Microsoft and BT to Bring Digital Networked Economy Closer To Smaller Businesses

LONDON, Nov. 30, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. and BT today announced they have signed an information technology (IT) services agreement for a series of strategic projects that will enable BT to accelerate the launch of new Internet-based services to its customers. By implementing the Microsoft solution, BT will be able to roll out affordable and easy-to-use e-mail, shared calendar and contacts, as well as other software applications, to smaller businesses. The first new service BT plans to launch is an enhanced e-mail service for smaller businesses based on Microsoft Hosted Exchange. The contract between the two companies is valued at approximately $7 million (U.S.).

Using the Microsoft .NET-based framework as the core of this infrastructure, we will be able to deliver a plug and play facility for launching Internet-hosted software services, initially to smaller businesses in the U.K. Our aim is to offer these businesses a way to reduce or eliminate the initial capital outlays and ongoing maintenance costs that are associated with managing IT in-house, said Duncan Ingram, managing director of BT Openworld. BT, together with Microsoft, aims to make IT applications and services simple to use, affordable and of good value. By offering an a la carte menu of services that can be tailored to the diverse needs of a smaller business, we can deliver a level of customer service and support that we believe will help us both to drive new revenue streams.

The solution being deployed by BT comprises a suite of Microsoft .NET-based software and service packages that are designed to provide enhanced connectivity and streamline operational and billing processes. For example, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 provides BT with a unified view of and easy access to its customer data and service information, helping ensure that BT can provision and bill customers for the new services quickly and efficiently.

The project follows extensive trials by BT and Microsoft Consulting Services at the Microsoft Technology Centre in Reading, England, and the Microsoft Partner Solutions Center in Redmond, Wash., to ensure the carrier-grade scalability and reliability needed to deploy these new hosted IT services on a wide scale. The projects are being coordinated by Microsoft Consulting Services, which is working with global systems integration provider Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. to implement the integrated solution. HP also will provide services to deliver the security-enhanced and scalable Microsoft Hosted Exchange infrastructure within BT.

In the telecoms market, fixed-line and mobile operators have recognized that incremental revenues will be driven by their ability to deliver a range of value-added services particularly to smaller businesses, said Daren Mancini, U.K. director of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. Microsoft is working closely with Tata Consultancy Services and HP to help BT deliver these innovative and profitable services to its customers and ensure they are efficiently integrated into BTs existing infrastructure.

Tata Consultancy Services is pleased to be working with Microsoft to develop this strategic solution for BT, not only because BT is a valued customer for both of our companies, but also because this project is a key milestone in an important business relationship for Tata Consultancy Services and Microsoft, said A.S. Lakshminarayanan, vice president and country manager for the UK & Ireland at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. This solution will form a principal foundation for BT as they deliver new services to realize their vision around the Digital Networked Economy and Tata Consultancy Services is delighted to work with Microsoft to help BT achieve this.

Microsoft Hosted Exchange 2003 Solution

The Microsoft Solution for Hosted Exchange 2003 enables service providers to offer flexible and scalable e-mail, messaging and collaboration services to smaller businesses and consumers. Hosted Exchange is a tested, pre-engineered solution based on Microsoft server products and includes management tools that help ensure rapid time to market and superior service levels to end users.

Hosted Exchange offers the scalability to meet changing needs, accommodating growth from 30,000 to several million e-mail accounts, and also offers flexible business modeling and tools to help operators quickly deploy value-added services with minimal cost.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

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

About BT

BT is one of the worlds leading providers of communications solutions serving customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Its principal activities include IT and networking services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services.

BT consists principally of three lines of business:

  • BT Retail, providing fixed and mobile communications services and solutions and IT and networking services to more than 20 million business and residential customers in the UK. It is also a leading UK internet services provider.

  • BT Wholesale, providing network services and solutions within the UK to more than 600 fixed and mobile operators and service providers including the provision of broadband, private circuits.

  • BT Global Services, providing IT and networking services internationally to meet the needs of multi-site organisations with European operations. BT Global Services operates in more than 130 countries and also offers international carrier services.

In the year ended 31 March 2004, BT Groups turnover was 18,519 million with profit before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items and taxation of 2,013 million.

BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.

For more information, visit .

About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the world leading information technology consulting, services, and business process outsourcing organization that envisioned and pioneered the adoption of the flexible global business practices that today enable companies to operate more efficiently and produce more value.

TCS achieved this by creating and perfecting a unique method of global deployment and delivery of high quality, high value services and products in IT consulting and business process outsourcing. Known as the Global Delivery Model, this strategic services delivery concept has reshaped the IT services industry.

More than 75% of TCS customers reward the companys reliability, passion, creativity, and unique ability to handle the broadest range of their IT needs by continually extending and deepening their partnerships with TCS. With over 30,000 of the worlds best trained IT consultants located in 32 countries, TCS is uniquely positioned to deliver its flexible world class services seamlessly to any location.

TCS reported consolidated revenues of $1.56 billion (U.S.) in the fiscal year 2003-2004. The company is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India.

TCS has been operating in the UK and Ireland since 1975 and has eight offices in these markets, including a development center in Guildford. Over 5000 TCS consultants are engaged on UK client work for organisations such as the NHS, Aviva, Forth Ports, Somerfield and P & O.

For more information, visit our website 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.

Microsoft and BizTalk 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, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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