Microsoft Acquires Toolkit to Speed Implementation and Reduce Costs for Microsoft Axapta Customers

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 22, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the acquisition of a wizard-based configuration and system setup tool to significantly reduce implementation times and total cost of ownership (TCO) for customers of Microsoft® Business Solutions–Axapta®
. The implementation productivity tool, called ERP Complete, has been acquired from independent software vendor En’tegrate Software LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of En’tegrate USA Inc. and a Microsoft Axapta partner with proven industry success.

Microsoft Axapta is a leading global business management suite optimized for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services industries. According to Nucleus Research Inc., a global provider of return on investment (ROI)-focused research and advisory services, 75 percent of Microsoft Axapta customers interviewed achieved a positive ROI from their deployments, with an average payback period of 23 months. In the Nucleus survey, Microsoft Axapta compared favorably with other business management software vendors, some of which failed to show ROI regardless of length of deployment. Microsoft expects that the implementation tool will further accelerate the strong ROI results demonstrated in the independent study.

Existing customers have already seen tremendous benefits from using the implementation productivity tool. “The ERP Complete technology from En’tegrate is unlike anything I have ever seen. The system itself guides you through each implementation step,” said Donovan Dean, director of information technology with Haldex, a global supplier of proprietary products for commercial vehicles. “It has allowed us to cut our implementation budget by 25 percent.”

The implementation tool comprises four major modules that provide extensive automated support in the areas of program management, software configuration, communication management and a deliverable library of additional resources for Microsoft Axapta partners. Initially Microsoft will provide this tool free to all registered Microsoft Axapta partners in the Microsoft Partner Program.

Crowe Chizek and Company LLC, an Indianapolis-based provider of assurance, consulting, risk management, tax and technology services, is a Microsoft Axapta partner that sees the benefits of the implementation technology. “I am confident that the ERP Complete tool will help us achieve even greater success in our Microsoft Axapta implementations,” said Stephen B. Nagengast, a partner with Crowe Chizek. “ERP Complete enables us to move up the value chain from basic installer to business process consultant while providing the customer with high-quality implementation assurance and lower ongoing cost of maintenance.”

Microsoft Business Solutions understands that today’s sophisticated business management software buyer demands applications personalized for their business at the lowest possible TCO. “Microsoft Axapta’s unique layered architecture already facilitates personalization of customers’ business processes without the high costs inherent in upgrading customized software,” said Mark A. Jensen, general manager for Microsoft Business Solutions. “Most business application vendors insist that customers must choose between software flexibility and affordability. Microsoft Axapta delivers both to customers.”

About Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft Business Solutions products and services are integrated, adaptable business applications and services that allow small and midsize businesses, large corporations, and divisions of global enterprises to connect employees, customers and suppliers for improved efficiency. The financial, customer relationship and supply chain management applications work like and with familiar Microsoft products such as Office and Windows®
to streamline processes across an entire organization, giving businesses insight to respond rapidly, plan strategically and execute quickly. Microsoft Business Solutions products and services are delivered through a worldwide network of channel partners that provide specialized services and local support tailored to a company’s needs.

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, Axapta and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp., Microsoft Business Solutions ApS or their affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.

Microsoft Business Solutions ApS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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