Customers Select Microsoft Business Solutions as Leading Business Applications for Subsidiaries and Divisions Worldwide

REDMOND, Wash. — May 16, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today underscored the overwhelming response it has seen from its global enterprise customers that have deployed Microsoft Business Solutions in more than 8,000 subsidiaries, divisions and branches. The subsidiary, branch or divisional implementations deliver rich integration capabilities with familiar desktop applications such as Microsoft® Office, but also with business solutions commonly used in enterprise headquarters (such as SAP R/3 and Oracle Financials) leveraging integration technologies that include .NET Web Services and BizTalk® Server 2004.

“The growing number of business solutions implementations is a clear indication that customers recognize the low cost, flexibility and rich functionality provided by Microsoft, and that we remain a premier choice for small and midsize businesses, as well as for many subsidiaries and divisions of enterprises,” said Tami Reller, corporate vice president of marketing for the Business Solutions group at Microsoft. “Our experience has shown that a centralized deployment that forces divisions to work in a predefined way is limiting and does not build better corporate connections and improve productivity. Our solutions are designed from the ground up to meet the tailored needs of businesses and divisions of organizations aspiring to be more competitive in the marketplace.”

Customers selecting Microsoft Business Solutions for their divisions have also noted the value of flexible solutions that fit the needs of each individual division.

“Although our company headquarters was using SAP, the Nordic countries chose Microsoft Business Solutions–Axapta® with a common setup and common server, which covers all of Boehringer Ingelheim business processes and supports real-time information flows between departments and across sites,” said Jens Nielsen, CFO of Boehringer Ingelheim Denmark A/S, one of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies. “The cost of the Microsoft solution was also less than half the cost of alternative solutions, and the implementation of Microsoft Axapta in Finland took only 21 days. It was great to have so little disruption to our business.”

“Until recently Metabo’s international subsidiaries were running various custom-made solutions tailored to suit Metabo’s sales needs, but after 15 years of use this technology was getting old. We had to decide whether to upgrade this system or change to a standard solution, and since Metabo headquarters is running SAP ERP applications, any new technology had to integrate with this system,” said Thomas Raith, vice president of IT and Processes at Metabo, a leading electric power tool manufacturer headquartered in Germany. “We wanted to see sales and financial data across all subsidiaries from one place and needed a feature-rich system that would grow in size and functionality at a reasonable cost. Microsoft Business Solutions–Navision® business management technology best met our needs. This solution has integrated well with SAP, and helped us provide transparency across our organization and share best practices. And it not only increased customer satisfaction; because of its ease of use, our employees really enjoy working with the system, and this is an important factor for determining if a project is successful.”

Industry Partners Provide Customers With Worldwide Support

Microsoft’s broad partner network for business solutions helps ensure that customers seeking to deploy Microsoft Business Solutions have ample and local resources readily available to help them anywhere in the world. This partner network includes some of the world’s leading services and technology firms such as Avanade, BearingPoint Inc., Capgemini, Infosys Technologies Ltd., Sonata Software Ltd. and Unisys Corp., as well as local partners that have a global infrastructure to support multinational deployments. These partners deliver the subject matter and business process expertise about Microsoft Business Solutions and key Windows Server System (TM) integration technologies such as the .NET Framework and BizTalk Server. This enables customers to realize the full benefit of the Microsoft integrated solution.

“Many of the global systems integrators are jumping on board with Microsoft Business Solutions because they recognize the impact Microsoft is set to have in key industry sectors,” said Tom Elliott, president of Global Commercial Industries at Unisys. “In our experience with mid-market companies and divisions of large enterprises, business solutions from Microsoft offer the level of integration and competitive pricing that is important to this segment.”

“It’s a challenge for business units of large enterprises to find the right-sized technology they need to run their business and integrate into a parent organization’s application portfolio,” said Kim Gable, general manager for the Microsoft Business Solutions practice at Avanade. “Customers are asking us to implement Microsoft Business Solutions in these situations because they integrate easily into the corporate parent’s system and still provide the business unit with the required flexibility and functionality. Avanade works with the business units of some of the world’s largest enterprises to tailor, customize and configure their Microsoft Business Solutions to meet their needs, today and in the future.”

About Microsoft Business Solutions

Microsoft Business Solutions are financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions for small and midsize businesses, large organizations and divisions of global enterprises. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business.

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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