CEGID and Scala Business Solutions Among ISVs in Microsoft Technology Early Adopter Program To Develop Leading Business Applications on Windows Platform

ROME, Sept. 18, 2003 — Two of Europe’s largest ISVs providing business applications for the small and midmarket segment, the CEGID Group of France and Scala Business Solutions from the Netherlands, are among the early adopters of Microsoft Corp.’s forthcoming development framework for business applications, code-named
“the Microsoft Business Framework”

“The Microsoft Business Framework” is the working name for the common framework, tools and set of runtime services that enable developers to focus their efforts and more rapidly build solutions that add value to their end customers, rather than re-creating the common framework logic required in all business applications. Both CEGID and Scala will use this technology to develop the next generation of their flagship business solutions, built on the Windows® platform. The news was announced today at a Microsoft partner event in Rome. As part of the agreement between the companies, Microsoft will also support those developments and assist in promoting the solutions in the marketplace.

Specifically, the commitment means that CEGID will use the
“MBF” platform and its components to develop software applications in a Microsoft® .NET environment for areas like government tax declaration, business intelligence, legal and business reporting. CEGID is a leader in the French market for these applications, with products used by 74 percent of French companies worth 15 million euros or more. Scala plans to further develop the global human resources management and payroll functionality of its iScala ERP product to make both applications available on the

Today’s announcements also underscore the continued momentum for Microsoft’s ISV partner strategy in the European small- and midmarket business segment. That strategy is to further empower partners with new programs, products, services and solutions that help them build Windows-based solutions more quickly and profitably.

“CEGID and Scala are two of the most innovative and important software providers in Europe,”
said Jean-Philippe Courtois, CEO of Microsoft EMEA.
“Their valuable participation will not only enable us to ensure that our platform provides a rich foundation of components for business application developers, but accelerates the availability of more high-value Microsoft .NET-based business solutions for European customers.”

“This agreement underlines Microsoft’s intention to partner with CEGID as it expands in the French midmarket,”
said Jean-Michel Aulas, President of CEGID.
“By being the first French company to join the Technology Adoption Program, CEGID is able to reinforce the key elements of its strategy: to be a leader in the French midmarket segment, to gain recognition of the expertise of its R & D teams, and to demonstrate its specialized knowledge in developing solutions for the enterprise and CPA market.”

“Microsoft and Windows are key to our strategy to increase revenues 20 percent by 2005,”
said Andreas Kemi, CEO at Scala Business Solutions.
“We are delighted that Microsoft is committed to helping us to bring the proven strengths of the iScala® Collaborative ERP system to more Windows users giving us access to more customers and making Windows an even more compelling choice for small- and midmarket business users.”


Created in 1983, the CEGID Group is now one of the leading French developers of business management software, with 60,000 clients. Through its 5,000 CPA clients, the tax declarations of over one million businesses are filed with CEGID’s leading tax declaration software. CEGID ERP, its new generation of integrated management software packages, makes CEGID a major player in the ERP middle-market. This mature, powerful line meets the needs of businesses in accounting, finance, payroll, HRM, business/sales management, CRM, contract management and SCM, and is also dedicated to vertical sectors including accounting, fashion, industry, services and hospitality.

About Scala Business Solutions

Scala Business Solutions creates collaborative ERP software integrating Internet technology and traditional ERP functionality to make global business simple. With Scala, global companies can fully integrate all their ERP systems anywhere in the world, and extend to their partners and suppliers. Scala’s collaborative ERP software makes it possible for companies to meet the requirements for advanced e-business as well as use a standard ERP product for managing traditional business processes. Scala delivers software and services that are available in over 30 languages in more than 140 countries. 2002 revenue was 77.8 million euros.

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 and Windows 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.

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