Bill Gates Invites Industry Partners to Join the XML Revolution At Fusion 2001

ANAHEIM, Calif., July 16, 2001 — In his keynote speech today at Microsoft® Fusion 2001, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., concluded the company’s premier partner event of the year by discussing the importance of a new era in technology he called the XML revolution. More than 3,200 partners, including systems integrators, independent software vendors and solution providers, listened as Gates talked about the breakthroughs in technology driving revolution to Web services, including open Internet standards such as XML and new smart-client devices, as well as the dramatic improvements in processing power and connectivity to deliver the next generation of integrated, distributed and high-value business solutions. Although Microsoft has played a significant role in defining open Internet standards, including XML, Gates emphasized the critical role partners will play in ushering in this new era of Web services based on the Microsoft® .NET Platform.

“Microsoft has always sought to deliver platforms that unleash unparalleled opportunities for industry partners to create value,”
Gates said.
“The .NET Platform takes this to a new level. It enables developers, integrators, hosters and value-added providers to take advantage of open Internet standards to offer customers a totally new experience — one that will bring tremendous business agility and increased shareholder value. The new era of XML Web services is the most exciting ever for this industry and for customers worldwide.”

Value of Partnering Study

Gates also discussed the findings of a partnering study conducted by industry analysts regarding the rapidly changing nature of the information technology industry and the new opportunities these changes create for businesses that choose to partner with Microsoft. This study, written by Nathan Associates Inc., an independent economic consulting firm, is the result of in-depth research conducted by a team of survey research scientists from Walker Information, analysts from Gartner Dataquest, and economists from Spectrum Economics and Nathan Associates The study describes how the XML revolution is changing the IT services ecosystem and describes the advantages of partnering with Microsoft in the new ecosystem.

According to the study, the XML revolution is initiating a new cycle of innovation that offers new opportunities for Microsoft, its partners and, most important, its customers. In this cycle, the
is software — or, more specifically, products that consist of functional components that can be provided separately as Web services. As in past cycles, companies that choose to partner with Microsoft in the creation of XML Web services — the building blocks for a vast array of future products and services — will benefit from unprecedented customer opportunities that are as profound as any since the industry’s inception. The three key findings of the multifaceted study are the following:

  • Worldwide spending on IT services for horizontal solutions based on Microsoft products will grow 30 percent per year to reach $495 billion in 2004.

  • Partners of Microsoft that move early into new markets for XML Web services can expect an internal rate of return as high as 30 percent.

  • Partners that have a formal relationship with at least two of the major technology vendors included in this study (IBM Corp., Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.) rate Microsoft higher on every dimension and driver of business value of the partner relationship.

A downloadable copy of the study is available at Partnering With Microsoft to Create Value in the Web Services Ecosystem .

Fusion Attendees Gain Valuable Insight

Throughout the four-day conference, held July 13-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., partners were provided with keynotes, forums and resources focused on delivering a full range of customer solutions based on the Microsoft .NET strategy, along with effective approaches to developing enterprise solutions, creating services for small and medium-sized businesses and building desktop and productivity solutions. Attendees also got the latest news regarding Microsoft’s bCentral™ small-business portal extended partner opportunities, new Microsoft certification tracks and training choices, enhanced support offerings, and the latest release of the Windows® XP operating system.

Fusion Partner and Solution Award Winners

In an awards ceremony at Fusion, Ian Rogoff, vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft, announced 15 winners of the Microsoft Certified Partner of the Year award. A panel of Microsoft judges selected Solution of the Year and Partner of the Year award winners from 800 entries received from partners worldwide. Winners were chosen based on excellence and innovation in customer solution delivery and service. During the ceremony, Microsoft also presented Global Partner awards to three companies demonstrating exceptional engagement with Microsoft around services, software and hosting. The related fact sheet (attached below) lists winners in each category.

“Our certified partners are among our greatest assets, and we want to recognize those partners that have an outstanding ability to create and deliver effective, innovative, high-quality customer solutions worldwide based on Microsoft technology,”
Rogoff said.
“These awards give Microsoft an opportunity to reward those standout companies from around the world that have demonstrated nothing less than absolute commitment to satisfy customers.”

New Business Opportunities With SharePoint Portal Server

In conjunction with the opening day of Fusion 2001, Microsoft announced that
13 industry-leading ISVs have embraced SharePoint™
Portal Server technology as the centerpiece of their new product offerings. These ISVs have chosen to license the industry-leading search functionality and integrated document management capabilities in SharePoint Portal Server to provide enhanced portal solutions. Customers now can choose from a variety of new third-party portal solutions built on the unique combination of industry-leading search technology and integrated document management features in SharePoint Portal Server.

“We are pleased to see the strong commitment our partners have made to the SharePoint Portal Server platform,”
said Gytis Barzdukas, group product manager of the Portal Business Group at Microsoft. More information on these new solutions is available in the related press release available online at .

About Fusion

Initiated in 1997, Fusion is host to the largest worldwide gathering of Microsoft business partners, including Microsoft Certified Partners, independent software vendors, systems integrators and resellers. Fusion is Microsoft’s most important worldwide partner event of the year and recently won the Allie Award for Best Corporate Event in 2000. Begun in 1998 as the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider Awards, the Microsoft Certified Partner of the Year Awards is Microsoft’s annual partner recognition ceremony. More information can be found at .

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, bCentral, Windows and SharePoint 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.

Worldwide Microsoft Certified Partner Award Winners

Announced at Microsoft Fusion 2001

The winning partner in each of these categories demonstrated a strong business model that is well-positioned for a successful future, along with a firm commitment to the Microsoft® platform.

Anti-Piracy Advocate of the Year: Volante, Melbourne, Australia

Volante’s core focus is to provide enterprise customers with a total IT solution that lowers the cost of IT procurement through a true B2B system known as Customer Connect and total software asset management through Software Connect.

ASP Solution of the Year: USinternetworking Inc., Annapolis, Md.

As the first and leading application service provider (ASP), USi is making software simple for today’s enterprises. From deployment to continuous management and support, USi takes full responsibility for delivering the latest enterprise applications.

Business Intelligence Solution of the Year: Conchango plc, Surrey, England

Conchango is a global provider of business technology solutions. Established in 1991, Conchango has a team of 300 consultants dedicated to delivering creative solutions to strategic business challenges.

Microsoft CTEC Solution of the Year: The Information Management Group, Chicago, Ill.

The Information Management Group (IMG) provides leading integrated Internet application development and IT education services. Its Education Services division, IMG University, provides IT professional and development training. IMG, through its online training site at , has long been the leading provider of Web-based Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) training based on the Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC).

Collaborative Solution of the Year: ECMS Inc., Columbia, S.C.

Since its inception, ECMS (recently acquired by IT Factory) has been dedicated to Microsoft technology, particularly Microsoft Exchange, in the messaging and collaboration arena. A consistent leader in knowledge management and collaborative application development, ECMS bases its collaborative applications development on the Exchange platform using the Microsoft Outlook® messaging and collaboration client and/or Microsoft Internet Explorer browser software as the client, ensuring integration with the Microsoft Windows® 2000 operating system.

CRM Solution of the Year: PCS AG Germany, Solingen, Germany

The PCS AG software solution PCS-call! enables help desks and support and call centers that carry out internal or external IT support to achieve better service and customer care. PCS-call! is designed to improve efficiency and thereby optimize a company’s business performance. Based on intelligent workflow and easy handling, PCS-call! improves customer care and helps decrease support costs.

E-Commerce Solution of the Year: Paradigma Tecnologia e Orientacao de Negocios Ltda., Florianopolis, Brazil

Paradigma is an innovative e-commerce application provider that allows companies to buy and sell products and services through the Internet using a single, integrated, user-friendly and safe solution. Its applications support commercial relations along the entire production chain: suppliers, distributors, retailers, branch offices, franchises and consumers. Paradigma specializes in designing e-business projects for virtual business communities and offers consulting services including market modeling, business planning, and infrastructure projecting and implementations.

ERP Solution of the Year: Scala Business Solutions, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Scala Business Solutions is a software company that provides collaborative ERP solutions designed to support easy Internet connectivity and user interfaces and devices that automate business processes among companies. For more information on Scala products and locations, go to

Infrastructure Solution of the Year: Sequoia, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Sequoia, an Analysts International company, is a premier IT services organization providing Internet and Web-enabled application development, enterprise network integration, voice and data cabling, wireless communication services and infrastructure services.

Packaged Application of the Year: Agresso Group ASA, Oslo, Norway

Agresso produces integrated business management and information systems for private and public organizations that are subject to significant change. Agresso has more than 1,300 customer implementations, and around 30,000 users sign in to Agresso Business World every day.

Small Business Solution of the Year: Center for Computer Resources LLC, Oak Park, Mich.

Center for Computer Resources (CCR) is a technology services firm focusing on providing solutions for small businesses. CCR is the expert on its favorite Microsoft solution, Small Business Server.

Support Services Solution of the Year: Compaq Computer Corp., Seoul, South Korea

Compaq Computer Corp., a Fortune Global 100 company, is a leading global provider of technology and solutions. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures and markets hardware, software, solutions and services, including industry-leading enterprise solutions.

Microsoft Global Partner Awards

Microsoft Global Partner Special Recognition Awards were given to the following:

Global Hosting Partner of the Year: Qwest Communications

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE
) is a leader in Internet-based data, voice, image and multimedia communications. Qwest has revenues of $19 billion a year and serves more than 30 million customers in the United States and abroad. It combines the world’s fastest, most powerful network with a leading lineup of Web hosting services, managed solutions, high-speed Internet access, private networks, wireless data and other technologies and applications that are redefining global communications around the power and potential of the Internet. More information is available at .

Global Services Partner of the Year: Accenture

Accenture is the world’s leading provider of management and technology consulting services and solutions, with more than 75,000 people in 46 countries delivering a wide range of specialized capabilities and solutions to clients across all industries. Accenture operates globally with one common brand and business model designed to enable the company to serve its clients on a consistent basis around the world. Under its strategy, Accenture is building a network of businesses to meet the full range of any organization’s needs – consulting, technology, outsourcing, alliances and venture capital. The company generated revenues of $9.75 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2000 and $5.71 billion for the six months ended February 28, 2001. Its home page is .

Global Software Partner of the Year: Autodesk Inc.

Autodesk is the world’s leading design software and digital content company for architectural design and land development, manufacturing, utilities, telecommunications, and media and entertainment. Founded in 1982, Autodesk provides design software, Internet portal services, wireless development platforms, and point-of-location applications that empower more than four million customers in over 150 countries to drive business and remain competitive. More information is available at .

Microsoft, Outlook and Windows 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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