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                      | HITACHI HOME | UP | SEARCH | HITACHI

                      News Release ^
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                      November 2, 1999

                      Hitachi and Microsoft team up to jointly develop
                      and market open workflow solutions for companies

                      								Hitachi, Ltd.
                      								Microsoft Co., Ltd.
                      
                      
                      Hitachi, Ltd. Information & Telecommunication group (President & Chief 
                      Executive Officer: Toshihiko Odaka, Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) and Microsoft 
                      Co., Ltd. (President: Makoto Naruke, Headquarters: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) today 
                      announced a cooperative effort to jointly develop, market and promote open solutions for 
                      corporate workflow management products.  Using Microsoft's new Digital Dashboard 
                      technology, Microsoft's core messaging and collaboration technologies will be integrated 
                      with Hitachi's outstanding workflow technology to provide high-value-added solutions 
                      that feature an integrated Web environment.
                      
                      The two companies will jointly develop solutions based on Hitachi's Groupmax 
                      Workflow for Exchange workflow middleware product.  A project team will start up on 
                      November 1, 1999, and both companies will jointly market and promote the products.
                      
                      In addition, Hitachi will develop an enterprise application and service solution 
                      package consisting of the workflow product, "Applications to the General Affairs 
                      Division," "Travel Expense Reimbursements," and "Purchase Orders."  The package will 
                      be released starting January 2000 through SCBANK(1), a solutions distribution 
                      organization that started up in August. 
                      
                      Under the collaborative agreement, the functionality of Hitachi's Groupmax 
                      Workflow for Exchange will be expanded, and Microsoft's new Digital Dashboard 
                      technology will be used to achieve a seamless integration between workflow operations 
                      and individual/group data management, such as e-mail.  In addition to joint development 
                      of solutions products, Hitachi and Microsoft will work together to market and promote 
                      the products through advertising, direct mail, and mutual Web site links, as well as 
                      through jointly sponsored events and seminars and jointly developed sales tools.  Hitachi 
                      will strengthen its partnership with Microsoft and also provide solutions that work with 
                      Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows(R) 2000.
                      
                      In recent years, companies have been installing groupware products, including e-
                      mail, document management systems, and workflow management systems, to use 
                      information resources more effectively and improve collaboration, and thereby increase 
                      office and management productivity.  Through connections with ERP, SFA, SCM and 
                      other existing enterprise systems, workflow systems have been attracting attention in 
                      recent years as an effective means of sharing and linking information within a company 
                      as well as between companies.
                      
                      Through its Exchange Server, which features outstanding messaging and 
                      collaboration capabilities, Microsoft has been providing the core of a system for 
                      transmitting and sharing information throughout an enterprise, and now has the lead share 
                      of this market.(2)
                      
                      Digital Dashboard, a new technology based on the capabilities of Microsoft's 
                      Office 2000 and BackOffice, features a portal function that brings together various types 
                      of information for knowledge management.  Using this functionality, "knowledge 
                      workers" are able to integrate and show the information they need to do their work.  By 
                      further promoting the use of its Digital Dashboard technology, Microsoft will provide a 
                      broader range of solutions.
                      
                      Hitachi introduced its Groupmax Workflow product in 1995 as a comprehensive 
                      solution for organizing a company's various processing operations into a workflow 
                      system.  More than 1,000 companies use the product, which is regarded as a leading 
                      workflow management solution.  Groupmax Workflow supports the specification 
                      standards set by the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC), the international 
                      standardization organization for workflow technology.  Hitachi is the co-chair of the 
                      WfMC and the Japan representative, and works together with member companies to help 
                      the Object Management Group, a distributed object standards organization, set workflow 
                      specification standards.
                      
                      The joint effort between Hitachi and Microsoft to develop open solutions using 
                      Microsoft's Digital Dashboard technology will allow users to easily build outstanding 
                      workflow systems that meet industry standards.
                      
                      
                      
                      Note:
                      (1) With the goal of providing users with the best solution, SCBANK provides for
                          strengthened development and  sales partnerships among Hitachi group companies,
                          IHVs, ISVs, and independent channels, and for joint development, registration,
                          and sales of solutions.
                      (2) The number of Microsoft Exchange Server licenses sold in the first half of 1999
                          exceeded that for Lotus Notes by over 673,000.  See Microsoft Co., Ltd. August 23,
                          1999 press release: 
                          http://www.asia.microsoft.com/japan/presspass/releases/0823exc.htm.
                      
                      For more information, press only:
                      Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Hitachi, Ltd.	Tel: 03-3258-1111
                      PR Group, Corporate Marketing Division, Microsoft Co., Ltd.	Tel: 03-4523-3210
                      


                      WRITTEN BY Secretary's Office
                      All Rights Reserved, Copyright (C) 1999, Hitachi, Ltd.

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