Microsoft Business Solutions Executes on Vision of Global Leadership In Business Applications for Small and Midmarket Customers

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 18, 2002 — Driven by its vision of global leadership in business applications for small, midmarket and corporate customers, a vision built on innovation, unwavering customer support and a world-class partner network, Microsoft®
Business Solutions today announced bold new initiatives developed to help its worldwide network of partners and customers quickly and affordably realize their full business potential. Unveiled during its annual event for global partners, Stampede 2002, the initiatives were announced in conjunction with the formal rollout of the Microsoft Business Solutions brand. Microsoft Business Solutions includes the businesses of the former Great Plains, Microsoft bCentral (TM) and Navision a/s, the latter of which was acquired in July.

The initiatives were developed to facilitate the delivery of unprecedented value that Microsoft and the Microsoft Business Solutions division offer partners, customers and, ultimately, the entire global business community.
“Small and midmarket businesses are in a challenging position when it comes to IT investments,”
said Jodi Uecker-Rust, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions.
“They understand that technology can help them transform their operations to gain greater efficiencies and streamline processes, but they have a need to approach their IT investments in a conservative manner. We are extremely pleased to offer initiatives that help our customers align their technology spending with the significant gains in efficiency made possible by the latest Microsoft Business Solutions products and services. These new initiatives will also benefit our reselling partners, giving them an expanded range of options to use when working directly with their end customers to offer maximum value.”

The initiatives address the following:

  • Customer financing program. Microsoft Business Solutions will offer a financing program developed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses that will make it easier to purchase end-to-end solutions. Microsoft Capital will provide financing, offering both term loans and operating leases that will maximize customer flexibility while reducing the amount of cash required at the time of initial purchase. The financing program will be available to customers through authorized Microsoft Business Solutions reselling partners.

  • Customer-choice purchasing and packaging. Microsoft Business Solutions’ new approach to selling and packaging will deliver maximum value to customers regardless of the size and complexity of their business. Solutions will be scaled according to the number of users, enabling customers to purchase technologies and services that best meet their needs. Price breaks will be incorporated at several points for customers buying in higher volume and/or user seats. In addition to the new need-based model, new naming and product branding will be put in place.

  • Consistent and visible pricing practices. Microsoft Business Solutions will begin publishing prices, simplifying the purchasing process and emphasizing the
    “pay only for what you need”
    value of the new packaging model. Benefits to partners include a shortened sales cycle and
    “no haggle”
    pricing, eliminating the time and cost of more complex pricing models.

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, Great Plains and bCentral 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 Microsoft’s 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 Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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