Asset-Recovery Leader Chooses Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM Online

REDMOND, Wash. — April 10, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chicago-based uBid, which helps sellers and manufacturers liquidate excess inventory, has chosen Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to replace both its Oracle E-Business Suite enterprise resource planning system and its Siebel CRM software. uBid, which operates as well as live auctions and other channels, anticipates that Microsoft Dynamics solutions will enable it to create efficiencies in its IT platform specifically by supporting hardware, operating systems and databases, while reducing hiring needs.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is an adaptable business management solution that provides powerful, role-based industry-specific functionality for midsize and larger organizations and makes it easy to do business across locations and countries. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides powerful, role-based customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities through online, on-premise or partner-hosted deployment models.

uBid selected international Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Columbus IT to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 to handle back-end transactions for e-commerce and integrate it with uBid’s current custom-built, Microsoft-based e-commerce engine and Microsoft SQL Server. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will provide contact management for uBid’s call center, replacing a Siebel solution, and will be integrated with the Microsoft Dynamics AX solution. Credit card management software also will be integrated into the system.

“uBid was looking for a partner that would offer some synergies with its own staff,” said Ed Crawford, senior account executive at Columbus IT. “We have involved our professional services team at every step to provide the appropriate functionality and flexibility for uBid within Microsoft Dynamics AX.”

Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 will allow uBid for the first time to separate out financials across its three legal entities and its holding company into separate general ledgers and to enjoy the benefits of forecasting. The new technology will make it easier for uBid to handle international shipping and varying vendor commission structures, and will automatically sort out taxation that applies differently to a variety of vendors. Microsoft Dynamics AX users can also access all the data and reports over the Internet, taking advantage of Microsoft SharePoint Services.

The Microsoft solution will offer a number of other specific benefits to help uBid grow efficiently:

  • Cost savings. uBid anticipates it will reduce its hardware costs with its Microsoft solutions and will be able to keep its IT head count from growing because it will need far less support for its new technology.

  • Market expansion and revenue improvement. Microsoft Dynamics AX enables uBid to sign up more and larger suppliers that want to integrate with its systems. Large sellers, including major retailers, will be able to post their excess inventory for sale on the uBid auction site in a much more direct fashion. uBid will receive more inventory that it can move out into its channels.

  • Time savings. The company now can get data into the hands of business users in real time, and orders to its warehouse and supply chain will move much more rapidly than with its previous batch system of releasing orders. Because Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online use the familiar Microsoft Office interface, the learning curve for new employees will be much shorter than before, so the growing company can bring employees on board faster. Also, the turnaround time on new projects will be quicker because the uBid IT staff is accustomed to working with Microsoft development tools.

  • Accuracy of data. Microsoft CRM Online will eliminate multiple entries of the same data because it is tightly integrated into the Microsoft Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. The company no longer will need a technological bridge between two types of systems and can enter data just once to record it in both areas.

  • Better reporting. The company never before had the ability to organize data by various lines of business, other than through tedious manual processes. Now information can be sorted in many different ways and will be available through Microsoft SharePoint Services to decision-makers. The improved reporting also will allow real-time sales forecasting for the first time.

  • Companywide integration. uBid expects business issues to be resolved more efficiently because Microsoft Dynamics AX enables people to collaborate better than the previous system did. Everyone will be looking at the same key performance indicators. Also, instead of’s listings, photos and other elements being housed in multiple databases, they all can reside in Microsoft Dynamics AX, reducing errors and maintenance and easing the listing process.

  • International transactions. Right out of the box, Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 handles the conversion of currency automatically.

  • Improved compliance. As a public company, uBid will benefit from the ability to separate its roles and ensure that permissions are set appropriately, tasks that were difficult to do with its earlier technology.

  • IT support. The entire infrastructure will operate in object-oriented language that all the company’s programmers can understand. No longer will uBid need to hire expensive niche specialists to deal with different system issues.

“By consolidating our operating systems, applications and developer tools with Microsoft, we gain a lower total cost of ownership, because we can leverage the same developer knowledge base and skill set across our Web platform, ERP and CRM,” said Amy Powers, vice president of Technology at uBid.

Powers noted that the extensibility of Microsoft Dynamics AX has drawn particular interest from her IT staff, who are mimicking some of the design patterns in that solution to revise its own customized programs.

“Increasingly, businesses like uBid are finding far-reaching benefits in adopting a new generation of business solutions to provide the speed, visibility and flexibility they require in a rapidly evolving marketplace,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s U.S. Dynamics business. “Microsoft Dynamics AX is designed to integrate and automate the gathering and distribution of information, helping organizations stay ahead of the marketplace and see around the bends in the road ahead.”

About Holdings, Inc. Holdings, Inc. is a leading liquidator of excess inventory from top-brand manufacturers. Merchandise includes computers, consumer electronics, apparel, housewares, watches, jewelry, sporting goods and home-improvement products from such brand-name manufacturers as Sony, Polaroid, Dell, IBM, Nikon, Fuji, Casio, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Panasonic, Gateway, Seiko, Black & Decker, DeWalt, Honeywell and KitchenAid. Holdings, Inc. is publicly traded on the NASD OTC bulletinboard (UBHI).

About Columbus IT

Columbus IT is a global technology consulting and software development company dedicated to improving your operations by implementing ERP, BI and CRM systems and by developing high-quality industry solutions. Our industry specializations include Retail, manufacturing, distribution, professional service, and more.

We are the most experienced company in the world for Microsoft Business Solutions implementation and support. We have more than 1,000 employees in 27 countries around the world. Underscoring our leadership in the industry, we have been recognized as ‘Global Partner of the Year’ by Microsoft.

With To-Increase, our own division fully dedicated to software development, software development is not an afterthought, as it often is with other firms. We offer our customers the highest software solutions, which include industry-specific modules that extend the functionality of MS Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV.

Our customers understand the critical nature of IT systems for the long-term viability of their businesses and expect high quality solutions, low-risk implementations and faster ROI. They choose Columbus IT for our ability to get the job done right, proven by more than 5,000 successful implementations since 1989 – and for our people who have the highest level of integrity, respect and trust.

By delivering innovative solutions and by building long-lasting, trusted relationships, Columbus IT can help you improve the performance of your operations and gain a true competitive edge in your marketplace.

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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