Microsoft Office Project 2003’s Release to Manufacturing Brings Businesses One Step Closer to Broad Adoption of Project Management Practices

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 13, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that on Aug. 18 it will release to manufacturing one of the programs of the Microsoft®
Office System, Microsoft Office Project 2003. This milestone brings companies one step closer to the features in Project 2003 that align resources and business activities with strategic objectives, which can make the difference between those organizations that achieve success and those that do not.

Chris Capossela, general manager of the Microsoft Project Business Unit, announced the news during a presentation at the Silicon Valley Speaker Series, a monthly event held at the company’s Mountain View campus. The Microsoft Office System is scheduled for availability later this fall.

Customers and Partners Reap Line of Business Benefits

Project 2003, with its Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution, is being recognized by customers, independent software vendors and system implementers as a platform for scalable solutions that enable companies to maximize their efficiency by aligning their initiatives with business objectives. The Gear and Apparel group at Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) is using the Project 2003 beta to streamline the process of bringing new and revised REI-branded products to market. By blending its product development expertise with EPM practices, the Gear and Apparel group will be better positioned for continued growth.

“We are excited about the cross-process collaboration and participatory project management capabilities of the Microsoft Office EPM Solution,”
said Kevin Myette, director of Gear and Apparel Business Operations at REI.
“We anticipate that the move to the EPM Solution will lead to increased efficiency and better use of resources, which will enable us to expand our capacity and take on additional high-value work.”

AXA Financial Inc., a leader in the financial services industry, also is developing a solution based on the Project 2003 beta to support its existing time-recording processes (including defining capitalization per project and tracking overtime and nonstandard hours) and report costs at a project level. AXA Financial anticipates that this system will help improve resource allocation and provide a clearer picture of costs. This would help in prioritizing projects and allocating resources based on cost and return on investment (ROI).

“Allocating resources and identifying costs are always critical in calculating the return on investment for any given project,”
said Don Buskard, senior vice president and chief technology officer at AXA Financial Services.
“Given the features in the Microsoft Office EPM Solution and the expertise of The Project Group Inc., we expect to improve our tracking of resource utilization and thereby enhance our insight in this area.”

To implement this solution, AXA Financial is working with The Project Group, an independent solution provider with a background in identifying, and developing a solution based on, a company’s needs. In AXA Financial’s case, The Project Group is integrating Project 2003 into the existing accounting system by using an expanded set of tools that were created by the product development team at Microsoft. Such tools are a result of the Microsoft Project Business Unit’s close relationship with its channel partners as they work together to create solutions that are relevant to the enterprise and gather insight for future product development.

Lowering the Barriers to Adoption

Project 2003, with the Microsoft Office EPM Solution, is a key component of the Microsoft Office System that enables companies to rein in costs and pursue the projects that promise the greatest ROI. Project 2003 will integrate with Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, Windows®
SharePoint (TM) Services and other Microsoft Office System programs, helping companies simplify the steps required for team members to update their work status, and helping executives monitor initiatives and align them with overall business strategies. In addition, Project 2003 will make it easier for project managers to ensure that work is completed on time and under budget.

“Customers recognize that broad adoption of project and resource management is the best way to prioritize their important initiatives and reduce costs,”
Capossela said.
“Microsoft Office Project 2003 is a result of listening to all the feedback from our channel partners and customers, and it provides a much easier way for people at all levels of the organization to make their projects successful.”

Pricing and Availability

Microsoft Office Project 2003 includes Project Professional 2003, Project Server 2003 and Project Web Access, which work together to create the EPM Solution. Also part of the Microsoft Office Project 2003 product lineup is Project Standard 2003, the version of Project designed for stand-alone use. Estimated retail pricing* will be $1,499 for Project Server 2003, $999 for Project Professional 2003 and $599 for Project Standard 2003.

Customers who acquire an earlier retail version of Microsoft Project between Aug. 15 and Nov. 30 may have the option to upgrade to Microsoft Office Project 2003. Additional information on the Microsoft Office System Retail Technology Guarantee will be available at on Aug. 15, 2003.

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers and services, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other — helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2003, Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 and Microsoft Office Visio®
2003. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

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.

* Reseller prices may vary.

Microsoft, Outlook, Windows, SharePoint, FrontPage, InfoPath, OneNote, Visio and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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 .

Related Posts