REDMOND, Wash., May 17, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a feature pack for Microsoft®
Commerce Server 2002 and unveiled plans for a future version of the product that will deliver new functionality to customers and partners. Commerce Server, a member of the Windows Server System (TM) , is industry-leading e-commerce server technology, enabling customers to rapidly build next-generation online business solutions. Specifically, Commerce Server provides out-of-the-box functionality for user profile management, personalization, merchandising, catalog management, order processing, globalization, and advanced online business analytics.
“The availability of the Feature Pack 1 enables thousands of Commerce Server 2002 customers to achieve greater value from their Commerce Server solutions with new IT and business management tools,” said Ted Kummert, corporate vice president in the Business Process and Integration Division at Microsoft. “Moving forward in the next release, we are excited about the opportunity to ensure our customers can connect quickly and efficiently to line-of-business applications and better streamline their order management processes.”
Feature Pack 1 for Commerce Server Empowers Prodrive to Meet Its Business Goals
Prodrive, the world’s largest independent motorsport company, is already reaping significant benefits from its new Windows Server System-based e-commerce solution with Commerce Server 2002 and the new Feature Pack. “The usability and increased performance of the management tools for our business users has been a huge benefit for us to keep our site current without IT needing to get involved,” said Carl Ball, leisurewear product manager at Prodrive.
Commerce Server 2002 Feature Pack Provides Enhanced Business Management Tools
Since the release of Commerce Server 2002, customers and partners have given Microsoft a great deal of feedback about how to improve the product line. To address these requests, the Feature Pack 1 for Commerce Server 2002 includes the following enhancements:
New catalog and discount management business user interfaces. New user interfaces significantly enhance usability and performance for business users managing online discounts and catalog content.
Improved IT professional experience. New functionality adds site staging support so changes can be easily reviewed by the business before the site goes live.
Enhanced payment and catalog item sequencing features. New capabilities ensure a better consumer experience and help drive additional revenue for Commerce Server customers.
Commerce Server Road Map Focuses on Business Process Integration
To stay competitive in today’s market, enterprises need better ways to integrate their online commerce channel into their supply and demand chain processes and systems. To address this need, the upcoming version of Commerce Server will focus on connecting the online order management process with other business applications by providing cross-channel business reporting. As part of the Windows Server System, which enables smart, connected processes across organizations, the version of Commerce Server slated for release in early 2006 will include the following investments:
Tighter integration with BizTalk
Server and Visual Studio
.NET. Integration provides for seamless system connectivity from the front-end commerce site to the enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems to help customers and partners streamline processes. Tighter integration with Visual Studio .NET enables developers to quickly create and deploy customized sites.
Revamped user interfaces. Based on the Feature Pack 1, the new UIs will enable businesses to react more quickly to change through new marketing and order management interfaces tailored for specific business management roles.
Expanded reporting tools for business managers. New broader reporting functionality expands the current analytics and reporting in Commerce Server 2002. The new reporting tools will provide managers with detailed perspectives for day-to-day decisions and cross-channel views for strategic decision-making.
Customer self-service. The next release will enable organizations to provide more self-service options to customers, including checking on order status, inventory levels and account information, thereby helping Microsoft’s customers provide better service to their customers.
Broad Ecosystem of Enterprise Software and Services Companies Supports Commerce Server
Microsoft has worked extensively with leading enterprise software and services companies to ensure the product is designed to work seamlessly and integrate with a wide collection of enterprise IT systems. As a result, Commerce Server 2002 enjoys extensive industry support, helping extend the functional richness of Commerce Server-based solutions.
“The new wizards and improved catalog interface guarantee that user training is rapidly completed,” said Nick Mayhew, managing director of Domino Systems, a professional services organization in the United Kingdom. “Front- and back-end performance improvements keep sites running smoothly. As a Gold Certified Partner for Integrated E-Business Solutions, Domino Systems welcomes the business benefits provided by the Feature Pack.”
“The Catalog Manager and Staging features of the Feature Pack 1 afford efficiencies in catalog management that will help customers focus more on the business of selling and less on the management of technology,” said Jay Lee, senior partner at eBI Solutions LLC, a professional services firm based in California. “We feel that these tools will result in significant time savings for businesses with constantly changing product catalogs. Gains in efficiencies will be realized in both the IT department and with the business users.”
More information about the Commerce Server partner ecosystem is available at http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/partners/default.asp .
Availability and Pricing
Commerce Server 2002 customers can download the free* Feature Pack 1 today at http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/ . A partner SDK for the Feature Pack 1 also is available to enable partners to easily tailor the business management interfaces for their clients. Commerce Server 2002 is available in four editions, including the Evaluation, Developer, Standard and Enterprise, depending on a business’s needs. Each edition is available in English, French, German or Japanese. The Commerce Server Evaluation Edition can be downloaded free* for a 120-day trial; the Developer Edition is priced at $499 per developer; the Standard Edition is priced at $6,999; and the Enterprise Edition is priced at $19,999 per CPU. Microsoft plans to deliver the next version of Commerce Server technologies in early 2006. More information about Commerce Server and pricing is available at http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/ and http://www.microsoft.com/csupgrade/ .
About Windows Server System
Microsoft Windows Server System is an integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that reduces IT complexity to enable IT professionals to deliver innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of business. With Windows Server (TM) 2003 at the foundation, Windows Server System is engineered from the ground up for XML Web services based on Microsoft .NET technologies to connect information, people, systems and devices. Based on a common software architecture that spans all facets of IT from design, development and deployment through ongoing management and usage, Windows Server System provides comprehensive IT infrastructure for operations (security, systems management, networked storage), applications (data management and analysis, e-business) and information work (messaging, communications and collaboration). More information on Microsoft Windows Server System can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* Connect-time fees may apply.
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