Microsoft Announces Strategic Relationship With Plural To Build Premier Global E-Business Solution

REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK, May 3, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. and Plural Inc. today announced a strategic relationship designed to provide Global 2,000 and Internet start-up clients with market-leading e-business solutions. Plural and Microsoft will jointly invest to drive the adoption and deployment of innovative interactive-based solutions built on the Microsoft® Windows®
DNA platform.

The enhanced relationship with Microsoft will enable Plural to aggressively scale its business while offering a number of innovative field-driven initiatives to improve customers’ e-business strategies and systems through more robust, efficient, and cost-effective solutions developed on the Microsoft platform. Some of the programs include packaged service offerings from Plural such as Web assessment and design packages, knowledge-management analysis and design, system architecture and design analyses, and security reviews.

Plural’s world-class expertise in delivering complex, business-critical solutions was the driving force behind the relationship enhancement. Since its inception in 1989, Plural has consistently delivered outstanding value and business impact to its clients: It built complex financial applications for 23 of the top 25 investment banks; developed extremely robust, scalable Windows NT® Server-based systems for companies like Nasdaq; and launched a Venture Technology program targeting the special needs of Internet startups such as, and Plural’s longstanding association with Microsoft’s corporate and field organizations, culminated in Plural’s recognition as the National Microsoft Certified Solution Provider Partner of the Year in 1999.

“Plural and Microsoft have had a successful relationship for more than a decade, and Microsoft looks forward to taking the relationship to the next level,”
said Ian Rogoff, vice president, Microsoft Partner Group.
“This close relationship combines Plural’s proven solutions expertise with Microsoft’s integrated and reliable platform to deliver e-business solutions to our mutual customers that will give them a competitive edge in a fast-moving online economy.”

The new agreement includes Plural’s development of Centers of Excellence Laboratories in key regional markets designed to address timely e-business trends and issues and its leveraging of its intellectual property and best practices through seminars, workshops, white papers and other vehicles to help clients understand market challenges and take advantage of Microsoft technologies across all dimensions of their businesses. Plural will also intensify its internal training programs, which will result in certifications for more than 75 percent of its software developers as Microsoft Certified Solution Developers (MCSDs) or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSEs).

“We have set forth an aggressive growth strategy to create the preeminent e-business consultancy of incomparable business strategists, creative specialists and technologists utilizing the latest in Microsoft technologies. A strategic and working relationship with Microsoft is key to realizing this vision,”
said Roy Wetterstrom, CEO and founder of Plural.
“This enhanced relationship with Microsoft is a tremendous win at every level, and we’re most proud of the business value it will bring to our joint clients.”

“TD Waterhouse is an early adopter of Microsoft technologies and is proud of its commitment to innovation, particularly in the area of wireless technologies,”
said Richard J. Rzasa, CIO and executive vice president of TD Waterhouse Group.
“Through this new strategic relationship with Microsoft, Plural will be even better positioned to help us take advantage of the latest Microsoft tools and technologies and get the most innovative solutions out to our customers.”

The agreement also includes the formation of a joint executive steering committee devoted to driving the services and offerings to market, as well as ensuring consistent interaction and planning at the Microsoft district levels. The relationship provides Plural with early access to Microsoft technologies and the creation of innovative customer programs to demonstrate e-business value to customers.

About Plural

Plural ( ) is a strategic interactive consulting and development firm focused on multiplying the e-business strengths of its clients. Propelled by more than 500 skilled strategists, creative specialists and technologists, Plural draws on more than 10 years of experience delivering business-critical interactive solutions to Global 2,000 companies and Internet startup ventures. The company’s e-business expertise is centered on business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, with specialized industry focus areas in financial services, telecommunications, health care, pharmaceuticals, media, travel and professional services. The company is headquartered in New York City, with nine offices nationwide and plans to accelerate its aggressive organic growth with selected acquisitions.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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, Windows and Windows NT 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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