Aspen Technology Selects Process Manufacturing Solution

June 1, 2003
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., and REDMOND, Wash. -- June 4, 2003 -- Aspen Technology Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced that AspenTech will use Microsoft technologies

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., and REDMOND, Wash. -- June 4, 2003 -- Aspen Technology Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced that AspenTech will use Microsoft® technologies to develop and deliver enterprise-level solutions to help process manufacturers connect, automate and better manage their complex manufacturing and supply-chain operations. The two companies also have agreed to jointly market and provide sales support to the AspenTech solutions that are optimized to run on the Microsoft platform.

AspenTech will use Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET 2003, Microsoft's latest version of its rapid application development environment, and the C# programming language to develop its process manufacturing solutions. In addition, AspenTech's solutions will be designed to take advantage of Microsoft SQL Server (TM) 2000 and Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003. By using Microsoft tools and technology, AspenTech anticipates a 20 percent to 30 percent development productivity gain, resulting in faster time to market for its solutions. AspenTech also anticipates an increase in its ability to provide more reliable, scalable and secure solutions to its process-industry customers.

"We are building with Microsoft technologies because they have gained the most momentum in our customer base and they provide us with the flexibility we need to deliver enterprisewide solutions," said Steve Pringle, senior vice president of the manufacturing and supply chain division at AspenTech. "Developing our software products with Microsoft technologies provides us with the cost and quality benefits of a modern, component-based platform, while enabling us to address many of the technology issues that are of concern to our customers. Our significant installed base of customers wants high-value product enhancements, which we feel we can easily provide through working with Microsoft."

Other benefits AspenTech anticipates from developing and delivering solutions with Microsoft technologies include these:

* Increased reliability and robustness, lowering IT management costs and increasing system uptime
* Increased security, which Microsoft built as a fundamental component of Windows Server 2003 and Visual Studio .NET 2003
* The ability to more easily replicate successful solutions across different parts of a company's operations
* A greater ability to deliver solutions that can work with and take advantage of legacy systems, lowering acquisition cost and speeding time to benefit
* The increased ability for its service organization to more easily and quickly customize solutions for specific customer needs

AspenTech develops and delivers integrated solutions for Enterprise Operations Management (EOM), which enable companies to optimize their core engineering, manufacturing and supply-chain business processes. The solutions are designed to help customers establish real-time management systems across the entire enterprise, allowing them to dynamically optimize operations, even in fast-moving and challenging business environments.

"Major process manufacturers are facing significant operational and business challenges," said Charles Johnson, managing director of Manufacturing Industry Solutions at Microsoft. "Historically, companies have tried to optimize their operations at a plant- or business-unit level, often at the expense of overall corporate profitability. By adopting a new generation of enterprise-level manufacturing and supply-chain software solutions, they could achieve substantial efficiencies and cost savings. We believe that by utilizing Microsoft technologies, AspenTech will be uniquely qualified to address this pressing need for process-industry customers."

The AspenTech and Microsoft relationship also will complement the work being done by Accenture and AspenTech. AspenTech plans to use Microsoft's tools and technologies as part of its previously announced alliance with Accenture to develop and implement a new wave of enterprise solutions for the chemical and petroleum-refining industries. Included in this development effort will be the construction of the Aspen Enterprise PlatformTM (AEP), AspenTech's integration infrastructure for process industry operations. AEP will be developed using Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the C# programming language, and also will be able to take advantage of Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003 and Visual Studio .NET 2003 both were launched in late April. Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. The new system unites platform services, XML Web services and the Microsoft .NET Framework, which is an expressive programming model. SQL Server 2000 is a complete database and analysis offering for rapidly delivering the next generation of scalable e-commerce, line-of-business and data-warehousing solutions.

Together, Visual Studio .NET 2003, the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 and Windows Server 2003 provide developers with a robust, dependable application platform on which to build and deploy powerful, connected applications.