Microsoft Announces Technologies to Enable Knowledge Worker Solutions As Part of Its Digital Dashboard Initiative

Microsoft Announces Technologies to Enable Knowledge Worker Solutions As Part of Its Digital Dashboard Initiative

New Resources to JumpStart Dashboard Development and Facilitate Collaboration —

REDMOND, Wash. – Sept. 20, 1999 – As part of it Digital Dashboard initiative, Microsoft Corp. today announced availability of three toolkits to enable solutions for knowledge workers that deliver the right information at the right time. Available today on the Web are the Microsoft® Digital Dashboard Starter Kit, Outlook® 2000 Team Folder Wizard, and Team Productivity Update for BackOffice® Server 4.5. These three technologies make it easier for solutions providers and IT professionals to create
“digital dashboard”
solutions and offer new tools for collaboration in Microsoft Exchange- and BackOffice-based environments. A digital dashboard is a customized Microsoft Office 2000-based solution that consolidates personal, team, corporate and external information with single-click access to analytical and collaborative tools.

First announced at the Microsoft Tech
·
Ed 99 conference last May, the Digital Dashboard initiative is a part of Microsoft’s vision of Knowledge Workers Without Limits. This initiative focuses on how technology can help deliver a company’s knowledge resources to an individual’s desktop to support better decision-making
“To help customers address the challenge of information overload for their knowledge workers and teams, Microsoft continues to enhance the core platform products such as Office 2000 and BackOffice Server,”
said Bart Wojciehowski, group product manager for Knowledge Management, Microsoft.
“This platform enables solutions that integrate information from collaborative, transactional and Web-based sources and deliver digestible knowledge ‘nuggets’ to the user’s desktop.”

Digital Dashboard Starter Kit

The Digital Dashboard Starter Kit is a new resource designed to help solution providers and IT professionals build digital dashboards. With Microsoft Outlook 2000, a digital dashboard extends users’ ability to view published data by synthesizing critical information into meaningful at-a-glance views and providing interactivity with both line-of-business and team applications. The Digital Dashboard Starter Kit includes five sample dashboards to jump-start customization, including ones for the health-care, insurance and manufacturing industries, and sales and finance job functions. Also included are technical documentation and a tutorial for getting started.

“Our customers look to us to provide innovative ways to manage information and facilitate collaboration,”
said Paul Grudnitski, president of InfoCal LLC, an industry leader in knowledge management.
“As a leading developer of digital dashboard solutions, we see this starter kit as a valuable resource to help implement adaptive, customizable knowledge management solutions quickly and affordably.”

Technology Updates for Collaboration

Also available for immediate download are technology updates for Microsoft Outlook 2000 and BackOffice Server 4.5 that simplify the creation of collaborative applications and deployment of centralized team work spaces. These technologies take advantage of the existing infrastructure of Exchange and BackOffice and can easily be incorporated within a digital dashboard solution.

Microsoft Outlook 2000 Team Folder Wizard

The Team Folder Wizard is an easy-to-use add-in for Outlook 2000 that automates the creation of many of the most commonly used Exchange-based collaborative applications. Within minutes, knowledge workers can create powerful Exchange-based public folder applications that include a shared contact manager, document library, shared calendar, discussion group and collaborative project. These instant applications add the flexibility and ease of use of a Web-based user interface, all accessible from within the Outlook environment. For organizations standardized on Outlook and Exchange, the Outlook 2000 Team Folder Wizard can help utilize the collaborative capabilities of their existing infrastructure.

Team Productivity Update for Back Office Server 4.5

Also available for download today is a new team solution for customers of BackOffice Server 4.5. The Team Productivity Update for BackOffice Server 4.5 takes full advantage of the BackOffice product suite to provide a structured, user-customized team work space that serves as a central location for knowledge sharing. This technology improves team integration and communication by allowing end users, with IT control, to quickly create a secure, structured team work space to share and collaborate on documents, view team calendars and contacts, and analyze line-of-business data. The Team Productivity Update for BackOffice Server 4.5 provides both out-of-the-box team applications, including those in the Outlook 2000 Team Folder Wizard, as well as the ability to customize or add third-party solutions.

Availability

The Digital Dashboard Starter Kit is currently available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/solutions/km/DDSK.htm . The Outlook 2000 Team Folder Wizard is currently available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/Exchange/techinfo/ . The Team Productivity Update for BackOffice Server 4.5 can be ordered from the Microsoft BackOffice Server Web site for BackOffice Server 4.5 customers at http://www.microsoft.com/backofficeserver/ . Members of the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider program will receive a free evaluation copy of the Digital Dashboard Starter Kit in their September mailing, which will enable them to gain first-hand experience with the product to prepare for customer implementation.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

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