- Cooperative technology development, marketing and sales initiatives to increase business value for customers -
The companies' new global strategic alliance broadens and elevates the relationship Microsoft has had in place for over eight years with Comshare Inc., which Geac acquired in August 2003. Over the years, the two companies have focused on key initiatives within the development, marketing and sales arenas. Last month, Microsoft and Geac held an executive briefing to propel development in key product areas. To encourage new sales, the two companies also held a local customer event in Vancouver and plan to roll out similar events worldwide this quarter. In addition, the companies will expand last year's "Power of Two" joint marketing campaign with similar marketing initiatives in the coming months, including a co-sponsored Webinar with CFO Magazine on January 8. In support of these and other efforts going forward, Microsoft will dedicate additional financial and personnel resources to support Geac's full product line globally.
As part of ongoing development efforts between Geac and Microsoft, the companies are creating an integrated technology road map intended to provide customers with a clear picture of Geac's continued support of the Microsoft .NET Framework, Web services and smart client technology. With the road map in place, the two companies can more easily identify customer needs and use the power of the Microsoft platform, along with Geac's 30 years of experience providing technology-based finance and operations solutions, to connect applications and information for greater business value.
The evolution of the Geac-Microsoft alliance is driven by compelling technology and market synergies. Every Geac product line, across the company's enterprise applications and industry specific applications portfolios, is built upon or in some manner utilizes Microsoft technology. Geac's ERP and transaction processing product lines have strong presence in several of the vertical industries supported by the Microsoft platform, such as manufacturing, financial services, retail, and healthcare.
Geac's familiarity with core Microsoft technologies gives Geac a leg up in developing its new products. For example, both Geac Performance Management and Geac's Anael ERP business in France participated in pre-beta testing of Microsoft's next-generation "Yukon" SQL Server database prior to the official "Yukon" beta release to the broader developer community in October. In the marketing and sales arena, Geac and Microsoft have committed to deliver joint Webcasts for lead generation, to run Executive Briefings on Microsoft's Redmond, Washington campus and have targeted special events in key cities designed to help close business with joint prospects.
Performance Management Market a Joint Focus
Geac Performance Management is an integrated software suite that enables companies to bolster their effectiveness by tightening the linkage between business strategy formulation and operational execution, and by improving monitoring, reporting and decision-making. The suite runs on the Microsoft Platform utilizing Microsoft's business intelligence (BI) technologies. Among the Microsoft technologies Geac Performance Management leverages are: Microsoft Windows Server System(TM) integrated server software, for enterprise systems; Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server Analysis Services, for data management; and the Microsoft Office System, for popular analysis and reporting functionality. With the support of Microsoft's .NET Framework and Web services implementation, Geac's solution has the capability of interoperating across platforms and providing value to customers who are seeking to connect their existing and future investments.
"We welcome the opportunity to work even more closely with Microsoft on a technical development level, and in taking Geac Performance Management to market," Tim Wright, Geac's Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer, said. "Last year we closed significant deals together. Clearly there is tremendous opportunity for both companies to enhance customer offerings and drive revenue as we develop greater synergies under this expanded alliance and offer more robust solutions aimed squarely at a vibrant market segment."
"We see tremendous upside in the Performance Management segment and are extremely pleased to be working with Geac to provide the highest levels of developer productivity and customer value," said Mark Young, General Manager of the Platform Strategy and Partner Group at Microsoft. "By combining the strengths of Geac's products with Microsoft's technology for seamless computing through .NET and Web services, joint customers will be able to quickly and efficiently turn data into information and information into action."
The alliance between Geac and Microsoft comes at a strategic time in the Business Performance Management market. Industry research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) projects the market for Business Performance Management software will grow at a CAGR of 10.3 percent through 2007 from a base of $1.1 billion in 2003.
Geac is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Business Intelligence and for Software Products. Geac has reached the status of Gold Certified Partner by demonstrating increased levels of developer certification, products certified on the Microsoft platform, deep real-world experience, and by providing completed customer reference projects that were independently verified by Microsoft.
The Geac-Microsoft combination is already a pillar in the marketplace. "Our Geac Performance Management system built on Microsoft technology is a solution that both finance and IT agree on," said Tom Pomeroy, Corporate Planning & Reporting Manager at Andersen Corporation, the market leader in manufacturing wood windows and patio doors. "It satisfies our requirements to efficiently and effectively manage the business, while leveraging and extending our broader IT investments. The combined Geac-Microsoft team did a great job supporting our deployment. Knowing that Geac Performance Management will continue to take advantage of the latest, most advanced Microsoft technology gives us confidence that our investments in this partnership will be maximized."
Geac (TSX: GAC) is a global enterprise software company for Business Performance Management, providing customers worldwide with the core financial and operational solutions and services to improve their business performance in real time. Further information is available at http://www.geac.com/ or through e-mail at Email Contact.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current expectations. Important factors that could cause a material difference between these forward-looking statements and actual events include those set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in Geac's Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2003 filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on October 31, 2003, copies of which are available through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov/; and under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" in Geac's Management Discussion and Analysis for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2003 filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators on June 25, 2003 and available through the website maintained by the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited at http://www.sedar.com/. Geac is a registered trademark of Geac Computer Corporation Limited. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners.
CONTACT: Media Contacts: Alys Scott, Geac, (905) 940-3751,
Email Contact; Charles Spofford, Miller Consulting Group,
(617) 262-1800, Email Contact; Investor Contact: Melody Firth,
Geac, (905) 475-0525 x3325, Email Contact