World’s Top Poinsettia Producer Paul Ecke Ranch Grows in Financial Processing and Analysis Power With Microsoft Dynamics GP

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 5, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Paul Ecke Ranch, producer of more than 70 percent of the world’s poinsettias and chief patent holder of the plant’s many varieties, has selected Microsoft Dynamics™ GP to help its financial processes grow. The company, based in Encinitas, Calif., expects the change to reduce its general ledger accounts from 4,000 to 1,500 and shorten its close cycles from 20 days to 10 days. The analytical capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP will also streamline data from its company-owned growing facility in Guatemala and from other offshore contract growers, and will enable the company’s expansion into propagating additional plant breeds via a recent acquisition of geranium-grower OGLEVEE.

“Business clarity and flexible access to data go hand in hand, and we expect Microsoft Dynamics GP to deliver on both counts,” said Leslie Morgan, controller of Paul Ecke Ranch. “Having figures at our fingertips in a new way is what is enabling us to expand our business and extend our 100 years of success in the new millennium.”

The 800-employee company, originally founded by Albert Ecke in 1906, will use Microsoft Dynamics GP to replace a system that required intensive manual entry to track breeder royalties for products sold through its nursery clients, as well as sales order data and payment to several thousand growers. The company will also look to the new solution to provide nimble financial analysis to help it plan for many variables unique to the horticulture industry, such as forecasting ordering and inventory 18 months to two years in advance, planning for the effects of weather and fluctuating market demand for perishable product, and tracking the planting and cutting of multiple strains simultaneously. Integration with Microsoft® Office Excel® will enable a companywide look at this essential forecasting information right on the desktop.

“Paul Ecke Ranch provides a prime example of how Microsoft Dynamics GP can be extended to handle complex layers of industry-specific, high-level ERP financial analysis simultaneously,” said Jon Pratt, senior director of product marketing for Microsoft Dynamics GP at Microsoft. “In this case, working alongside the same familiar interface of Microsoft Office Excel, Paul Ecke Ranch has taken Microsoft Dynamics GP’s out-of-the-box functionality and created a system that’s truly its own.”

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a comprehensive and highly scalable business-management solution that offers a cost-effective way to manage and integrate finances, e-commerce, supply chain, manufacturing, project accounting, field service, customer relationships and human resources. Based on the familiar People-Ready Microsoft Office interface, Microsoft Dynamics GP makes it easy for executives, managers and staff to access information that is meaningful to their specific role and responsibilities, gain deep contextual insight into what key drivers matter to their business, and improve efficiency throughout their organization. The solution is also easy to configure and maintain, further improving return on investment.

The Mission Viejo, Calif., office of Collins Computing will implement the new solution. Collins Computing is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and was recognized as Microsoft Business Solutions’ 2006 Sales and Marketing Partner of the Year. The company specializes exclusively in Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions.

“We are in the business of helping our clients reach their ultimate business goals,” said Randy Forkner, president of Collins Computing. “Each company presents its own unique challenge. A horticultural business dealing with management and financial forecasting for growing live plant material can certainly push an ERP product to its limits. We consider Microsoft Dynamics GP to be completely up to the task.”

About Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions that helps businesses work more effectively. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business management 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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