Microsoft Makes It Easier for Organizations to Transition to Its Unified Communications and Collaboration Platform

Editors’ update, Jan. 24, 2007
– This press release has been edited since original publication.

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 21, 2007 — More than ever, organizations worldwide are investing in Microsoft Corp.’s platform for unified communications and collaboration, and they now have an easier way to make the transition with a new set of tools and resources for their IT administrators and employees.

Today, Microsoft announced new tools that will help IBM Lotus Notes/Domino customers take advantage of the new unified communication and collaboration innovations that are being delivered as part of the recently released Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 technologies. These resources include a new suite of tools for managing transitions of IBM’s directory, messaging and application solutions, as well as new templates for SharePoint Products and Technologies, which make it even easier for IT professionals to roll out customized applications for common business scenarios. Together these tools are making it easier for IBM customers to manage transitions to and start experiencing the benefits of Microsoft’s modern, integrated platform, which increases organizational productivity, streamlines business processes, and reduces IT cost and complexity.

“With the release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, the 2007 Office system with SharePoint Server 2007, and solutions such as the next generation of Microsoft Office Live Communications Server in the pipeline, I’m convinced we will continue to see strong adoption of our comprehensive platform in the coming year,” said Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division at Microsoft. “Our clear road map and product innovation are helping customers say yes to Microsoft.”

Customers Make the Move to Microsoft

More and more companies worldwide are making the strategic business decision to move to Microsoft’s unified communication and collaboration platform because of its integrated set of capabilities as well as new innovations including support for wikis, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, blogs, social networking tools, unified messaging and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) integration.

Customers such as Community Bank, Foley Equipment Co. and Lee Enterprises have made Microsoft their platform of choice because of its ability to enable people to work together more productively and effectively, and strengthen business processes.

“Over the last several years our mobile work force has grown significantly and with that we needed a communication and collaboration platform that could adapt to our unique needs,” said Karen Pollock, information technology manager at Foley Equipment Company, a leading Midwest Caterpillar dealership servicing the construction, agriculture, truck engine, and power generation fields since 1942. “We decided to move from IBM Lotus Notes/Domino to the Microsoft platform due to its ability to allow our employees to collaborate without walls while also reducing the administration burden to our IT staff.”

New Suite of Tools and Templates Ease Transition

Microsoft continues its commitment to help customers transition from Lotus Notes/Domino in a manageable fashion to Microsoft’s unified communications and collaboration platform. This year’s release of tools and templates focuses on providing a simpler user experience and increased automation for IT administrators. These tools and templates include the following:

  • Microsoft Transporter Suite for Lotus Notes. This new suite leverages a simple, unified interface, allowing customers to plan, prepare and transition their messaging and directory services as well analyze their Notes application infrastructure, determine the best course of action for applications, and move data from template-based applications to Windows® SharePoint Services 3.0. These tools ease the migration process, even for applications, and provide a great opportunity for partners to extend the tools for advanced migration needs of customers.

  • Role-Based Templates for SharePoint My Sites. Drawing on SharePoint Server’s rich personalization capabilities and integration with line-of-business data, a set of new Role-Based Templates for SharePoint My Sites provide a quick and cost-effective starting point to create customized portals where different employees can go to find the information and tools they need to do their jobs. They include templates for the following roles: sales account manager, financial analyst, staffing specialist, administrative assistant, customer services representative, IT engineer and marketing manager.

  • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Application Templates. To provide organizations with a starting point for creating their own custom applications, Microsoft has developed a set of 40 templates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. The templates make it easier for IT personnel to roll out customized applications for common business workgroup processes, allowing them to focus on more mission-critical tasks. The templates include scenarios for sales and marketing tasks, HR and finance processes, business and IT operations, project management needs, and vertical applications for education, healthcare, professional services, retail and financial organizations. In addition, organizations can use the Microsoft Transporter Suite to migrate data from template-based Notes applications to these Windows SharePoint Services application templates.

In the next 30 days, customers will be able to download these tools and templates at no charge from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/interopmigration/collaboration/default.mspx. Customers are also encouraged to visit Channel 9 for demonstrations of the transporter suite at http://channel9.msdn.com/go/mscolab/transporter and the templates at http://channel9.msdn.com/go/mscolab/rolebased.

Increased Opportunities for Partners

Industry partners, including formerly exclusive IBM partners such as Relavis Corp., are now building new practices based on Microsoft’s platform. Partners such as Avtex, Berbee, BlackBox Network Services, BRESSNER Technology GmbH, EMC Global Services, Enabling Technologies Corp., Fujitsu Consulting, Gold Systems Inc., Guidance Solutions Inc., Horizons Consulting Inc., PointBridge, POST CTI, Quest Software Inc., The VIA Group and Wipro Technologies are also experiencing new opportunities helping customers who wish to transition to Microsoft’s new platform.

“I think today is a great time to switch to Microsoft’s collaboration platform,” said Jay Lendl, Microsoft Practice vice president for Fujitsu Consulting, the consulting and services arm of the $40.6 billion Fujitsu Group and a Microsoft Strategic Global System Integrator. “We believe that whether you are a large or small company, this platform will deliver unprecedented predictability, rich features, and cost-effective solutions for customers.”

More information on Microsoft’s unified communication and collaboration platform can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/business/collaboration/default.mspx.

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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