The package, available Monday as a free download for Office 2003 customers enrolled in Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing program, is part of thethat the company announced shortly before the .
Under that program, Microsoft will work with partners to combine Office applications with additional software and services aimed at specific business tasks. Planned packages include tools for creating financial reports and administering compliance projects for new Sarbanes-Oxley Act accounting rules.
The packages tap into new XML (Extensible Markup Language) capabilities in Office that let applications directly access Web services and corporate data. Microsoft iswith a range of technology companies to exploit such capabilities.
The new Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals includes templates and tools to help sales professionals create proposals, including guidelines for building services that cull data from corporate databases to ensure that proposals reflect the latest facts and figures.
"It helps the sales teams to automate part of the proposal development process," said Ingo Friedrichowitz,
Get Up to Speed on...
Get the latest headlines and
company-specific news in our
expanded GUTS section.
The package also taps into Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server collaboration software to save proposals in a central location that can be accessed by all members of a sales team.
"It's focused on solving a very specific business problem sales professionals have, so they can write proposals in a faster way and spend more time with clients," Friedrichowitz said.