Microsoft Significantly Enhances Business Process Management Capabilities With BizTalk Server 2006

LONDON — March 27, 2006 — Following on the global launch of Visual Studio® 2005, SQL Server™ 2005 and BizTalk® Server 2006 in November, Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft® BizTalk Server 2006, Microsoft’s core business process management and application integration technology connecting employees, trading partners, processes and information. The release to manufacturing of BizTalk Server 2006 underscores Microsoft’s continued efforts to deliver extensive business process management capabilities as part of the overall Microsoft application platform.

BizTalk Server’s industry-leading installed base of more than 6,000 customers continues to grow. BizTalk Server 2006 early adopter customers include the UK supermarket chain Tesco and German-based electrical engineering and electronics company Siemens AG. In addition, over 1,100 systems integrators and 20 independent software vendors (ISVs) are building solutions and software on top of BizTalk Server 2006, including global systems integrators such as HP and Accenture and regional systems integrators and ISVs such as Sapient Corporation and Covast. Building on the award-winning 2004 version, BizTalk Server 2006 enables organizations to take their core business activities and streamline, automate and optimize the underlying processes to drive business growth.

“Integrating disparate applications and automating business processes are no longer nice to have, but are essential parts of doing business,” said Oliver Sharp, general manager in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft. “The hallmark of any competitive business is its ability to identify, automate and optimize processes. Traditional solutions, however, can be too complex and expensive to adopt. With BizTalk Server 2006, businesses of all sizes now have a simplified solution for business process management that connects employees, trading partners, processes and information. BizTalk Server 2006 helps customers drive increased efficiency, growth and competitive advantage.”

The launch of BizTalk Server 2006 underscores Microsoft’s broader long-term vision to enable companies to implement business process management solutions, which starts with removing common barriers to adoption such as usability and cost.

“Today’s businesses face increasing competition, especially on cost and quality, and stricter regulations require tighter business operations,” said Janelle Hill, research vice president at Gartner Inc. “Only excellent business processes can enable organizations to meet competitive challenges and demonstrate compliance with regulations.”

Key Upgrades in BizTalk Server 2006 Drive Customer Adoption

Breaking with the industry norm, BizTalk Server 2006 includes more than 20 application and technology adapters, helping to advance the affordability of application integration and business process management solutions. The Enterprise and Standard Editions of BizTalk Server 2006 include adapters for popular applications such as SAP, Siebel, Peoplesoft, Oracle Database, and JD Edwards at no extra charge. Since the previous release of the product in March 2004, Microsoft has engaged in a continuous feedback cycle to better meet customer and partner needs with the next version of BizTalk Server, with usability emerging as a strong area of focus. BizTalk Server 2006 includes advanced management and deployment capabilities, real-time alerting functionality, and a new business activity monitoring (BAM) portal to help companies optimize their business process management investments for maximum efficiency. In addition, BizTalk Server 2006 delivers new capabilities so businesses can integrate their legacy systems and mainframe assets. Such capabilities are driving strong early adoption of the technology.

“BizTalk Server 2006 is at the heart of our Enterprise Integration Architecture and will enable tremendous improvement in our business systems and processes,” said Mike Yorwerth, group technology and architecture director of Tesco. “BizTalk enables us to act on real-time data and therefore drive new opportunities and grow our business.”

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