Microsoft Great Plains Delivers Comprehensive Business Management Functionality With Solomon IV Release 5.0

FARGO, N.D., May 14, 2002 — Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions today announced the availability of Microsoft® Great Plains® Solomon® IV Release 5.0, a comprehensive business management solution with significant new capabilities and enhancements across its advanced distribution, financial, project, e-business and service series.

Solomon 5.0 provides customers with new abilities that allow them to quickly adapt to changing business conditions. The new release builds on the strengths of its advanced distribution capabilities with the addition of three new modules: inventory replenishment, order to purchase and landed cost.

The inventory replenishment module helps organizations reduce inventory costs and improve customer satisfaction. By replenishing inventory more accurately through historical use, vendor performance and planned future demand, organizations deliver better customer service while improving cash flow and balance sheets.

The order to purchase module benefits customer service and sales representatives through a one-step process of taking a customer order and then placing a purchase order with a vendor to fulfill stock needs. A streamlined fulfillment process provides salespeople with the tools they need to satisfy customer demand and deliver high levels of customer service while protecting the bottom line.

The landed cost module enables distributors and manufacturers to account for additional costs beyond the merchandise cost incurred in purchasing inventory items. This allows these organizations to effectively manage profitability by rolling the shipping, handling and import fees into the total cost of goods.

“Midmarket organizations tend to seek complete business process solutions rather than a collection of best-in-class point solutions that typically require significant integration,”
said John Van Decker, senior program director for application delivery strategies at META Group Inc.
“Over time, midmarket ERP vendors will continue to blur boundaries between classic product modules in favor of solutions that contain integrated solutions to address critical process flows. In the middle market, solutions must be functionally complete out of the box, must be highly configurable reducing the need for custom coding and must demonstrate vertical excellence.”

Solomon IV 5.0 delivers on continued investments in its finance series with payroll capabilities for construction and other businesses. These include union reciprocity (portability), service dispatch integration to advanced payroll, project time and expense integration to advanced payroll, and Web advanced payroll time entry. In union reciprocity, a new screen has been added to automate the calculation of fringe benefit amounts based on a reciprocal agreement between an employees home local union and work local union. Unlimited reciprocals can be set up and maintained, and are automatically calculated, saving time for payroll managers who previously had to manually calculate complex union reciprocal agreements each week.

In the project series, organizations performing projects or services for customers in other countries can use the new multicurrency project invoice enhancement to have customers invoices presented in a foreign currency. Amounts from the foreign currency invoice are automatically translated into the systems base currency for postings.

In the e-business series, Solomon Desktop now has multicompany capabilities, enabling Web self-service applications and reports to interact with data in all established companies, either in a single database or in multiple application databases. Each Solomon Desktop user will have the opportunity to sign in to any company for which rights have been given, providing remote managers and salespeople with quick and easy access to the full multicompany capabilities of Solomon IV while simplifying administration for the information technology department.

In the service series, dispatch integration with Microsoft MapPoint® has been added, allowing dispatchers to quickly and accurately locate the address of service calls, plan technicians routes, and determine alternate routes if needed. The enhancement enables general and specialty trade contractors to better dispatch technicians for higher utilization and profits. To use this feature, customers must purchase a license for Microsoft MapPoint separately, and the product must be installed on the dispatchers computer.

Pricing and Availability

Solomon IV Release 5.0 is available immediately in North America through Microsoft Great Plains reselling partners. Pricing starts at $4,500 (U.S.) for a single-user edition.

About Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions

Microsoft Great Plains provides business applications that help small and midmarket companies become more agile in todays interconnected economy by extending specific information and procedures to employees, customers, vendors and partners. The business applications automate end-to-end business processes across financials, distribution,

project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business analytics, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about the solutions offered by Microsoft Great Plains can be found at or 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, Great Plains, Solomon and MapPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. or Great Plains in the United States and/or other countries.

Great Plains Software Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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