Microsoft Details Vision for Building a Connected Business


SAN DIEGO, March 12 --

New solutions and services to help Microsoft Dynamics customers connect business vision with software, people with processes, and companies with communities.

To kick off its annual conference for Microsoft Dynamics(TM) customers, Convergence 2007, Microsoft Corp. today detailed its vision to transform the business applications landscape by helping customers focus on building a "connected" business that delivers new levels of companywide productivity.

New offerings announced today that enable this strategy include the release of Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step, a new tool set for implementation, migration and upgrades; Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft® Office and SharePoint® Server, a new low-cost licensing package that makes Microsoft Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions available to more employees via familiar tools; RoleTailored, a new user-experience design approach that builds on the next-generation look and feel of Windows Vista(TM) and the 2007 Microsoft Office system; a new online finance community for finance professionals; and the upcoming availability of Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 and Microsoft Dynamics SL 7.0.

"We are paving the way for building truly connected businesses, uniting the systems and the people who make companies successful in a sensible and relevant way," said Jeff Raikes, president of the Microsoft Business Division. "This new generation of Microsoft Dynamics products is designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and lays the foundation for new levels of business productivity."

Connecting Business Vision and Software

Microsoft is making investments in key areas to help Microsoft Dynamics customers bridge the gap between ideas and the ability to execute them by taking a "model-driven design" approach and making software that is easy to integrate with a company's existing systems, more relevant to the specialized needs of a particular industry, and easier to change and adapt to support new business opportunities. New initiatives to support this vision are being announced today:

o Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step, a new end-to-end implementation
methodology and associated tools for implementation, configuration,
migration and process tools designed to help reduce risk and make
deployment and configuration much more predictable

o Real World SOA (service-oriented architecture), an approach to systems
integration, where Microsoft Dynamics customers in the past year have
used the XML and Web services infrastructure of Microsoft Dynamics to
quickly deploy solutions that share data and processes across
multiple installed legacy systems

o Microsoft Dynamics Industry Solutions, a focused platform investment
in five key industries that strikes a balance between a strong
platform approach and a powerful ecosystem of certified solutions
across industries

Building Connections Between People and Processes

AMR Research estimates that 85 percent of the employees in organizations that have deployed an ERP system are not licensed to use the data and information managed by these systems(i). Microsoft Dynamics is changing this equation by unlocking data and information for everyone in an organization and helping people realize greater productivity by easily accessing it as part of their jobs. Offerings that will help people connect to their critical processes are being announced today:

o Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server,
a new low-cost package that contains a collection of up to 12
self-service applications built in Microsoft Office and SharePoint, as
well as an enterprise license for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
2007 and access rights to all the information and processes managed by
a Microsoft Dynamics ERP system.

o RoleTailored, a new user-experience design approach that builds on the
next-generation look and feel of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft
Office system. This new approach to the user experience makes business
application navigation, collaboration and insight an integrated and
easy part of the software, helping to increase the relevance of
business applications for all employees in a company.

These two new offerings contribute toward Microsoft's strategy for Office Business Applications, a new category of applications in which Microsoft Office becomes the front end for a business process system and delivers data and process information in a format that is familiar to people. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an example of this type of application in which all the reports, forms and processes for managing sales, marketing and customer service are presented to the user within Microsoft Office Outlook®.

Connecting Companies With Communities

Microsoft will help customers extend the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics solutions beyond the four walls of their companies to build richer connections with their community of customers, suppliers and partners. The following are among the new ways in which Microsoft will help companies more effectively connect with their:

o Online finance community, a new online community being introduced
today that enables finance professionals -- including corporate
controllers, finance managers, finance staff and accountants -- to
interact with one another. This online site will include blogs, rich
forums, tagging, syndication and many of the important building blocks
of an interactive community to share best practices on the Web. In the
true sense of community, members will vote to select the final name
for this environment from a short list of options. Customers will be
able to access the community from within all Microsoft Dynamics ERP
solutions or by visiting community.dynamics.com.

o Software plus Services, an approach in which on-premise Microsoft
Dynamics solutions are complemented by hosted services provided by
Microsoft and its partners to enable businesses to reach out more
comprehensively to their suppliers and customers via the Web.
Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM will be the first example of such an
offering from Microsoft Dynamics.

Bringing It Together With Major New Releases

Making this connected business vision a reality through support of the initiatives announced today are major new product releases: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0, Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 and Microsoft Dynamics SL 7.0.

o Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0, scheduled to be available in late
March 2007, offers compatibility with Windows Vista, deep integration
with the 2007 Microsoft Office system and a range of application
enhancements including Sales and Purchase Document Approval,
Prepayment, Intercompany Purchase Cost Distribution, Inventory
Costing, Item Tracking, and Jobs and Service Order Handling.

o Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0, which will be released in June 2007,
includes more than 100 new core application features, a new user
interface similar to that of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft
Office system, enhancements to business intelligence, a new workflow
engine, and integrated structured and unstructured search capabilities
based on the Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office.

o Microsoft Dynamics SL 7.0, which will be released in June 2007,
upgrades its development and configuration tools to Microsoft Visual
Studio® 2005, making it a native .NET application throughout and
providing new options for connecting business processes, as well as
new application features such as QuickSend for automated electronic
communication with vendors and customers, a new user interface similar
to that of the Microsoft Office system, and RoleTailored business
intelligence views for managers that can analyze up to 900 business
activities.

More event news is available in the convergence 2007 virtual press room at www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/convergence/default.mspx

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.

i) The Enterprise Resource Planning Spending Report, 2005-2006, by Bob
Locke, Jim Shepherd and Wendy Davis, November 2005

Web site: www.microsoft.com

Source: Microsoft Corp.

Umran Hasan, +1-503-443-7000, umranh@waggeneredstrom.com, Rapid Response Team, +1-503-443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com, both of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, for Microsoft Corp.

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