Helping Customers and Partners Realize Their Full Potential: Microsoft Business Solutions Unveils Its Solutions Road Map

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 18, 2002 — Microsoft® Business Solutions today outlined its product and service strategies by demonstrating new and upcoming technologies in its product strategy session for global partners. A pivotal component of Stampede 2002, Microsoft Business Solutions annual event for global partners, the two-hour session showcased Microsoft Business Solutions extensive development efforts across new and existing business applications for small, midmarket and corporate businesses. By unveiling its threefold development strategy — expanding and enhancing current solutions, creating new solutions that complement existing offerings, and delivering next-generation business applications — Microsoft Business Solutions provided a comprehensive road map for its vision for connected solutions that will transform business processes for customers, partners, suppliers and employees.

The product strategy session featured a series of solution demonstrations that reflected Microsoft Business Solutions threefold development efforts, including the following highlights.

Expanding and Enhancing Solutions

By deepening integration points with the Microsoft Office desktop applications suite, Microsoft Business Solutions demonstrated to its global partners how they can close near-term sales and add incremental revenue. In addition to sharing upcoming solutions, the demonstration highlighted new integration capabilities available in the next version of SharePoint (TM) Team Services and Excel.

The demonstration of Small Business Manager (SBM) 7.0 focused on effective inventory control and streamlined sales and purchasing processes. Other features highlighted included the SBM Commission Wizard in Excel, the built-in cash flow calendar, Office integration capabilities, and integration with Microsoft bCentral (TM) .

Advanced distribution functionality designed to improve the inventory and order management capabilities of both general businesses that fulfill products and wholesale distributors will be added to Microsoft Business Solutions Inventory and Order Processing — Great Plains solutions. Global partners learned that blanket purchase order support, inter-site transfers and pick/pack/ship workflow functionality are a few of the new features that will be added.

Creating New Solutions That Complement Existing Offerings

Microsoft Customer Relationship Management is a software solution that helps companies build more profitable customer relationships through increased sales effectiveness and more consistent customer service. Highlights of the demonstration included the solutions integration with Microsoft Business Solutions — Great Plains and its use of XML.

Microsoft Business Network connects small and medium-sized businesses with their trading partners, improving ease of operations and access to business-critical information. The Philadelphia Eagles made a cameo appearance at Stampede 2002 in a video demonstrating the teams potential use of online trading services via Microsoft Business Network (MBN) to develop and distribute customized catalogs selling merchandise with their logo to local retailers of all sizes.

The demonstration of the new Microsoft Business Solutions Professional Services Automation (PSA) offering (based on Microsoft Business Solutions Project Accounting — Solomon® and Microsoft Project 2002) showcased project management, resource management, project accounting, time entry and profitability reporting features as used by project managers, accounting managers and team members.

Microsoft Business Solutions featured its retail point-of-sale (POS) application, Microsoft Retail Management System, by demonstrating the new integration with the Great Plains product. The store operations system handles point-of-sale and back-office functions such as inventory control and customer relationship management.

The Bank One Direct PayChek Card from Microsoft Business Solutions allows companies to work exclusively within their enterprise resource management (ERM) system from account setup through payment and ongoing maintenance. With Direct PayChek Card, no changes are needed on existing Great Plains or Solomon applications.

Microsoft Business Solutions unveiled a key component of its enhanced service strategy for partner education. The new learning management system will allow a more feature-rich learning experience through customization flexibility, the ability to accommodate individual learning paths, and skills gap analysis options.

About Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft Business Solutions, which includes the businesses of Great Plains, Microsoft bCentral and Navision a/s, offers a wide range of business applications designed to help small, midmarket and corporate businesses become more connected with customers, employees, partners and suppliers. Microsoft Business Solutions applications automate end-to-end business processes across financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business intelligence, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about Microsoft Business Solutions 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, SharePoint, bCentral, Great Plainsand Solomon are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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

Navision a/s is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

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 Microsofts corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsofts Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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