DALLAS—Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a range of new initiatives to augment its Certified Partner Program and that it hopes will help a wide range of its industry partners develop and deploy Microsoft Office System-based productivity solutions.
The Microsoft Office System is due for release later this year, and more than 40 of Microsofts industry partners, including Citrix Systems Inc., EDS, EMC Corp., Factiva, Groove Networks Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and Xerox, will be demonstrating their Office System-based solutions at the Microsoft TechEd conference here this week.
The Microsoft Office System consists of Microsoft Office 2003 Editions, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft Project and Project Server, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, and Microsoft Office Visio 2003.
Among the new partner initiatives Microsoft will announce on Monday is the Microsoft Office System Solution Directory, which allows partners to showcase solutions at no cost.
Office Marketplace is a new section of the Office Web site designed to connect Office customers with products and services that enhance or extend a users ability to accomplish tasks with Office.
The Microsoft Office System Partner Solution Builder Program is designed to help partners in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa drive new business opportunities with the upcoming version of the Microsoft Office System via training vehicles, development support and marketing opportunities.
The Microsoft Smart Client Readiness Program, available in August, will give ISVs the resources to build software products on Microsoft smart client technologies
Joe Eschbach, corporate vice president of Microsofts Information Worker Product Management Group, said its customers want to access their information in whatever system it resides.
“The solutions we, and our partners, are building with the Microsoft Office System will help our customers do that and more,” he said.
Among the partner solutions to be showcased this week is one from EDS, which has built an HR Office System solution aimed at reducing the costs associated with human resources processes. The solution, built on the Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 and the XML support in Microsoft Office 2003, enables companies to reduce costs by consolidating and automating many HR-related business processes and create a self-assistance HR platform.
Factiva, a Dow Jones and Reuters Company, has developed a solution known as the Factiva News Search, which allows information workers to conduct research on Factivas collection of nearly 8,000 news and business information sources directly from a report or presentation they are creating.
HP is updating its eLearning Portal to take advantage of Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies and Microsoft Office 2003. Using the updated solution, parents will be able to communicate more effectively with teachers and track their childrens attendance, homework status and grades. Students will be able to collaborate with one other on school projects; and teachers and administrators will be able to access and leverage existing information and knowledge to develop curricula for their students.
Xerox, for its part, is combining XML-based Smart Documents in Microsoft Office 2003 with its 20-year history of studying document lifecycle management to build customer-centric solutions that reduce costs by automating processes associated with document creation, publishing and management.
One solution, created for Continental Airlines Inc., will automate processes and reduce time required for the dissemination of maintenance updates for its maintenance work force by more than 80 percent, improving productivity and saving Continental more than $60,000 each month.
Another solution will allow customers of McGraw Hill Construction to mine information directly from a Web site and use that information for business development and task management of bid responses—all within the Office 2003 environment.
Xerox also expects to launch a full slate of industry-specific and business problem-targeted solutions based on the new Office System concurrent with the release of Office 2003, the company said.