Accenture and Microsoft Announce Web Services-Enabled Solutions For Service Providers Built On .Net Technologies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 29, 2003 — Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), today introduced Accenture Communications Solutions .NET-connected, a new set of Web Services-enabled solutions built on leading Microsoft®
technologies to support cross-functional communication business operations for service providers. The news was announced today at Accenture’s Global Convergence Forum, an annual gathering of CEOs, top business executives and industry experts from the fields of communications, media and entertainment, and electronics and high-tech.

Microsoft and Accenture have co-developed a Microsoft .NET-powered version of the Accenture Communications Solutions, a set of pre-configured best-of-breed applications for wireline and wireless carriers, Internet service providers, cable providers, and other communications service providers. The applications support key operations including customer care, sales, billing, service delivery, enterprise management and business intelligence.

Combining Accenture’s expertise in telecommunications with Microsoft’s leading .NET technologies, the new Accenture Communications Solutions .NET-connected introduces a higher level of agility and real-time transactional capability through the use of Web services. The solutions enable service providers to run critical operations on hardware that is less expensive, faster and easier to deploy and maintain. Utilizing leading-edge and cost-efficient technologies the solution additionally standardizes processes across an entire network, enhances customer service capabilities and accelerates the roll-out of new services.

“Our joint solution combines seamless integration of critical processes with the power of Microsoft’s .NET Framework and Web services to better help network service providers lower their cost, improve agility and gain the real-time transactional capability needed to provide a rich customer service experience and expand service offerings rapidly,”
said Diego Visconti, Group Chief Executive of Accenture’s Communications & High Tech operating group.

“Accenture continues to demonstrate its dedication and commitment to delivering innovative solutions and unlocking the promise of Web Services,”
said Pieter Knook, Microsoft corporate vice president, Network Service Providers and Mobile Devices.
“Our joint solution marks a significant step for Web service technologies, providing leading-edge business value and agility in the communications service provider’s front and back office.”

Since its introduction in 2001, the Accenture Communications Solutions, a suite of applications that combine proprietary integration, configuration and commercially available software, has been implemented with more than 20 service providers globally. Each component of the solution can be implemented separately or integrated seamlessly with other components into an existing IT infrastructure, offering communications providers
“plug and play”

By using repeatable processes, middleware and configuration, the .NET-connected version of the joint solutions significantly reduces the time it takes to deploy new services. The solutions can be deployed in a heterogeneous environment leveraging advanced application packages, Microsoft Windows Server (TM) and SQL Server (TM) , and specific Microsoft BizTalk®
Server connectors.

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, Windows Server and BizTalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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