Microsoft Office System Survey Says Solving Tough Problems Beats Promotions and Pay Raises as America’s “Greatest Moments at Work”

REDMOND, Wash. Oct 21, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of the new Microsoft® Office System, along with research that shows how leading companies are already gaining a competitive advantage from Microsoft Office System productivity solutions. The research, conducted for Microsoft by Navigant Consulting Inc. (NYSE “NCI” ), showed that information workers using the solutions gained an average of two hours in productive time each week without working longer hours, that the companies realized a median net present value of $4,000 per worker, and that the solutions paid for themselves in an average of just eight months. See link at right to download a copy of the study, “Process Goldmine: Microsoft Office System Integrated Solutions Deliver Business Value.”

Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect at Microsoft, describes some of the new features in the Microsoft Office System during the launch event Oct. 21, 2003 in New York. Click image for high-res version.

With six suites, 11 products, four servers, one service and Solution Accelerators, the new Microsoft Office System is evidence of Microsofts focus on helping information workers, the teams they work on, and the companies they work for become more productive and achieve their goals. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 versions of the core Office suites and programs; updates to other information work programs such as Visio® , FrontPage® , Publisher and Project; two completely new programs, Microsoft Office OneNote™ and Microsoft Office InfoPath™ ; and four servers, including the new Office Live Communications Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003. Added to that are additional services, such as Microsoft Office Live Meeting, and solutions that help people and their organizations make greater use of information, collaborate more effectively, and easily integrate business processes to increase individual, team and organizational productivity.

“The new Office System is a major leap forward for information workers,” said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. “It makes information work more productive and more profitable by offering innovative new ways to communicate, to find and share information, and to manage complex projects.”

Business Customers Cite Tangible Improvements

The study conducted by Navigant Consulting examined common business processes at 14 companies, large and small. Among the companies Navigant looked at was Siemens AG, a global diversified manufacturing, information and communications leader. According to the review, information workers at Siemens using the Microsoft Office System have cut by 20 percent the amount of time it takes to insert contact information and standard legal text into company documents. Using the built-in Extensible Markup Language (XML) capabilities of the new Office Professional Edition and contact information of Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, Siemens says its employees not only save time but have reduced the document error rate by 20 percent.

Managers at Nordea, one of the largest financial services companies in Scandinavia, told Navigant researchers that information workers in their e-banking group often spent as much as 50 percent of their time in travel and a variety of nonproductive project activities.

“In certain phases of our IT projects, re-creating information and documents resulted in significant reworks and project delays,” said Marita Wires, a project manager at Nordea. “Now our team members make great use of their time by accessing best-practice information via Microsoft Office and SharePoint™ that was previously hidden in the file-share server or on someones hard drive.”

Nordea anticipates that just by using its new Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows® SharePoint Services solution, it will cut project time almost in half and pay for the solution with time and travel cost savings in just seven months.

Other customers such as HP and Guidant Corp. are already gaining value by producing materials using the new Microsoft Office System.

For instance, HP is now using Office Professional Edition 2003, InfoPath 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services to speed the creation and distribution of sales guides to its marketing teams. The combination is expected to cut the time it takes to produce the guides by 46 percent and lower the cost of technical support by 66 percent.

“Sales guides are critical to our corporate sales effort,” said Jim Fulkerson, manager for online field communications at HP. “Microsoft delivered a solution that could automate the drafting and publishing processes, significantly reducing costs and speeding creation of our product. With the implementation of this new system, we estimate HP will save approximately $150,000 per month in costs, increase quality of our product and reduce our content submission from four hours to 15 minutes.”

Guidant is a fast-growing medical device company that found its growth had outpaced its reporting processes. More than 5,000 reports are available through its Cognos financial system, and company analysts were often forced to run several reports to get the data they needed. The time to create financial reports has been reduced by an estimated 78 percent by using the new Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, which takes advantage of industry-standard XML, the lingua franca of the Web, to collect information from a back-end data store.

To compete in todays business environment, small businesses rely on the ability to get things done quickly and efficiently. Franklins Solicitors LLP, a small but growing U.K. law firm, needed a way to simplify the process of searching and retrieving key information to speed case resolution. It found a solution in the new Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 and InfoPath 2003.

“With the smart document deployment capabilities of the new Office 2003, we managed to complete many deployment tasks that used to take a half-day in just 10 minutes,” said Mike Walker, development director at FWBS Ltd, the consulting firm with which Franklins Solicitors worked to implement its Microsoft Office System solution. “With this kind of efficiency, the firms IT staff will be able to concentrate on projects that are ultimately more lucrative, such as revamping workflow design.”

Other companies are finding similar value in deployments of other new Microsoft Office System products and servers launching today, including Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 and Microsoft Office Visio 2003. Additional information about the worldwide release of the new Office System and the results of the Navigant research study can be viewed at .

“The new Microsoft Office System presents a clear opportunity for organizations both small and large to increase employee productivity and the value of business information, as well as realize a higher return on investment,” said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Productivity and Business Services at Microsoft. “The integrated products and services within the Microsoft Office System are designed to help companies more completely address their business problems.”

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, services and solutions, 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, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio 2003 and the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” ) 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, Visio, FrontPage, OneNote, InfoPath, Outlook, SharePoint, Windows 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

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