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NSB Group Recognized for Microsoft Gold Certified Partnership Achievement

NSB Group Recognized for Microsoft Gold Certified Partnership Achievement

MONTREAL, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- NSB Group has met the stringent criteria of Microsoft's Gold Certification Program achieving Microsoft(R) Gold Certified Partner status for the ISV/Software Solutions core competency. This highest level of collaboration is offered to a select few vendors, and represents NSB's demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and proven ability to meet its customers' needs.

"We were ahead of the curve in 2001 when we first announced our commitment to Microsoft .NET as our strategic platform," said David Henning, NSB's Senior Vice President of Marketing. "Since then, we've been first to market with a fully .NET Store Solution (2002), and we continue to architect the entire Connected Retailer(R) enterprise suite of solutions with .NET. In concrete terms, this Gold Certified Partner certification with Microsoft gives us an exclusive seat at the table for early involvement in the evaluation of new products and technologies (such as Windows Embedded for Point of Service and the next version of the Windows operating system, code-named 'Longhorn'), and priority access to a support team of Microsoft-certified systems engineers."

NSB and Microsoft alliance nets concrete benefits for NSB clients

A repeated Microsoft Retail Application Development (RAD) winner for its Store, Merchandising, CRM, and Sales Audit solutions, NSB has helped bring the benefits of Microsoft .NET technology to many leading retailers, including The Orvis Company. "With a certified .NET POS platform in place, we are now positioned to incorporate true multichannel retailing practices into our business by leveraging Web service assets in the store, on our website, and in our call centers," says Mark Holmes, Vice President of Information Services for Orvis, the premier outfitter of distinctive country lifestyle and sporting traditions since 1856. "I feel like we are poised to jump out ahead of our competitors, and implement the capabilities that everyone's talking about."

Other clients deploying NSB's .NET solutions to connect information, devices, and people in a unified, personalized way include Donna Karan, JCPenney, Lamps Plus, Mothercare, Reitmans, Chico's, and Wynn Resorts.

Successful alliance grows even stronger in 2005

Over the years, Microsoft has helped NSB deliver robust, scalable solutions to the retail vertical marketplace. "With Microsoft as an NSB Group industry partner, we've lowered our total cost of ownership, experienced benefits in application development productivity, and achieved a higher level of interoperability," says Glenn Kerrick, NSB's Senior Vice President of Development. "We are working with Microsoft to meet the diverse requirements of our retail clients and deliver cost-effective licensing schemes in a competitive market."

In 2005, NSB will continue to focus on migrating and extending new modules to the Microsoft .NET platform. NSB's existing software architecture is built on a Microsoft-sponsored and approved .NET service-oriented architecture. NSB has also been working closely with Microsoft to leverage a number of its next- generation products and technologies, including Windows Embedded for Point of Service; Longhorn; Microsoft's next-generation Web-services technology, code name "Indigo"; and Microsoft's unified graphics-presentation subsystem for Windows, code name "Avalon."

- Windows Embedded for Point of Service provides a standardized POS operating system platform, extends the UPOS standard, and provides true plug-and-play functionality for retail devices. Connected Retailer Store software is currently being verified to run on the new Windows Embedded for Point of Service operating system designed specifically for retail. - Indigo will provide new capabilities to the middleware components of our architecture, including secure, transactional Web services, and an advanced platform for integration. - Avalon provides a next-generation suite of user-interface capabilities that will build upon and extend the smart client interfaces that NSB Store software has been using for years.

"NSB is an important industry partner in the retail space and has shown vision and leadership in developing and delivering high-value enterprise-level solutions built with Microsoft .NET," said Brian Scott, Vice President of Microsoft's Retail & Hospitality Industry Solutions Unit. "As further evidence of NSB's commitment to Microsoft Smarter Retailing, it continues to enhance its retail offerings, becoming one of the first retail software companies to embrace the new retail-hardened Windows Embedded for Point of Service operating system. We will continue to work with NSB to reduce IT complexity and drive cost savings for retailers via technology."

Microsoft offers Gold Certified Partner status to NSB

"Retailers are looking for partner companies that can bridge the gap between their business demands and technology capabilities. They need to trust in someone that can act as an expert advisor for their long-term strategic technology plans. Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, which have certified expertise and direct training and support from Microsoft, can build a positive customer experience with our technologies," said Janet Kennedy, managing director for Microsoft's Retail & Hospitality Industry Solutions Unit. Microsoft recognizes NSB as a new Microsoft Certified Partner for demonstrating its ability to serve its customers and help drive their business success."

NSB is exhibiting this week at the Retail Systems trade show in Chicago, booth 102. The Windows Embedded for Point of Service solution is also being showcased in the Microsoft booth, #602.

About Smarter Retailing

Microsoft Smarter Retailing helps retailers win today by leveraging current investments, and win tomorrow by easing delivery of new retail experiences. Consisting of Smarter Shopping, Smarter Selling, and Smarter Operations, the Smarter Retailing Initiative is designed to close the loop between the retailer's strategy, the in-store execution, and familiar technologies already in the consumer's hands. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/smartretail .

About the Microsoft Partner Program

The goal of the Microsoft Partner Program is to better align with each partner's business focus, recognize the complete impact of partners' relationships with customers, and provide partners with increased value for the investments they have made in Microsoft. Through the Partner Points and Microsoft Solution Competencies, partners can realize a deeper relationship with Microsoft that will empower them to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

About NSB Group

NSB Group is a total solutions provider for retailers of apparel, footwear, and specialty merchandise. In addition to one-stop shopping for feature-rich products to enhance all key areas of the retail enterprise, we offer hardware and comprehensive client services - from consulting and development to implementation and 24/7 support.

NSB's acclaimed Connected Retailer(R) suite includes retail planning, merchandising, sourcing and product development, CRM, sales analytics, store operations, and POS. Backed by more than 30 years of success, we work as partners with our clients to map clear paths from where they are to where they'd like to be, and we equip them to get there. For more information about the NSB Group and the Connected Retailer(R), visit our website at http://www.nsbgroup.com/ .

Connected Retailer, NSB, NSB logos, and certain other marks are trademarks or service marks of NSB Retail Solutions Inc. or another NSB company. All other trademarks are owned by their respective companies.

For more information

Candice DeLuca, Public Relations Manager, 400 Venture Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035 (USA). Email: [email protected]. Phone: (614) 840-1448. Fax: (514) 426-0824.

Tracy Fairchild, Director of Marketing, 2800 Trans-Canada Highway, Pointe-Claire, Quebec H9R 1B1 (Canada). Email: [email protected]. Phone: (514) 426-0822. Fax: (514) 426-0824.

NSB Group

CONTACT: USA, Candice DeLuca, Public Relations Manager, +1-614-840-1448,
or fax, +1-514-426-0824, or [email protected] , or Canada, Tracy Fairchild,
Director of Marketing, +1-514-426-0822, or fax, +1-514-426-0824, or
[email protected]

Web site: http://www.nsbgroup.com/

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