REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 19, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it is working with EMI Music to help the company standardize on a common technology platform, based primarily on Microsoft® technologies, as part of a change program known as Digitizing EMI Music. Through this program EMI expects to achieve greater efficiency; optimize its distribution in an increasingly digital world; maximize its marketing capabilities; and become more flexible, fast-moving and responsive to the needs of consumers, artists and business partners. Microsoft and EMI have been working together for two years under a global enterprise agreement.
EMI Music’s technology change program, which is being rolled out across all 50 countries in which the company operates, will help ensure that the company remains at the forefront of the digital music revolution. The program will provide revenue benefits and cost savings for the company by Web-enabling key back-office, marketing and other processes and allowing EMI to take an industry-leading approach to the new digital music environment. It is also designed to improve EMI’s ability to respond more quickly to meet consumer and customer demand for innovative music products and services anywhere in the world.
Microsoft technologies will also enable EMI to move music quickly and more securely, facilitate faster information flow, and aid in the development of artists across its global business borders. EMI has further improved its ability to conduct real-time sales and profitability analysis, as well as its approach to procurement around marketing and promotions, thanks largely to Microsoft technologies. Providing immediate access to relevant, real-time information means EMI will be able to further improve its development and marketing of internationally renowned artists — such as Coldplay, Faith Evans, Gorillaz, Norah Jones, KT Tunstall and Robbie Williams — anywhere in the world.
According to a report published today by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, global sales of music via the Internet and mobile phones proliferated in 2005, generating sales of $1.1 billion (U.S.) for record companies — a threefold increase on 2004. With digital music now being such an important driver of growth, EMI’s relationship with Microsoft will play a key role in allowing the company to address the new challenges and added complexity of the digital era.
“EMI is focused on the long-term development and marketing of artists globally, capitalizing on the emerging digital marketplace, adding value for consumers and our partners whilst also combating music piracy. This technology change program will help us achieve these goals in a cost-effective and efficient manner,” said James Anderson, chief information officer for EMI Music. “We decided to partner with Microsoft because its technology offers flexibility and simplicity, while its vision of how the technology landscape will evolve will help us future-proof our business.”
The Digitizing EMI Music initiative comprises a series of technology projects, each based on leading-edge Microsoft technologies including SQL Server™ 2000, Active Directory®, Windows Server™ 2003, BizTalk® Server 2004, Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003 and the .NET Framework.
“We are delighted to be working closely with a visionary company like EMI, helping enable it to become even more responsive to the demands of the digital music industry,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “Our expertise in digital technology and focus on the specific needs of the music and entertainment industries coupled with our strength in streamlining operations in large enterprises enables us to meet EMI’s needs. This is a very exciting time for the music industry, and we’re delighted to play our part alongside EMI.”
The initiative is being rolled out across all 50 countries in which EMI Music operates directly and is being coordinated out of EMI’s global headquarters in London. The new IT systems being implemented will impact important internal processes at EMI, such as the way music flows from the studio through manufacturing and distribution and, ultimately, to the consumer. Business processes that are being transformed include the following:
Digital storage. Based on a single, central SQL Server 2000 database with Active Directory service, this central repository will enable EMI to better archive, search and index its music assets in digital format. This capability has now been deployed globally across EMI Music.
Transaction management. A central enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution using Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2000 and BizTalk Server 2004 enables rapid processing of both digital and physical CD sales. Accessing the tool can give EMI one view of spending and sales across the organization. This capability is being been rolled out globally across EMI Music.
Management processes. A management portal based on SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Active Directory service and the Panorama NovaView 5 proactive business management solution allows EMI to respond to business changes in real time. For example, pre-release information can be shared with EMI executives globally, drastically improving decision-making processes.
Marketing hub. Based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, this central information store will enable a more sophisticated approach to global marketing. Marketing executives have access to the company’s marketing assets from a single location.
“The work we are doing with EMI will enable it to implement significant positive changes in how it does business today,” Martinez said. “This project will help deliver value for
all those at EMI involved in the creation, management and delivery of music, which can create new revenue, reduce overall operational costs and ultimately enhance the consumer experience.”
EMI is the world’s largest independent music company, operating directly in 50 countries. Its EMI Music division represents more than 1,000 artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Televisa Music, Manhattan, Mute, Parlophone and Virgin. For more details about EMI, please visit www.emigroup.com.
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