European RAD Awards 2003 Prepare to Honor Excellence in Software Development

LONDON, Feb. 4, 2003 — The Microsoft European Retail Application Developer (RAD) Awards 2003 Program is officially open for entries. Now in its fourth year, the competition recognises application developers who make the best use of Microsoft technologies to provide business benefits to retailers. Finalists will be recognized and award winners honoured in Paris on the evening of Wednesday 9 April 2003 at a gala dinner and ceremony held in conjunction with the Global Retail Technology Forum.

The awards are open to all retailers, independent software vendors (ISVs), solution providers and systems integrators (SIs) in the retail industry in Europe, the Middle East or Africa (EMEA) who have built innovative and successful solutions using Microsoft technology. Application forms can be downloaded at and entries must be submitted no later than 28 February 2003.

Awards will be presented in four categories: retail in-store applications, retail headquarters applications, retail supply chain and special awards, which include most innovative, greatest business impact and best use of .NET technologies.

Last year’s winners of the RAD awards include Eqos, ONIA-NET SA and the Compass Software Group.

Stuart Aldridge, director of marketing at Compass Software, one of the UK’s leading providers of planning, design and support solutions for retailers and a three times RAD Award winner comments: “The RAD Awards have considerably increased our profile within the industry especially with senior decision makers in retail organisations. The awards have also enhanced our technical credibility by establishing an independent assessment of the long-term sustainability of our architecture. All of this helps develop a compelling case for new customers to partner with us, and in turn with Microsoft.”

Katerina Parmatari, marketing and IT director at Athens-based ONIA-NET SA says: “Since winning the RAD Award for Greatest Business Impact last year, we have moved to full roll out in 130 retail stores in less than two months.”

Parmatari continues: “By using our PCSO TM (Process of Collaborative Store Ordering) service, supported by our Microsoft-based collaboration platform, our customers achieved an ongoing out-of-shelf reduction of more that 60%. Winning the RAD Award has greatly helped to certify the quality of our services.”

“The RAD Award has provided Eqos significant impetus to double our revenues last year and consolidate our leading position in the Supplier Relationship Management industry,” says Mark McDonnell, marketing director at Eqos Limited, a UK based software developer and a 2002 RAD Award winner. “We could not have achieved this without the agility that Microsoft .NET technologies give us.”

All RAD Awards finalists will benefit from:

  • Attending the awards dinner, with the opportunity to meet executives from influential corporations and media companies

  • Exposure on the Microsoft European RAD awards website and Microsoft websites from around the world

  • The rights to use the RAD award finalist logo in advertising and other promotional use for three months

  • Inclusion in press relations activities

In addition, winners will receive:

  • An award trophy presented at the ceremony

  • The right to use the RAD Award winner logo in promotions for one year

  • Participation in press activity

Gary Cooke, retail industry marketing manager for Microsoft EMEA, says: “Every year innovative software developers working in both independent firms and retailer IT departments create exciting solutions that deliver genuine business value. Microsoft is pleased to sponsor the RAD Awards Program because it is an effective way to encourage and honour these developers for their accomplishments, and to help them get the recognition they deserve.”

RAD Awards competitions are judged by independent panels of judges chosen from the retail community, including retailers, industry press and industry analysts.

For further information on the European RAD Awards 2003, please visit: .

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