Sales Teams Get Edge in Creating Winning Bids From New Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals

EDITORS’ UPDATE, Dec. 3, 2004
— Microsoft is evolving the Office Solution Accelerators program with the Solution Showcase for the Microsoft Office System. For additional information, see Microsoft Showcases More Solutions Developed On the Microsoft Office System or the Microsoft Office System Solutions Web site .

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 10, 2003 — — Microsoft Corp. today helped companies arm their sales professionals with a new tool for winning that next bid by introducing the Microsoft® Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals. This is the latest in a series of accelerators that help companies and partners realize greater value from their investments in the Microsoft Office System by more quickly delivering new capabilities to information workers.

The Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals allows organizations to rapidly develop solutions that help sales teams create more winning proposals by substantially streamlining the proposal development process. By integrating seamlessly with Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, the accelerator allows sales professionals to work more productively with familiar software.

Focusing on Customers

“As a company that specializes in providing malpractice insurance for the healthcare and legal communities, we are intimately familiar with the challenges associated with quickly creating customized insurance solutions,” said Eric Madcharo, CIO at NCMIC Group Inc. “Using the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals, we expect to grow our business by significantly reducing time spent on creating customized insurance solutions. User satisfaction will also increase because we’re able to cut costs through a more efficient policy-creation process.”

The Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals combines software components, templates and architectural guidance to help customers and partners build solutions that sales professionals need to increase their proposal win rate. These solutions automate proposal-development steps, leverage current legal and product information, establish effective collaboration, and increase project control.

Microsoft worked closely with industry experts to help ensure that proposal teams and sales professionals across the industry will benefit from the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals.

“With the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals, Microsoft is clearly focusing on the tools customers need for their proposal-development solutions. As a result, I can see that the accelerator will add value when companies are writing proposals and with vendors that are developing proposal software solutions,” said Charlie Divine, retired executive director of the SBC Proposal Center and commercial director of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals.

“Office Solution Accelerators enable enterprises to gain more value from software they already own,” said Peter Rinearson, corporate vice president of the Information Worker New Markets division at Microsoft. “Solutions built on the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals can help sales teams reduce proposal turnaround time by up to 50 percent. We expect entire sales organizations to benefit from higher win rates.”

Designed for Partner Extensibility

Microsoft industry partners work with customers to integrate, configure, customize and roll out solutions built on the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals. Strategic partners such as Pragmatech Software Inc., Quilogy Inc., Sant Corp., Wipro Technologies and Xerox Global Services Inc. have been deeply involved in the development process. They provide customers with expertise and experience in creating customized, integrated solutions based on the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals.

Although the accelerator is just being released widely now, an Early Adopter Program has already ensured that industry partners such as Activiti Inc., EYT, Geniant, Immedient Corp., K2 Information Services Inc., Shipley Associates and Statera Inc. are also trained to provide proposal-development solutions based on the Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals.

“As a company focused on using emerging technologies to create information-worker solutions, we have noticeably grown our business by leveraging the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals,” said Randy Schilling, president and CEO at Quilogy. “Using the accelerator as a foundation for custom solutions has helped us give competitive advantage to our customers such as the NCMIC Group and Dinsmore & Shohl.”

Availability

The Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals is now available to Microsoft customers that have licensed Microsoft Office Word 2003 and the Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003 information gathering program with Software Assurance. Customers need to have Software Assurance for the specific Office applications that are technical requirements to run or use Office Solution Accelerators. Interested customers can visit http://www.microsoft.com/office/solutions/accelerators/proposals/ or speak with a Microsoft representative or partner to learn more.

About Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators

Built for the Microsoft Office System, an Office Solution Accelerator is an integrated set of software components, templates and Microsoft-authored architectural guidance designed to solve specific customer business problems across common organizational areas. Office Solution Accelerators are focused on helping customers quickly realize more value from their Microsoft Office System software investments and to assist industry partners in continuing to grow their businesses into new areas. The Office Solution Accelerators became available in October and will continue their rollout into 2004. Initial packages are designed to accelerate the development of solutions in common organizational areas such as finance, operations, sales and human resources. Many more Office Solution Accelerators are expected as the Office Solution Accelerator program grows.

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 and InfoPath 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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