Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Powers Collaboration Opportunities

28 Percent of Windows Server 2003 Customers Report Using Windows SharePoint Services, With Nearly Half of Remaining Customers Planning to Deploy in the Next 11 Months

REDMOND, Wash., June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- After its first eight months of availability, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) SharePoint(R) Services is benefiting customers at organizations of all sizes around the world by boosting productivity and improving access to information while lowering development and management costs. According to Microsoft research, currently 28 percent of Windows Server(TM) 2003 customers report using Windows SharePoint Services, and 45 percent of the remaining customers plan to do so in the next 11 months. In addition, two recent surveys involving information workers and Windows SharePoint Services solution partners indicate customers strongly believe that collaboration technologies such as Windows SharePoint Services and the Microsoft Office System can help them save significant time and increase company profitability.

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"Early on in the development phase we spent a lot of time talking with our customers about both their need for a comprehensive collaboration solution and the roadblocks they were experiencing as they tried to pull one together on their own," said Kurt DelBene, corporate vice president of the Office Server Group at Microsoft Corp. "The strong adoption rate that Windows SharePoint Services has experienced over the past eight months is a direct result of those early conversations. Our customers are finding that Windows SharePoint Services and the Microsoft Office System together can help them achieve even more when working in a fluid, collaborative environment. At Microsoft alone, we have more than 61,000 Windows SharePoint Services sites."

In a separate consumer survey conducted earlier this year by Harris Interactive(R) Inc. among U.S. adults who regularly use a computer at work, 78 percent said they would use a collaboration technology, such as electronic workspaces, shared calendars and shared task lists, if their company implemented it. Nearly half said they would like a collaboration technology to centrally track, store and retrieve information related to projects and team activities. Also, 28 percent said that using the right collaboration tools at work would save them up to five hours each week.

This interest in collaborative technologies is also illustrated by a recent Microsoft survey of SharePoint Products and Technologies independent software vendors, service providers and other partners which confirmed that the vast majority of their customers are interested in document management (95 percent), document and meeting workspaces (77 percent), and shared calendaring (76 percent) capabilities in a collaboration technology such as Windows SharePoint Services.

Strong Customer Adoption of Windows SharePoint Services

The Boeing Co. provides commercial jets, military aircraft, satellites, missile defense and human space flight options to customers in more than 145 countries. With 156,000 employees in 70 countries, including 48 U.S. states, a key goal for Boeing is to enable its employees to work together across locations and time zones in an effort to exceed customers' expectations for their products. Currently, more than 4,000 Boeing employees are using Windows SharePoint Services.

"Although we're currently in the early stages of our Windows SharePoint Services deployment, we anticipate having over 50,000 employees working together regardless of their physical locations," said Chris Kent, vice president of Computing Network Operations at Boeing. "It is one piece of the puzzle that enables us to build our products more quickly and efficiently and to deliver higher-quality products."

Employees of Maritz Inc., a performance improvement, travel and marketing research services firm, use Windows SharePoint Services together with Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003 to organize and share information, as well as interact more effectively across company locations worldwide. In addition to using Windows SharePoint Services sites in which various project teams can collaborate, Maritz takes advantage of Windows SharePoint Services' built-in presence technology supported by Live Communications Server to allow employees to see when colleagues are online and enable on-the-fly exchanges through instant messaging.

"At the same time that our teams are becoming more dispersed across different departments as well as geographies, the need to collaborate is becoming more critical as well," said Laura Baur, director of infrastructure services at Maritz. "Windows SharePoint Services and its complementary Microsoft technologies enable us to pull together all the important people and information in a single place to accomplish things more efficiently. We've created much better ways to manage information, share it in usable ways, interact with one another and get access to the most up-to-date versions of important documents."

In addition, several customers are participating in the Windows SharePoint Services Accelerated Deployment Program and are in the process of deploying the technology to from 15,000 to 90,000 employees. One such customer is Wachovia Corp., which is deploying Windows SharePoint Services to teams, project teams and departments within the bank.

"Our goal is to provide a scalable solution that all of our employees can use," said Andy Jones, senior vice president of eCommerce at Wachovia. "We view Windows SharePoint Services as a solid foundation that we can expand to support our entire organization, and we can easily integrate it with other solutions already in place. Groups in our Architecture Standards Board will utilize the workflow and collaboration features of Windows SharePoint Services to simplify their technology standards creation processes. The document management and storage functions will allow easy access and control for teams dispersed across the bank, domestically and internationally."

Also in the Accelerated Deployment Program, Miami Dade College is piloting a SharePoint Products and Technologies solution to provide a collaborative portal environment through which it can disseminate information to students, faculty and administrators; create virtual classroom communities where faculty can post course materials and students can view information, collaborate, and post course assignments and other documents; and create virtual document collaboration communities that support a number of different processes, such as collaborative projects across the college's multiple campuses.

Partner Community Taps New Markets

Since becoming available in October 2003, Windows SharePoint Services has been embraced by solution providers and other partners. Currently, more than 400 vendors offer upward of 600 solutions built on SharePoint Products and Technologies, ranging from customization and application hosting to programs specially designed for vertical segments such as government, finance, education, healthcare and human resources. Portal Dynamics is one such service provider that specializes in building solutions for government and commercial organizations seeking to use an electronic collaboration environment for better communication, collaboration, access to workflow processes and legacy database information.

"Our government and commercial customers appreciate how Windows SharePoint Services enables project groups to quickly set up team workspaces online, where everyone can exchange updates and find all their project-related information in one place," said Jim O'Farrell, director of business development at Portal Dynamics. "Our portal developers value the simplicity of working in the open architecture of Microsoft .NET and how much more easily they can deploy Windows SharePoint Services compared with other collaboration applications."

Windows SharePoint Services is available for download at no additional charge for customers using Windows Server 2003 at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/sharepoint/default.msp x. It also is available through hosting services, including 1&1 Internet Inc., Apptix and Microsoft bCentral(TM) small-business portal. A free 30-day hosted trial of Windows SharePoint Services is available at http://www.sharepointtrial.com/ .

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers, services and solutions, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other -- helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office FrontPage(R) 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath(TM) 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote(R) 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio(R) 2003 and the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

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.

NOTE: Microsoft, Windows, SharePoint, Windows Server, bCentral, FrontPage, InfoPath, OneNote and Visio are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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