Microsoft Accelerates Insight and Innovation for Manufacturers by Unveiling Peak Performance Initiative

CHICAGO, March 8, 2005 — Today at National Manufacturing Week 2005, Microsoft Corp. announced its Peak Performance Initiative designed to help manufacturers accelerate insight through advanced analysis services, drive innovation through collaboration, and improve performance via increased visibility into operations across the manufacturing value chain. Microsoft and its partners are delivering mission-critical solutions focused on four areas: new product development performance, plant floor operations performance, global value chain performance, and sales and customer performance.

Based on extensive research and feedback from partners, customers and industry experts, the Peak Performance Initiative employs a number of key Microsoft® technologies — including the .NET Framework, Microsoft Office, SQL Server (TM) , SharePoint®
Portal Server and Project Server 2003 — as well as a variety of open industry standards to provide a streamlined and cost-effective opportunity for manufacturing customers to take full advantage of their legacy investments. By leveraging Web services to connect key systems, customers and organizations across the manufacturing value chain, the Peak Performance Initiative fosters collaboration between teams and removes the barriers that stifle innovation and competitiveness in the manufacturing industry.

The initiative is being launched with the support of more than 20 partners, all of which have committed to delivering solutions and services that align with Microsoft’s initiative to improve insight and innovation across manufacturing value chain. These companies include ABB, Actify, Activplant Corp., Aspen Technology Inc., AWS, Capgemini, CoCreate Software Inc., Dassault Systemes, eBots Inc., Formation Systems, HP, Invensys, Marathon Technologies Corp., PTC, Rockwell Automation Inc., Schlumberger, Siemens, The Orlando Software Group Inc. (OSGI), 3M IPT, UGS Corp. and Unisys.

“Collaborative Manufacturing is about providing a holistic view that encapsulates the entire manufacturing hierarchy — from plant floor operations and across the supply chain — to improve operational performance and respond quickly to customer demands,” said Andy Chatha, founder and president of ARC Advisory Group Inc. “A manufacturer’s approach to software is critical for meeting the needs of today’s complex infrastructure requirements, and it is this long-term vision that will ultimately provide a significant advantage to those who adopt these forward-looking strategies. Microsoft’s manufacturing Peak Performance Initiative embraces the ideals of Collaborative Manufacturing and extends it via a reliable and interoperable platform that can be customized by its partner solution providers to meet the specific needs of their customers.”

The Microsoft Platform: Foundation for Improved Communication and Collaboration

The Microsoft platform provides a breadth of technologies that enable improved communication and collaboration across the manufacturing enterprise; it also offers robust security and a reliable foundation that partners can use to bring to market solutions that address specific industry needs.

“Manufacturers across multiple vertical industries are working to adapt to changing global markets; mounting demand for new product innovation; increasing pressure to reduce costs; and the need for improved insight into their operations, supply chain and customer management,” said Charles Johnson, worldwide managing director of manufacturing at Microsoft. “Microsoft’s platform and .NET technologies deliver the integration, communication and collaboration capabilities that manufacturers need — at a lower total cost of ownership and with a faster return on investment. We then work with ISV and SI partners that have the industry knowledge and expertise to deliver specific, targeted solutions that address these challenges.”

Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative will focus on delivering solutions that address four key areas:

New Product Development Performance

Bringing new products to market quickly is critical to the future of manufacturers’ businesses across all industry segments. However, fragmented business processes, a geographically dispersed work force, and a lack of standards across the supply chain hinder the product development cycle. By using the Microsoft platform and Web services, manufacturers can reduce product development times and seamlessly collaborate on new product development initiatives. For example, Microsoft Office 2003 and SharePoint Portal Server use Web services to help teams share and collaborate on product and design information. Manufacturers also can deploy Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 to manage schedules and resources, and automate project-management capabilities. Key Microsoft partners are bringing to market innovative Microsoft-based solutions that help manufacturers realize their true collaborative product development capabilities.

Plant Floor Operations Performance

Even the smallest plant floor inefficiencies can translate into significant losses for global manufacturers. Gaining visibility into plant floor operations represents a critical step for manufacturers intent on bringing products to market on time and on budget. Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative facilitates plant floor operations by embracing prevailing standards such as OPC to promote interoperability across the plant floor environment and transform raw data into actionable intelligence without lengthy implementation timetables. Managers can streamline and enable greater visibility into plant floor operations by using SQL Server to capture and store plant floor data and instantly transport that data to SharePoint Portal Server. Microsoft partners are building innovative solutions based on these technologies to help discrete and hybrid manufacturers gain greater visibility into their business processes and react more quickly to changes on the plant floor.

Global Value Chain Performance

Today’s supply chain requires global, real-time insight across the value chain. Manufacturers are pressured to adopt lean manufacturing best practices, but struggle to justify the hefty investment that typically accompanies such initiatives. Microsoft is committed to helping its partners and their customers leverage their legacy investments and extend their capabilities to optimize supply chain performance. For example, by extending the Microsoft infrastructure that the majority of large and small suppliers already have in common — such as Microsoft Office 2003 — both ends of the supply chain can gain visibility into critical business processes via the Microsoft platform.

Sales and Customer Performance

Continuity of service is a major theme for manufacturers that understand the value of complete life-cycle management. Manufacturers across all industry segments struggle to integrate disparate sales and customer systems that impede their ability to capture a unified view of their various service channels. Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative eases integration efforts and provides manufacturers with a closed-loop model that accelerates users’ ability to quickly capture and integrate data that will improve internal business processes and enable them to provide customers with superior customer service.

Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative uses open industry standards and Web services, as well as several manufacturing-specific standards such as OPC, S-99, S-95, radio frequency identification (RFID), OAGIS and UCCNet to provide manufacturers with a flexible architecture that enables them to make optimal use of their legacy infrastructure. With a focus on established, industry-approved standards, the Peak Performance Initiative drives simplicity, consistency and true choice throughout the solutions ecosystem.

In addition, Microsoft’s manufacturing team has identified challenges specific to various vertical industries and intends to announce its efforts in automotive, consumer packaged goods, high tech, and oil and gas over the next several months. Microsoft has invested more than $6 billion (U.S.) in research and development (R & D) this year on technologies that fulfill its evolving vision for the future of computing. The company also has created an internal group focused on understanding the long-term vision of its companywide R & D efforts and deciding how these efforts apply to vertical industries, such as retail. The group is playing a key role in demonstrating how innovations based on Microsoft’s current and future technologies can come together to meet evolving business needs.

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.

Microsoft, SharePoint 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 .

Partner Momentum for Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative

Quote Sheet

March 2005

“ABB and Microsoft share a common vision for the future of manufacturing, and the latest extensions to our IndustrialIT Extended Automation System 800xA provide new and existing customers with a proven way to achieve measurable and continuous productivity and profitability improvements.”

  • Robert Hausler, Vice President, Systems Marketing, ABB

“Activplant shares Microsoft’s vision of peak performance. Global manufacturers face incredible pressure to boost productivity and drive operational excellence with increased accountability and decreased costs. The Activplant Performance Management System (TM) , which was built on SQL Server and the .NET Framework, provides operational visibility and actionable intelligence for successful continuous improvement initiatives at the world’s largest automakers and leading consumer goods companies.”

  • Dennis Cocco , President and Chief Executive Officer, Activplant

“With Microsoft tools and technology, the development cycle for our products is significantly reduced, which accelerates our time to market. By building our systems on a Microsoft platform, our customers can easily connect users across their global operations in a simplified way, using the same technology they’re used to using on a day-to-day basis.”

  • Manolis Kotzabasakis, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Marketing, Aspen Technologies

“AWS ActiveWeb Warranty helps companies achieve peak performance in warranty process management. Microsoft .NET helps AWS deliver the most comprehensive, scalable and rapidly deployed Web-based business process specifically designed to optimize the end-to-end warranty process. Warranty is rapidly becoming an important operational strategy that connects critical activities and relationships. In addition, most manufacturers can quickly achieve a significant ROI.”

  • Ron Ezsak, Vice President, AWS

“For most companies, the reliable management of new product introductions depends first on getting the basics right in increasingly complex, regulated supply chains. Microsoft offers universally familiar project and data/information management products available on a secure and flexible platform. With these tools, manufacturers are able to gain greater insight into their processes, collaborate more seamlessly, and improve their peak performance through increased visibility into operations. Product and service companies are well advised to increase standardization around tools their supply chain partners are already comfortable using in their own operations. Capgemini is partnering with Microsoft to bring these solutions to market.”

  • Martin Conner, PLM Practice Leader, Capgemini

“As a world leader in Product Lifecycle Management solutions, Dassault Systemes helps companies compete through global innovation. We bring real value to Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative by delivering solutions that improve collaboration and the product development process. Our integrated V5 PLM solutions, consisting of CATIA, ENOVIA, SMARTEAM and DELMIA, optimize the creation, management and production of all manufactured goods. Together with Microsoft, we are helping companies of all size speed time to market, increase product performance and lower cost.”

  • Philippe Forestier, Executive Vice President, Alliances, Marketing & Communications, Dassault Systemes

“By leveraging Microsoft technologies such as .NET, Enterprise SQL Server and BizTalk®
Server, eBots provides a Collaborative Lean Execution Platform for manufacturers to enforce discipline in the areas of Material Replenishment and Demand Driven Scheduling at over 70 plants and 800 suppliers worldwide. eBots is uniquely positioned to support Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative related to Plant Floor Operations Performance and Value Chain Performance with features like closed-loop signal tracking, real-time notifications, color-coded inventory health checks and consumption driven resizing. As a result, eBots customers have experienced elimination of stock outs, lead time reduction and improvement of inventory velocity.”

  • Narayan Laksham, President and CEO, eBots

“Formation Systems is committed to the Peak Performance Initiative and will continue to make innovation a top priority. Formation Systems prides itself on enabling our customers to achieve new levels of success in their product development and innovation, and by leveraging Microsoft’s collaboration technologies we can continue to provide our customers with the most innovative and powerful solutions.”

  • Trent Landreth, Chief Executive Officer, Formation Systems

“As the leading provider of Microsoft .NET solutions with more than 700 customers in 39 countries, HP is well positioned to support Microsoft’s Peak Performance Initiative and help our joint customers transform their business for increased profitability and competitive advantage. Our joint customers in the manufacturing space will continue to benefit from our consulting and integration experience and infrastructure offering with .NET and BizTalk solutions, as well as the experience that comes from our working Microsoft for more than 20 years.”

  • Brian Ferrar, Director, Marketing, Worldwide Manufacturing Industries, HP

“The Nutramax business system and manufacturing system integration project is a glowing example of how the power of customer-vendor teamwork along with agile Microsoft and Wonderware technologies can rapidly transform a high-quality manufacturing facility in six short months.”

  • Mark Davidson, Vice President, Global Marketing, Invensys

“Manufacturing firms are embracing Lean and using Value Stream Mapping & Analysis (VSM & A) to drive breakthrough operational and financial performance. As manufacturers attempt to expand their Lean initiatives across the enterprise, they quickly realize that the manual processes used in VSM & A will not scale. OSGI has solved this problem by developing LeanView (TM) , a VSM & A solution that is easy to learn, easy to use and provides high-quality analysis data. LeanView leverages and extends commonly used Microsoft Office System and Microsoft Server-based technologies to create a platform for enterprisewide Lean deployment and sustainment.”

  • Frank Kapper, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, OSGI

“UGS and Microsoft have worked together for years to develop and deliver proven solutions that accelerate time to market for manufacturers of all shapes and sizes. We fully support the efforts to connect the value creating components of our customers’ enterprises through standards-based integration. UGS product life-cycle management products fully leverage the Microsoft platform and therefore provide users with an open, interoperable and scalable solution that can help them transform their process of innovation.”

  • Chris Kelley, Vice President of Marketing, PLM Open, UGS

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