Microsoft Business Solutions Expands Distribution Options For Key Resellers in Retail Sector

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 9, 2004 — Building on a year of strong partner success and continued channel momentum, Microsoft Business Solutions today announced that it has reached agreements with two of its key retail distribution partners, ScanSource Inc. and Tech Data Corp. Under the agreements, Microsoft®
Business Solutions Retail Management System will be available to authorized reseller partners via distributors ScanSource and Tech Data, rather than from Microsoft only. The agreements will offer both companies expanded options for distributing Microsoft Retail Management System, as well as provide authorized reseller partners with easier licensing and selling processes.

Microsoft Retail Management System is a point-of-sale (POS) and retail management application that helps small and midsize retailers increase their business productivity and profits. Offering connectivity between back-office activities and POS functions, Microsoft Retail Management System is targeted at special- and general-merchandise retailers that have up to approximately $5 million in annual revenue per store; it can also serve retailers with 100 or more stores that operate under a decentralized business model. The solution is sold primarily through resellers, and during Microsoft’s current fiscal year, the product unit demonstrated a better than 20 percent increase in partner recruitment.

Microsoft Business Solutions worked with ScanSource and Tech Data on these distribution agreements to offer its reseller partners additional benefits and more options for order and customer support. Enhanced presales and post-sales support and marketing programs will provide partners with greater assistance in their sales efforts. And the one-stop shopping –software, hardware and peripherals available from one source — will help partners to be able to offer their customers a higher level of service.

“The agreements we’ve made with ScanSource and Tech Data reflect a deep commitment to serving our ecosystem of business partners by expanding the options they have for distribution,” said Jeff Riley, general manager of retail product management with Microsoft Business Solutions. “Microsoft respects both ScanSource and Tech Data for their technological and business expertise as well as their passion for the retail sector — a sector Microsoft Business Solutions considers critical. As a result of these agreements, authorized reseller partners will have more options for offering Microsoft Retail Management System to their customers.”

For authorized reseller partners, the agreements will offer more options for order and customer support by offering Microsoft Retail Management System through businesses with proven expertise in meeting the resellers’ procurement needs. “The distribution agreement with ScanSource gives us greater access to a lot of product information — all from one source point,” said Daymion Rogers, retail product manager with Business Machines Inc., a full-service provider of customized POS systems for restaurants, fast-food and delivery operations, hotels, and retail businesses. “The business partner’s deep level of knowledge is valuable to us. It allows us to respond to customer needs more quickly. It gives us access to product knowledge and expertise in integration with other products, which is important to our customers. In the end, it lets us offer quicker, more efficient sales, deployments and service.”

“This announcement from Microsoft regarding their agreement with Tech Data allows us to better manage our operation by using them as our one source for software and hardware,” said Shane Arick, president of A.L.S. Computers Inc., a provider of POS solutions for retail and hospitality markets. “In addition, now that the software ordering process will be streamlined by Tech Data, our sales force will have more time to sell.”

Microsoft Business Solutions worked closely with ScanSource and Tech Data to develop the distribution agreements. Under the agreements, both companies may have a broader reach into the partner channel that will enable them to attract more resellers.

ScanSource has been serving North America as a value-added distributor of specialized technologies for more than 10 years. The company provides POS products and voice, data and telephony products through its Catalyst Telecom and Paracon sales units. ScanSource offers valuable partner services to its resellers, including system integration, marketing support, professional services, education and training, and e-commerce solutions.

Tech Data is a recognized global provider of IT products, logistics management and other value-added services. Tech Data offers technical support, financing options, custom configurations and a full range of award-winning electronic commerce solutions. Tech Data is new to the POS and retail technology space and is establishing a business unit to focus on building a retail vertical presence within the organization.

About Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft Business Solutions offers integrated business applications and services that allow small and midsize organizations and divisions of large enterprises to connect employees, customers and suppliers for improved efficiency. The financial management, customer relationship management, supply chain management and analytics applications work with Microsoft products such as Office and Windows®
to streamline processes across an entire organization, giving businesses insight to respond rapidly, plan strategically and execute quickly. Microsoft Business Solutions applications are delivered through a worldwide network of channel partners that provide specialized services and local support tailored to a company’s needs.

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 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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