Microsoft Business Solutions Highlights Applications That Help Companies Transform the Way They Do Business

ORLANDO, Fla., March 19, 2003 — Microsoft Business Solutions’ seventh annual customer conference, Convergence 2003, is showing customers the technology and services that can transform how they do business in ways that best fit their unique circumstances, business challenges and growth goals. With more than 4,500 customers, business partners and team members from across North America at Convergence 2003, Microsoft Business Solutions is presenting sessions that offer businesses an up-close look at how they can realize their full potential by making more strategic decisions through their business applications.

Microsoft Business Solutions Business Portal

Convergence 2003, held today through March 22, is serving as the launch pad for Microsoft® Business Solutions Business Portal. Scheduled for North American release in April 2003, Microsoft Business Portal will help companies deliver Web-browser access to business applications, information and processes to employees, customers and suppliers, increasing business efficiency and reducing IT and support costs. Microsoft Business Portal leverages the Microsoft .NET Framework to enable organizations to deploy a security-enhanced, role-based business portal. Fully integrated with the Microsoft Business Solutions–Great Plains®
and Microsoft Business Solutions–Solomon business applications, Microsoft Business Portal also can be extended to deliver access to external data sources and Web-delivered applications to create a true single-source site for business information and processes. Microsoft Business Portal’s principal benefits will be to help businesses reduce overhead costs, empower users to complete tasks more efficiently and deliver the information that will help every user make better decisions faster.

Microsoft Business Solutions Business Network

Microsoft Business Solutions also provided a preview of Microsoft Business Network, working name for a software and Web services offering that streamlines how businesses collaborate with their customers, vendors and other business partners.

Microsoft Business Network will help businesses get connected; integrate across their business ecosystem; and significantly lower the cost of ownership with easy installment and use, no added transaction fees, a dependable and reliable architecture, and assisted peer-to-peer design for flexible deployment. The integration capabilities in Microsoft Business Network will eliminate the need for data re-entry, let businesses use Microsoft Office applications such as Outlook® and Excel to extend Microsoft Business Solutions applications, and enable integration to any other application via Microsoft BizTalk®
Server. Microsoft Business Network is expected to be available in North America and Brazil this June. Availability in Mexico and Argentina is expected to follow 30 to 60 days thereafter.

Microsoft Business Solutions–Great Plains 7.5

Microsoft Business Solutions–Great Plains 7.5, expected to be available in North America in late April 2003, combines the former Microsoft Business Solutions–Dynamics® and eEnterprise® applications into a single, scalable solution at a more competitive price. Great Plains 7.5 will offer businesses an integrated means for supporting critical processes and a collaborative approach to information management. Drawing on the power of tools that address the real-world challenges businesses face in the areas of supply chain management, financial management, project management, analytics and financials, Great Plains 7.5 will help organizations improve efficiency and profitability and respond rapidly to customer demand. For management and employees, it will expand the reach of information through integration with other Microsoft Business Solutions applications such as Microsoft Business Solutions CRM, Microsoft Business Solutions Retail Management System and Microsoft Business Portal. It also will integrate with Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Windows®
SharePoint (TM) Services for Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft Business Solutions–Solomon 5.5

Microsoft Business Solutions–Solomon 5.5, expected to be available in North America in the second quarter of 2003, will provide enhanced abilities to integrate data and improve ease of use. It also contains specific new capabilities for U.S. government contractors seeking to pass audit requirements such as those performed by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). Solomon 5.5 includes the new Microsoft Business Solutions Professional Services Automation Enabler, a seamless solution incorporating Microsoft Project and Solomon Project Series. This connection will help organizations plan and execute effectively in order to realize their profit potential. It also will create an even tighter integration to Microsoft Office. Solomon 5.5 includes a new Smart Tag Manager that will enable users to easily drill down to Solomon data from text in Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel. Several enhancements for easier processing and data entry are included in the Project and Payroll products. For U.S. government contractors, new rate calculations and time and expense audit trail capabilities are included to assist in passing DCAA audit requirements. Combined, the new capabilities will allow organizations to achieve the control they need as well as the flexibility to innovate.


All solutions will be delivered through the Microsoft Business Solutions reselling partner channel and will be backed by the award-winning support and training of Microsoft Business Solutions.

About Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft Business Solutions, a business group of Microsoft, offers a wide range of integrated, end-to-end business applications and services designed to help small, midmarket and corporate businesses become more connected with customers, employees, partners and suppliers. Microsoft Business Solutions’ applications optimize strategic business processes across financial management, analytics, human resources management, project management, customer relationship management, field service management, supply chain management, e-commerce, manufacturing and retail management. The applications are designed to provide insight to help customers achieve business success. 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, Outlook, BizTalk, Dynamics, eEnterprise, Windows and SharePoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp., Great Plains Software Inc., Microsoft Business Solutions ApS or their affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.

Great Plains Software Inc. and Microsoft Business Solutions ApS are subsidiaries of Microsoft Corp.

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

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