BT and Microsoft Partner to Deliver Real-Time Communication and Collaboration Solution

LONDON and REDMOND, Wash., July 12, 2004 —
BT and Microsoft Corp. today announced a global strategic alliance to deliver a next-generation, integrated real-time communication and collaboration solution to BT and Microsoft customers worldwide, starting with immediate availability in the United Kingdom and United States. The combined solution joins BT’s audio conferencing services and Microsoft®
Office Live Meeting to help businesses more effectively and efficiently communicate and collaborate with their globally dispersed customers, partners and employees.

Through the alliance, BT will be the first telecommunications company to simultaneously launch this type of service in multiple global markets. Live Meeting is the leading Web conferencing service that will be deployed by BT in enterprises worldwide. The combination of BT’s world-class global telecommunications network and Microsoft’s expertise in real-time collaboration technologies will empower businesses of all sizes to collaborate in real time, thereby minimizing travel-related expenses and ultimately increasing productivity.

Throughout much of the past fiscal year, BT deployed Live Meeting as an internal pilot program. The company estimates that in 2003 alone, the use of the combined solution saved the company more than 6.2 million miles of business travel and resulted in significant cost savings to BT’s profit and loss center. In addition, using Live Meeting has enabled BT to reduce business travel, thereby minimizing negative environmental impact. For example, a staggering 112 million liters (230 tons) of carbon dioxide was not pumped into the air from BT vehicles on their way to meetings. As a result of these savings and other business benefits realized during the pilot program, BT is further deploying Live Meeting across its organization, including its current internal MeetMe audio conferencing users.

Additional benefits of the service are these:

  • A single source for audio and Web conferencing services

  • Quick account setup and real-time Web-based support

  • Multiple presenter capability, text-based Q & A and side-chat discussions

  • Combined audio and Web solutions that meet the needs of today’s global organizations

  • Unique training, implementation and adoption programs

“Together, BT and Microsoft are helping customers transcend traditional barriers of communication and facilitate better collaboration between information workers across geographies and throughout the world,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, senior vice president and CEO, Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). “Today’s announcement expands our ongoing relationship with BT and furthers our commitment to working together to develop innovative solutions to solve the challenges facing businesses. This alliance will help extend the power of real-time collaboration technologies into EMEA and provide our customers with the tools needed to make better decisions, disseminate information and share presentations more effectively and efficiently.”

Customer Benefits: Streamlined Communication, Increased Productivity and Cost Savings

Available immediately, this conferencing and collaboration solution offers a more reliable, scalable, and cost- and time-saving alternative to help customers better communicate and collaborate with geographically dispersed co-workers, customers and partners via virtual meetings and online events — with only a phone and an Internet-enabled PC. Customers will be able to quickly take advantage of BT Conferencing’s comprehensive audio conferencing capabilities and Live Meeting’s easy-to-use, intuitive Windows®
-based interface, including powerful presentation, scheduling and administration features — without ever leaving the office.

“This collaboration is a further development of the long-term relationship between two of the world’s leading brands,” said Pierre Danon, CEO of BT Retail. “Microsoft and BT already have agreed to jointly define and develop additional communication and collaboration services that we will bring to market. Moreover, we expect our relationship to grow, representing additional market potential for both companies.”

BT and Microsoft: Integrated Collaboration Strategy Now and in the Future

This strategic alliance is one of the first steps to delivering additional features and benefits to both organizations’ customers. Today’s announcement further builds on BT’s Information and Communication Technology strategy to help customers leverage the global resources of all the BT business units and provide them with a broad set of products, services and solutions. This announcement provides both companies a strategic competitive advantage and helps differentiate their position in the United States and EMEA by doing the following:

  • Improving the effectiveness of communication and collaboration

  • Helping customers use global resources more efficiently

  • Increasing the efficiency and flexibility of customers’ operations

“Customers are facing declining budgets in staffing and travel, forcing them to improve the quality of communication and collaboration across their company and distributed workgroups,” said Anoop Gupta, corporate vice president of the Real-Time Collaboration Business Unit at Microsoft. “Together, BT and Microsoft are committed to delivering more secure, easy-to-use collaboration solutions that leverage the strengths of both companies. Customers will have one-click access to integrated real-time collaboration solutions that enhance productivity and cost savings, and bring true business value to customers of all sizes.”

“Our alliance with Microsoft marks the emergence of an exciting business opportunity for both brands, driving further growth and adoption in an already rapidly growing market,” said Nigel Stagg, CEO of BT Conferencing. “This announcement follows a major announcement BT and Microsoft made in April when the two companies launched BT Broadband Office Complete, a hassle-free, scalable and affordable suite of broadband-based business tools. The solution integrates broadband access, basic services such as security and online data backup, and Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003 and Microsoft Hosted Exchange.”

Pricing and Availability

Available immediately, this joint offering is priced on a per-minute, named-user or per-seat basis. Pricing packages are designed to fit the needs of individual customers. More information is available at or by contacting a BT representative.

BT Group (NYSE “BTY”) is one of Europe’s leading providers of telecommunications services. Its principal activities include local, national and international telecommunications services, higher-value broadband and Internet products and services, and IT solutions. In the UK, BT serves over 20 million business and residential customers with more than 29 million exchange lines, as well as providing network services to other licensed operators.BT Conferencing is a division of BT Retail, BT’s consumer-facing business based in the United Kingdom, while BT Conferencing Inc. is its U.S. subsidiary. BT Conferencing is a world leader in the development and provision of phone, video and e-conferencing solutions. It has an established reputation and more than 12 years’ experience as a provider of high-quality, leading-edge conferencing products and services. BT Conferencing Inc., U.S. subsidiary of BT Conferencing, is a division of BT Retail. BT Conferencing provides clients across the world with global conferencing services including audio, video and web conferencing. The America’s headquarters for BT Conferencing Inc. is located in Braintree, Mass. Please visit for more information on the company and its solutions and services.

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.

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