REDMOND, Wash., March 13, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a collaborative effort with leading global consulting firms to implement project and knowledge management solutions based on Microsoft® Project, Project Central, eLabor.com’s Enterprise Project and Microsoft Visio® software. The participants, Arthur Andersen, Avanade Inc. and KSolutions Inc., three firms that consult with large enterprise customers to optimize business practices, represent the latest and perhaps the highest-profile companies to join a growing network of solution providers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and training organizations for Microsoft Project and Visio.
These firms have incorporated Microsoft Project and Visio into their service offerings as tools that will assist clients in addressing many of the challenges faced by large companies, such as maintaining agility and managing global business processes. Using Microsoft Project and Visio, Arthur Andersen, Avanade and KSolutions are creating enterprise knowledge- and project-management solutions that will allow customers to treat their project and business process data as they already treat their sales and human resources data — as strategic assets.
“We see our relationship with Arthur Andersen, Avanade and KSolutions as a major milestone for Microsoft Project and Visio — not just as stand-alone applications, but as enterprise-strength platforms for global operations,”
said Robert Crissman, director of marketing for the Business Tools Division at Microsoft.
“Now, whether enterprise customers are looking for a full-scale business consultant and solution provider, or for more limited software development or training support, our expanding network can connect them with the expertise they need.”
Leading Consultants Employ Microsoft Project and Visio for Global Knowledge Management and Collaboration, Process Automation and Project Management
One of the biggest challenges facing companies in today’s increasingly distributed and interconnected global economy is reducing the barriers to efficient transactions, processes and knowledge exchange. Arthur Andersen, Avanade and KSolutions are addressing this problem head-on, creating solutions that are available and intuitive to all company individuals, rather than the exclusive domain of project managers. The three firms are creating solutions for their clients based on Microsoft Project and Visio on the desktop, with back-end repositories based on Microsoft SQL Server™ and Microsoft Exchange, as well as taking advantage of the Windows® 2000 Active Directory™
“It has become imperative for global enterprises to streamline business processes and implement knowledge- and project-management solutions top to bottom, to compete in today’s Internet-speed environment,”
said Jim Gaines, principal at Arthur Andersen.
“The market for such solutions is substantial and continues to grow. Microsoft Project and Visio have become a valuable platform for giving senior management more complete and timely information, enabling entire organizations to be more nimble.”
“In today’s enterprise, even small tasks can become involved projects due to the number of people impacted,”
said Ashish Kumar, chief technology officer at Avanade.
“We have an integrated solution based on Microsoft Project, Visio and Office that includes project management tools, e-mail and conferencing to allow businesses to stay on top of tasks. Suddenly all this operational data is exposed to decision-makers who never had access to it before, allowing them to adjust their business activities more precisely and rapidly than ever.”
“The goal of knowledge management is to lower social, technological and process barriers that typically entrench knowledge and make it unavailable throughout an organization,”
said John Hart, executive vice president of Strategic Business Initiatives at KSolutions, a consulting firm founded by Stephen Cranford, formerly KPMG Consulting’s global partner-in-charge of its Knowledge Management Solutions practice
“That’s where Visio comes in. Visio has graduated from being a straightforward drawing and diagramming application to being a process enabler that is an integral part of a knowledge-sharing environment. We’ve crafted a solution called K-Central that is based on Microsoft Project, Project Central, Visio and SQL Server that takes the guesswork out of project planning.”
Customers of All Types Find the Help They Need
Because project management is a unique discipline, Microsoft established a network of companies that could specialize in deploying Microsoft Project, building custom solutions on the Microsoft Project platform and delivering expert product training for customers. Similarly, Visio, a product recently acquired by Microsoft, brings with it an established network of companies who have a deep understanding of creating solutions based on Visio. However, many global corporate customers require providers that can address their specific business challenges.
With the addition of Arthur Andersen, Avanade and KSolutions to this strategic network, customers of all types – from large enterprises to small businesses – can find answers to their deployment, customization and training needs. Customers seeking solutions created with Project and/or Visio, along with deployment, training or customization, can access the Microsoft Project and Visio Web sites at http://www.msprojectpartner.com/ and http://www.visiopartners.com/ .
Alternatively, Microsoft’s field sales teams can help identify companies that are best suited to a customer’s specific needs.
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