Microsoft Announces Solution and Partner of the Year Award Finalists

REDMOND, Wash., July 10, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced finalists for the worldwide Microsoft® Solution and Partner of the Year Awards. A panel of Microsoft judges selected 29 finalists out of more than 875 entries received from around the world based on excellence and innovation in customer solution delivery and service. The worldwide winner in each of the six award categories will be announced July 15 in Atlanta at Microsoft’s Fusion 2000 partner event. Charles Stevens, vice president of the Enterprise Partner Group at Microsoft, will present the awards and host the awards banquet. During the ceremony, Microsoft also will present special recognition awards to companies that have demonstrated exceptional engagement in anti-piracy advocacy, ASP hosting and global services.

Begun in 1998 as the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) Awards, the Microsoft Solution and Partner of the Year Awards have been expanded this year to include a wider group of solution areas and to better recognize the growing international market. Microsoft received an unprecedented number of entries from more than 79 countries around the world, including India, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia and Brazil.

Based on the case studies submitted, one outstanding partner from each of the five Microsoft subsidiaries (North America, Middle East/Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia/South Pacific) was chosen as a finalist in one of the following award categories: MCSP Partner of the Year, Microsoft Business Solution of the Year, Microsoft CTEC Training Partner of the Year, Microsoft E-Commerce Solution of the Year, Microsoft Platform Solution of the Year and Packaged Application Partner of the Year.

Microsoft Solution and Partner of the Year Award finalists include the following:

Platform Solution of the Year

Middle East/Africa: Computer Direct Systems, Israel

Europe: Intersis-Engenharia de Sistemas s.a., Portugal

North America: Breakwater Consulting, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Latin America: TBA Informatica Ltda., Brazil

Business Solution of the Year

Middle East/Africa: Zuhair Fayez Partnership, Saudi Arabia

Europe: Team Brendel AG, Switzerland

North America: Visalign LLC, West Chester, Pa.

Asia/South Pacific: Soft Systems (P) Ltd., India

Latin America: SofHar Informatica Electronica Ltda., Brazil

E-Commerce Solution of the Year

Middle East/Africa: JustEnough.com, South Africa

Europe: EDB Intech AS, Norway

North America: Clarus Corp., Suwanne, Ga.

Asia/South Pacific: Getronics, Australia

Latin America: TBA Informatica Ltda-Minas Gerais, Brazil

MCSP Partner of the Year

Middle East/Africa: I.T.E. Corp., Egypt

Europe: Servantes, France

North America: Extreme Logic, Atlanta

Asia/South Pacific: Three Entity Sdn Bhd, Malaysia

Latin America: Grupo Qualita, Mexico

CTEC Training Partner of the Year

Middle East/Africa: John Bryce, Israel

Europe: Aris, United Kingdom

North America: Quickstart Technologies, California

Asia/South Pacific: Comat Training Services PTE Ltd., Singapore

Latin America: Bras & Figueiredo Informatica S/A, Brazil

Packaged Application Partner of the Year

Europe: Gluck & Kanja GmbH, Germany

Latin America: Panagroup, Venezuela

Middle East/Africa: Persetel Q Data Chem (Pty) Ltd., South Africa

North America: Pivotal Corp., Canada

Asia/South Pacific: Talisma Corp., India

“The expanded focus of the Microsoft Solution and Partner of the Year Awards allows Microsoft to reward excellence in broader and emerging solution categories this year,”
Stevens said.
“Outstanding customer solutions have made these partners leaders in their field, and each of the finalists are well-deserving of this recognition. Selecting the winners was a difficult task, but the stiff competition is representative of the wealth of innovative business solutions being implemented around the globe by Microsoft partners.”

Fusion 2000, host to the Microsoft Solution and Partner of the Year Awards, will take place at the World Congress Center and Georgia Dome in Atlanta, July 14-17. Microsoft President and CEO Steve Ballmer will kick off the show on Friday, July 14, speaking about customer solutions based on Microsoft .NET, related business opportunities for Microsoft’s partners and how building blocks for the WinDNA platform of today lay the groundwork for delivering these solutions. Throughout the four-day event, other leaders within Microsoft’s Partner Group, including Jeff Raikes, group vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, will focus on business opportunities for the channel provided by the growing Internet economy and related new solution offerings for customers.

Microsoft partners invited to attend Fusion 2000 can register or find more information at www.microsoftfusion.com . Members of the U.S. press who want to attend should contact Greg Barrett, Waggener Edstrom, at (503) 412-3655 or gregb@wagged.com. Members of the regionally based press should contact their local Microsoft field office. Press attendance is limited and by invitation only.

Started in 1997, Fusion is Microsoft’s premiere partner event of the year and is host to the largest worldwide gathering of valued Microsoft business partners, including MCSPs, independent software vendors, application service providers and resellers. Microsoft created the annual event to bring a variety of partners together from around the world to increase business opportunities and deliver innovative new ways to bring value to customers.

About Microsoft

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

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