Second-prize winners were selected for each of the four contest categories and will receive $1,000 and a copy of Microsoft Small Business Server.

Third-prize winners each receive $500 cash and a copy of Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server.

All winners will appear on the VARBusiness Web site ( ), an upcoming print edition of VARBusiness, and the VARBusiness Insider, a weekly electronic newsletter. Winners will also appear on the Microsoft Direct Access Web site ( ) and will be profiled as success stories for promotional use.

The leading magazine for the value-added channel, CMP Media’s VARBusiness goes behind the headlines to provide in-depth market intelligence and perspective about the business trends, product and technology issues, and supplier activities impacting value-added resellers (VARs). VARBusiness provides a unique blend of information to help VARs manage and grow their businesses and provide better solutions to their customers. Its Web site is at .

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, BackOffice, Windows NT, Windows, Outlook and Sidewalk 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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