Microsoft Unveils Program to Help Speed Collaboration And Product Development for Manufacturers

CHICAGO, Oct. 25, 2004 — Today at the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) 2004 International Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced its new Program for Collaborative Product Development (CPD), created to help manufacturers deliver products to market faster in today’s competitive environment while reducing product development costs. The program is designed to help companies understand how to better leverage existing technology investments to ensure successful collaboration for product development now and in the future. It focuses on two critical areas of product life-cycle management (PLM) in manufacturing as defined by leading industry analyst firms: product design and collaboration (PDC) and portfolio and program management (PPM). Microsoft’s customers and partners are already succeeding with the new program as a growing number of leading enterprise manufacturers adopt Microsoft
® based solutions.

Developed with extensive feedback from Microsoft customers and partners, the Microsoft Program for Collaborative Product Development provides an innovative approach that allows manufacturers to take full advantage of their existing technology investments while improving their ability to collaborate on product development and design data as well as seamlessly access information that allows for faster and better decision-making.

“The strategic value of implementing collaborative technologies to speed product development has been greatly underestimated by manufacturers,” said Kevin O’Marah, AMR Research Inc. “By focusing on product design and collaboration and portfolio and program management, Microsoft is providing manufacturers with a clear-cut path to complete PLM solutions that create operational improvements.”

The program is being launched with support from leading PLM solution providers, all of which are delivering solutions and services that address PDC and PPM challenges and use Microsoft technologies such as Windows Server (TM) 2003, BizTalk® Server 2004, SQL Server (TM) 2000, Microsoft Office SharePoint®
Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project Server 2003, Live Meeting, Office 2003 and Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003. The companies offering solutions and services around Microsoft’s new program include HP, Immedient Corp., Pcubed, Sopheon and UGS Corp.

“As a leading global provider of product life-cycle management solutions, we work with our manufacturing customers to enable them to transform their process of innovation,” said Chuck Grindstaff, executive vice president of PLM Products at UGS. “As part of Microsoft’s Program for Collaborative Product Development, our solutions are seamlessly integrated with one of the leading collaboration and application platforms in the industry to deliver product design and collaboration throughout the extended enterprise.”

In addition, leading enterprise manufacturing companies such as Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Parker Hannifin Corp. have recently adopted solutions based on Microsoft technology.

“Sopheon’s Accolade solution, built on Microsoft’s integrated platform and technologies, will give us an enterprisewide communication and collaboration link in real time,” said Craig Maxwell, vice president of technology and innovation at Parker Hannifin. “The real business advantage is that we can access knowledge that has typically been trapped in silos, and our collective know-how will allow us to go to market as ‘one’ Parker — as opposed to the eight separate groups that we have operated as in the past.”

“We realize that collaboration for product development is an area manufacturers have been struggling with, so we are working to combine our platform knowledge with the domain expertise of our partners to create a program that can truly help them get over that hurdle,” said Don Richardson, director of the Manufacturing Industry Unit at Microsoft. “By building on our robust, scalable platform that can easily integrate with legacy systems, our partners’ solutions are helping customers realize the full potential of the investments they have made in Microsoft technology.”

Microsoft in PLM

Microsoft delivers a robust and scalable collaboration platform and tools that help manufacturers optimize their PLM capabilities. By utilizing Microsoft tools, technologies and solutions developed by Microsoft’s industry-leading partners, manufacturers can tackle key challenges in the product development process, reduce time to market, improve the success rate of new products, and thus grow their market share and revenues. Microsoft technologies and partner solutions help manufacturers improve personal and organizational productivity, enterprise project management, business process mapping, and business process integration. More information can be found online at

About Microsoft in Manufacturing

Microsoft, in conjunction with industry-leading partners, delivers enterprise solutions to a range of manufacturers including those in vertical industries such as automotive, chemical, consumer packaged goods, high technology, and oil and gas. These industry-specific solutions provide a flexible, scalable and reliable platform that enables businesses to be more agile and connected. As a result, manufacturers are empowered to shorten product development cycles, integrate operations with partners and suppliers, acquire and share intelligence in real time, and more easily communicate with customers. More information about Microsoft in manufacturing can be found online at .

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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