VARS, Systems Integrators, Network Service Providers to Benefit From New Revenue Opportunities From Microsoft Business Tools Division

ATLANTA, July 14, 2000 — Today at Fusion 2000, Microsoft Corp.’s largest partner and channel event of the year, Microsoft announced its new Business Tools Division (BTD). The BTD was established to expand revenue opportunities for channel partners by making it easier for them to sell additional products and services to their customers based on Microsoft® Project, Visio® drawing and diagramming software and MapPoint™
business mapping software.

The new division provides channel partners with tools and services associated with these products to help them plan, implement and manage mission-critical IT projects and infrastructures, such as Microsoft SQL Server™ migration and deployment of the Windows® 2000 operating system, the Active Directory™
service and deployment of Exchange 2000.

The BTD also offers new resources and programs to help resellers use and license these products. As part of the BTD, all products are available via Microsoft’s standard licensing program, which makes it faster and easier for channel partners to license Microsoft Project, Visio and MapPoint by eliminating the need to maintain multiple licensing plans. The BTD is also releasing a Visio Sales Guide, which includes a full-working copy of Visio 2000 Standard Edition, a CD-based sales tool that includes demonstrations and presentations, product comparisons, fact sheets, Web banners and more. This guide will be available today to all Fusion attendees.

“Previously, our channel partners were left on their own to come up with valuable add-on tools and services to offer to their customers,”
said Turi Widsteen, product manager for Channel Marketing in the Business Tools Division at Microsoft.
“Bringing Microsoft Project, Visio and MapPoint together for the first time under the BTD underscores that these products are vital desktop tools that add value to every Office implementation. The BTD will provide resellers with tools and programs to help them fully understand the breadth of our products so they can sell more of them more easily and profitably.”

BTD Products Complement Office

With these products, channel partners can offer market-leading tools that give their customers a competitive advantage. BTD products complement Office perfectly, enabling Office users to manage and visualize complex projects, information and systems so they can run their organizations more effectively. With customer projects getting larger and more complex all the time, BTD products are increasingly attractive as illustrated by the following examples:

  • Microsoft Project 2000 enables Office users to collaboratively plan and track projects across an entire organization.

  • Visio 2000 Standard enables knowledge workers throughout the enterprise to improve communication by helping them create and share information-rich diagrams.

  • MapPoint 2001 addresses the needs spurred by enterprise growth across multiple sales regions, country borders and time zones.

As Office family applications, BTD products have a familiar interface and integrate seamlessly with Office, enabling customers to adopt and begin using them quickly. Use of those BTD products gives Office users significant competitive advantage, which is an attractive sales proposition.

New Opportunities for Channel Partners to Sell Services

Beyond representing an add-on to Office suite sales, BTD products serve as add-ons to other Microsoft products, such as Windows 2000, SQL Server, Exchange 2000 Server and the Visual Studio® development system. Because many resellers help their customers deploy these products, channel partners can use BTD products to give their own business a competitive edge.

For anyone deploying Windows 2000 or Exchange 2000 Server, Visio and Microsoft Project can serve as essential aids.

  • Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition’s AutoDiscovery technology automatically identifies and diagrams network devices. For customers migrating to Active Directory, Visio can map the existing network topology (such as Novell Directory Services) and import it to Active Directory. The technology performs similarly when migrating databases from Oracle to SQL Server.

  • Microsoft Project 2000 provides IT professionals with a complete road map (including templates) addressing the processes, tasks, time, resources, budget and costs associated with deployment of Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 Server.

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, Visio, MapPoint, Windows, Active Directory and Visual Studio 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.

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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