Manufacturers Embrace SharePoint Portal Server Features

REDMOND, Wash., March 18, 2002 — In conjunction with the opening of National Manufacturing Week in Chicago, Microsoft Corp. today highlighted customers in the manufacturing industry that are adopting and praising the capabilities of SharePoint (TM) Portal Server, a flexible enterprise portal combining sophisticated search technology and document management features with a customizable portal interface. Manufacturing companies that have adopted the technology report benefits such as increased productivity and streamlining of business processes, as well as a quick return on investment.

Manufacturer Evaluations Bring Many Kudos

Recently, TOA Electronics Inc., a commercial sound equipment maker, tapped Convergent Computing, a professional services firm that helps companies develop and maintain their technology infrastructure, to install SharePoint Portal Sever and correct the current system, which company executives felt was fragmented and time-consuming. The documents, data and other information that make up TOA’s corporate knowledge base were spread across its e-mail system, file servers, databases and other applications.

Since implementing SharePoint Portal Server, TOA expects that development and distribution of effective training programs will significantly reduce the number of support calls that internal TOA personnel receive. The calls that are handled by the support staff can be quickly researched and resolved via SharePoint Web sites, as opposed to using a manual process that used to take hours. The ability to easily search and retrieve information using SharePoint is projected to reduce the time required to handle support calls by approximately 15 percent to 20 percent. The document management features in SharePoint Portal Server also offer a platform for TOA to control the publishing of documents and to foster collaborative efforts.

Anderson Power Products (APP), a manufacturer of high-power interconnects and accessories, supplying components to telecommunications, data communications and materials handling industries, expressed similar praise for SharePoint Portal Server. With facilities in the United States and Ireland, the company needed a broad platform to share product and customer information throughout the organization.

After the company implemented SharePoint Portal Server, independent research for Anderson Power revealed improved information organization and access. The company also reported a reduction in IT management costs. The elimination of a costly document management system and a high-maintenance intranet environment is enabling APP to focus some of those resources on SharePoint and the rest on other strategic IT projects. Nucleus Research Inc. calculated the expected return on investment (ROI) to be about 267 percent over the course of three years. Benefits totaled more than $1.2 million, and costs added up to just more than $255,000. Payback for the SharePoint Portal Server implementation was placed at about five months.

More Companies Seek Web Portal Power

“In general, companies such as TOA Electronics and Anderson Power increasingly see SharePoint Portal Server as a necessary corporate investment. It allows today’s knowledge worker to better meet customer desires, management needs, team goals and colleague requests,” said Trina Seinfeld, product manager for SharePoint at Microsoft. “It all boils down to productivity and a knowledge worker’s access to information. Information is the currency of the Digital Age. It’s incredibly valuable, and the more access you have to information, the more competitive an organization is going to be.”

About SharePoint Portal Server

Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2001 extends the capabilities of the Microsoft® Windows®
operating system and Microsoft Office by offering knowledge workers a powerful new way to easily organize, find and share information. SharePoint Portal Server delivers dramatic new value as a single solution that combines the ability to easily create corporate Web portals with document management, content searching and team collaboration features.

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.

Microsoft, SharePoint 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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