Microsoft Business Solutions Expands and Strengthens Current Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 7, 2003 — Microsoft Business Solutions today made a series of announcements focused on enhancing and supporting its current line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) business solutions and service offerings. To help its small, midmarket segment and corporate customers maximize the effectiveness of current ERP solutions, Microsoft Business Solutions announced the general availability of Microsoft® Business Network, the upcoming delivery of two demand planning modules and a strategic extension of its relationship with Autodesk Inc., an independent software vendor (ISV) and a leading design software and digital content company. The announcements were made during the annual conference of the American Production and Inventory Control Society, APICS 2003.

“Microsoft Business Solutions is making significant investments in our current ERP solutions, which are critical to the ongoing success of our customers and business partners in general and manufacturing industries specifically,”
said Mike Frichol, general manager of manufacturing industry solutions with Microsoft Business Solutions.

Marcus Schmidt, lead product manager for Microsoft Business Network, agrees.
“Microsoft Business Network is a great example of how were enhancing our current offerings to allow businesses to streamline collaboration and build more-effective business relationships. This is a step forward in helping companies truly automate their day-to-day business processes.”

Microsoft Business Network

Microsoft Business Network, the general availability of which was announced today, is a combination of on-premise software integrated with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Business Solutions applications and/or Microsoft BizTalk® Server, and hosted Web services. Microsoft Business Solutions designed Microsoft Business Network to help businesses more easily and effectively work with their trading partners. Microsoft Business Network enables businesses to connect their entire network of suppliers and customers through a fully automated Microsoft .NET-connected solution, increasing efficiency with a deep degree of integration throughout their business applications and lowering the total cost of business-to-business collaboration.

Microsoft Business Network is already making a difference.
“Microsoft Business Network is going to save us a lot of effort and, at the same time, allow us to provide our customers with a higher level of service,”
said B. Sanny Rahardja, IT manager with Mikimoto (America) Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the world-renowned Japanese K. Mikimoto & Co. Ltd., the world leader in high-quality cultured pearls.
“Microsoft Business Networks integration with Microsoft Business SolutionsGreat Plains® is simply awesome. It allows orders from our Microsoft Business Network-enabled customers to flow directly into our sales order processing module.”
Rahardja already has plans to expand Mikimoto Americas use of Microsoft Business Network.
“We want to deploy Microsoft Business Network to our entire customer base,”
Rahardja said.

Demand Planner Modules

To help businesses improve customer satisfaction, maintain optimal levels of inventory and reduce operating costs, Microsoft Business Solutions today announced that it will deliver demand planning modules that enhance its Axapta® , Great Plains and Navision® products.
“These new modules will help our ERP customers strategically plan for future demands and adjust their daily operations accordingly,”
said Jan Sillemann, group manager of midmarket segment solutions with Microsoft Business Solutions.
“In todays business world, that ability is more critical to success than ever before. We want our ERP customers to have that competitive edge.”

The modules will help businesses compete aggressively to meet and, whenever possible, exceed ever-increasing customer expectations a phenomenon that makes it crucial for businesses to align their operations with customer demand. The Demand Planner solution consists of two modules: DP Power User and DP Collaborative. General availability for the Axapta and Navision solutions is expected in November 2003; Microsoft Business Solutions plans to announce general availability of the Great Plains module in early 2004.


Microsoft Business Solutions also announced today that it is extending its relationship with Autodesk, a leading design software and digital content company, to build a product life cycle management (PLM) solution for the thousands of Microsoft Business Solutions and Autodesk customers in the mainstream small and midmarket segment manufacturing industry. Microsoft Business Solutions and Autodesks Manufacturing Solutions Division will collaborate to deliver a solution that lets customers integrate Autodesks pervasive design data with Microsofts ERP solutions, giving these companies a way to easily connect the engineering teams that design products with the operations teams that manufacture them. The companies mutual customers will be able to more easily track product data by seamlessly linking the engineering bill of materials and change orders created with Autodesks software to Microsofts ERP system, a process that, to date, is time-consuming and most often done by hand. This integration also helps customers improve their competitive edge by providing them with better visibility of their design data earlier in the product development cycle to better control costs. The solution also allows businesses to move products through the development pipeline more quickly by using reliable data to empower purchasing and manufacturing personnel earlier in the design cycle and manage product data better and more accurately from product concept through delivery.

“This alliance supports Autodesks strategy to provide the industrys most comprehensive solutions to help mainstream manufacturers create, manage and share digital design data,”
said Robert Kross, vice president of the Manufacturing Solutions Division at Autodesk.
“We are excited to deliver this integration between Microsoft Business Solutions and Autodesks leading software solutions that are firmly targeted at solving our customers most significant business issues. Working together with Microsoft Business Solutions, I believe we can make a significant impact with customers, helping mainstream manufacturers get better products to market faster at a total lower cost.”

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 segment 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, BizTalk, Great Plains, Axapta and Navision 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsofts 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 Microsofts Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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