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Olympic Software Takes First Microsoft Gold

Auckland, New Zealand - Wednesday, 7 February 2001 - Olympic Software NZ Ltd, a New Zealand software engineering company, is the first company in Australasia to attain the status of Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

The Microsoft Gold Partner Certification, introduced on January 1st 2001, certifies that a Microsoft Partner has met the rigorous certification requirements and demonstrated actual expertise in an IT solutions area by submitting customer reference sites for review.

Olympic Software, which has a staff of 80 and has offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, specialises in providing business solutions for New Zealand organisations, with a focus on developing e-commerce solutions. The company attained the Gold Certification ahead of 800 other Microsoft Certified Partners throughout Australia and New Zealand.

"We have been developing and supporting Microsoft products for many years and becoming a Gold Certified Partner is recognition of our knowledge and development skills in building e-commerce solutions for our clients," says Malcolm Bramley, Technical Services Manager.

To attain gold certification, Olympic Software had to submit three e-commerce projects for review: Woolworths Online Shopping ( ); Baxter Healthcare Ltd, a pharmaceutical business-to-business supplies site; and Protector Safety Supply Services( ), an Internet site for the supply of safety goods.

For each of these sites, Olympic addressed a different e-commerce challenge, ranging from user and transaction volumes through to smart search engines.

"Olympic's work has had a direct impact on our business because with their search engine is helping us deliver on our promise of convenience - in some instances cutting a search from 30 to 2 seconds," said Richard Harrison, Woolworths Online Shopping's electronic commerce manager.

"Olympic Software's achievement is impressive considering the stringent requirements to attain Gold Certification. We expect only about 20 New Zealand companies will attain Gold Certification through the various categories," said Alex Morcom, Microsoft New Zealand's Manager of Channel and Business Groups.

On January 1st 2001 Microsoft changed the partner certification programme by introducing two levels: Certified Partners and Gold Certified Partners. Under the Microsoft Certified Partner programme, partners receive significant technical and business development resources to support the deployment and development of their Microsoft solutions as well as client referrals. Further, the new programme recognises specific areas of specialisation with Microsoft Gold Certified Partners for e-commerce, hosting and application services, enterprise systems and support systems.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

About Olympic Software Olympic Software is a privately owned New Zealand company. Established ten years ago, it has been a Microsoft Solution Provider for the past seven years. Olympic Software is also a Solution Partner of Great Plains. Great Plains has been recently purchased by Microsoft.

Microsoft and Windows 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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