Microsoft EMEA Will Launch Marketplace for Public Sector Solution Providers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

LONDON 24, May, 2004 — Microsoft today announced it is developing an online marketplace to help public sector customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) connect with technology solutions and qualified solution providers. Scheduled to launch at TechEd Europe, which starts on 29 June, the Public Sector Partner Marketplace will create an ecosystem of technology providers — systems integrators, independent software vendors, and consulting and training firms — that are oriented to the needs of governments and public agencies. At launch, the site will list approximately 300 public sector solutions.

Microsoft is providing the site — at no charge to participants — to make it easier for public organisations to locate vendors that can develop and deploy information and communication technology (ICT) solutions, in their local language, which meet their specific organisational objectives. Solution providers, in turn, can create incremental revenue by marketing their products and services on the site, and can identify opportunities to work with complementary businesses.

“Microsoft has always worked to support a vibrant partner ecosystem at the local, regional and global levels,” said Maggie Wilderotter, senior vice president of World Wide Public Sector at Microsoft. “The Public Sector Partner Marketplace is a global initiative that we’re rolling out in EMEA for its initial phase.”

The site will create a dynamic marketplace for solutions and services built on the Microsoft® platform, allowing buyers and sellers to identify and contact each other directly.

“Typically, it can take months for governments to find the right solution provider with the right combination of ICT skills and services,” said Pete Hayes, vice president, public sector, Microsoft EMEA. “With the Public Sector Partner Marketplace, governments can identify qualified vendors in minutes.”

Solution providers that want to participate in the marketplace are required to register on the site and must have a demonstrable track record of providing high-quality ICT services and software to the public sector before they are accepted. Once accepted, they can manage their profile and product offerings on the site.

“Every government, of any size, needs advanced records- and case-management technology, but reaching out to them can be difficult,” said lafur Daason, CEO at GoPro Ltd. “The Public Sector Partner Marketplace will give us additional visibility with customers, and we expect our participation to result in partnership opportunities as well.”

Government employees who visit the Public Sector Partner Marketplace can browse software offerings by category, country or region, or they can submit a request to the site for a solution, describing the regional and technology requirements. Solution requests trigger

e-mail alerts, which are sent to vendors that have selected the alert service and can be viewed by solution providers on the site.

“The Microsoft Public Sector Partner Marketplace provides a great way for us to establish contact with the relevant people in government across EMEA,” said Michael McGrath, chief technology officer at e-blana enterprise group. “We know that users of the marketplace will have already been able to read about our products and solutions, and that gives us a good head start in terms of understanding when they make contact with us.”

Microsoft account managers and local solution partners also stand to benefit from the marketplace. As they work to market Microsoft software in their local areas, they can collaborate to cultivate opportunities and provide greater value to public sector customers.

Now entering its first phase of operation, the Public Sector Partner Marketplace will serve the EMEA region. Microsoft plans to expand the site to reflect the global market in later phases. Further information about the Public Sector Partner Marketplace can be found at .

Corporate Citizenship in EMEA

As an industry and technology leader, Microsoft works closely with public and private sector partners throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa to help enterprise customers, governments, educational institutions and nongovernmental bodies meet business, social and economic challenges and realise the potential of their organisations and their people. Through the Partners in Learning programme, Microsoft EMEA collaborates with schools and universities to enable better integration of technology into the curriculum. And through the Unlimited Potential programme, Microsoft EMEA partners with organisations to improve lifelong learning for disadvantaged youth and adults through community-based technology and learning centres. Microsoft’s commitment to the region is also reflected by 72,000 developers in the MSDN® developer program, 280,000 resellers, 25,000 independent software vendors, and millions of small and medium-sized enterprises whose goals for growth and greater business efficiency are made possible by Microsoft technology.

About Microsoft EMEA

Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. It employs more than 12,000 people in over 55 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 139 countries and territories.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft and MSDN 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 in EMEA, please visit or the EMEA Press Centre at . Please note links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft EMEA Press Office or other appropriate contacts listed at . If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft Corporation, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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