REDMOND, Wash., and PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 23, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) and HP (NYSE “HPQ”) today announced a worldwide initiative to enable enterprises to connect their information, people, systems and devices in ways that help them reach new levels of business agility and competitive advantage through .NET and Web services. The initiative builds on the longstanding relationship between the companies and combines HP’s IT infrastructure technology and services expertise with Microsoft®
The new initiative represents a total investment of more than $50 million by the two companies and is designed to respond to customer demand for .NET solutions and Web services. The initiative will create one of the world’s largest, most specialized forces of .NET consultants and systems architects, combined with the broadest choice of technology platforms in the industry, as well as capabilities to integrate solutions across global enterprises. More than 5,000 HP sales professionals will be trained on .NET, 3,000 HP Services professionals will be certified on .NET, and a new group of .NET solution architects will be formed by HP. In addition, HP will establish a worldwide sales force of systems engineers and enterprise sales professionals who are dedicated to the sale and deployment of Microsoft .NET solutions.
Recognizing HP’s comprehensive .NET commitment and capabilities, Microsoft endorses HP as a “worldwide prime integrator” for Microsoft .NET technologies. The .NET solutions will incorporate Microsoft’s .NET connected software and HP’s broad array of industry-leading technology platforms. HP has named .NET as its No. 1 application platform for industry standard HP ProLiant Servers.
HP and Microsoft also announced today that General Mills Inc. (GMI) is already benefiting from the companies’ joint delivery of .NET solutions. As a result of the new GMI .NET solution, GMI company management is able to receive real-time data from 25,000 stores and make adjustments quickly based on that data.
“Customers are demanding real business value from their IT investments and are looking for services and solutions to capitalize on the opportunities that .NET and Web services present,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president, HP Services. “The combined force of Microsoft and HP, which has more than two decades of recognized Microsoft expertise and leadership in IT infrastructure and services, will help corporate customers realize the benefits of .NET rapidly and effectively.”
This new initiative builds upon HP’s history as an industry-leading provider of IT infrastructure solutions based on Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server, Exchange 2000 Server, BizTalk®
Server 2000 and other Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server products. In addition, HP provides the most comprehensive portfolio of systems and services to build and support .NET solutions.
“This initiative integrates the strengths of both companies — thought leadership, innovation, comprehensive software and hardware platforms, and end-to-end services — to bring customers unprecedented value from their existing technology investments,” said Mike Sinneck, corporate vice president of Worldwide Services at Microsoft. “We are extremely pleased to work with HP and usher in the new generation of computing based on .NET.”
“Microsoft .NET is among the most advanced of the industry initiatives designed to leverage the Internet and the rapidly maturing group of Web services specifications,” said Dwight Davis, vice president of Summit Strategies Inc., a Boston-based market research and consulting firm. “.NET-based solutions promise simplified and more cost-effective integration of systems and applications within individual companies as well as with the systems of outside suppliers, partners and customers. With this .NET initiative, Microsoft and HP have combined to create an unparalleled team of seasoned professionals, as well as a business structure that should speed the benefits of .NET solutions while reducing customers’ risk of implementing cutting-edge Web services technologies.”
General Mills: .NET Web Services in Action
With more than $13 billion in sales, General Mills Inc. (GMI) operates 91 manufacturing plants worldwide with 66 of them in North America. GMI is empowering its retail representatives with handheld solutions to both communicate retail direction and monitor progress against retail objectives. This data is automatically synchronized with GMI’s reporting infrastructure to help aggregate the overall positioning of products in the stores and to provide efficient recording of this vital retail information. In the past, retail representatives collected data via paper forms for more than 25,000 stores. The data could not be quickly analyzed, and it was next to impossible to aggregate the entire data set, making the measurement of retail store conditions challenging.
To help GMI representatives be more responsive and cost-effective, HP was brought in to assist in the creation of a new handheld system to streamline data collection, daily communications and analysis. This GMI initiative consists of HP and Microsoft utilizing .NET and advising on a Web services framework to develop a mobile application that gives GMI sales representatives accurate data in real time and the ability to respond rapidly.
“General Mills generally develops non-ERP solutions internally,” said Sue Simonett, director of information systems for General Mills. “This focused retail excellence initiative is highly visible within GMI because retail store conditions directly impact our overall business performance. This new infrastructure will initially be utilized for the rollout of our new grocery items coming to market. After reviewing HP’s and Microsoft’s .NET capabilities, we realized that it just made good business sense to turn to their teams of experts.”
The GMI .NET solution is based on the .NET Framework and was developed using Microsoft Visual Studio®
Microsoft .NET is software that connects information, people, systems and devices .NET connects a broad range of personal and business technologies, enabling the access and use of important information, whenever and wherever it is needed. Built on XML Web service standards, .NET enables both new and existing applications to connect with software and services across platforms, applications and programming languages.
HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its merger transaction involving Compaq Computer Corp. on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .
Supporting Customer Quotes
Operating in 68 counties of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, Midwest Wireless is a leading provider of wireless services, including ClearlyDigital wireless phone service and ClearWave high-speed wireless Internet access. From the establishment of its original cellular phone service, Cellular 2000, in 1990 to the introduction of its digital phone service, ClearlyDigital, in 1998, Midwest Wireless has earned a solid reputation for being at the forefront of wireless telephone service innovation. Among the company’s many accomplishments, Midwest Wireless is credited for being the first rural provider in the entire nation to deploy two-way SMS wireless messaging. Midwest Wireless is also a pioneer in the development of wireless Internet and other data technologies and will continue to concentrate on providing services that enhance communication for those living the Greater Midwest.
“We found that the Microsoft .NET Framework offers an effective way to Web-enable critical applications and enhance services to customers while preserving technology investments and controlling IT costs. The Web-based solution enables us to establish new accounts and activate phones at the point of sale, yielding significant cost savings and organizational improvements. In fact, the new system and streamlined processes have resulted in an immediate savings of 20,000 hours of manual entry time in 2002. The knowledge and skills of HP consultants played a critical role in designing and deploying the new applications. HP Services essentially transformed .NET into a business solution that provides a distinct competitive edge — and still met budget and schedule requirements.”
— Mark Allen
Wiltshire Constabulary, one of the 43 police forces in England and Wales, has distinguished itself as a leader in “e-policing,” in which information and communications technology are applied to improve the standards of policing and levels of service to the community.
“We found that 47 percent of police time was spent in the police station rather than on the beat, and that 24 percent of that time in the police station was devoted to paperwork. We determined that a 1 percent reduction in the paperwork burden would free up 16,000 hours of police time, valued at more than 200,000. To address this crucial issue, Wiltshire and HP are deploying innovative solutions based on Microsoft .NET to reduce the administrative burden that officers carry today. Together we’re creating an electronic workflow and document management system that reduces the time, expenditure and error rate associated with completing and filing forms. A new Web portal will provide secure access to electronic forms and repositories, streamlining data input, investigative research and response to citizen inquiries. Now our police officers can be even more efficient, spending less time finding information and more time serving the community.”
— Gary Ogd`en
Corporate Development Department
RadioShack has been in business longer than any other national electronics retailer in Canada — approaching its 30th year. The company’s longevity is a direct result of the skill and determination of its more than 2,300 employees, and thanks to loyal customers throughout Canada. RadioShack.ca has been live for three years, serving as a supportive extension of its Canadian retail stores. While shoppers can shop and have products mailed directly to them, most prefer to research the products, online, and then go to the nearest store either to purchase and pick up the product or to follow up at the store with questions for the trained staff. Because of the differing customer service functions, the Web site does not create competitive tension between the retail stores and the e-commerce site; instead, it creates a synergy that only makes the Web site more valuable to the customers and the retail stores.
“HP and Microsoft work together to increase the breadth and depth of their solutions. They understand the business problems facing large retail customers, and their solutions address all aspects of these problems, often delivering hidden benefits in the process. For example, HP StorageWorks EBS increases front-end CPU performance, and Microsoft Commerce Server 2002 includes a great search engine.
“Speedy time to market helps keep us ahead of the competition. It was such a flawless experience that I look forward to the next project.
“Integration is always the goal of forward-thinking solution providers. The Microsoft /ProLiant platform is very well integrated. For example, the way Microsoft .NET components tightly integrate with Visual Studio .NET allows us to leverage our developers by building applications more quickly and productively.”
— Margo Weeks