Microsoft Office Accelerators

By Deane Barker on September 22, 2003

Office hunts for new niches: This is an interesting trend for Microsoft, and one we’ve written about before. It involves add-ons that customize a product for a certain vertical.

The first seven products from the Accelerator Program will focus on specific business segments and tasks: sales proposals, personnel recruiting, quality-management projects for Six Sigma (an efficiency theory made popular by General Electric), financial reports, compliance projects for new Sarbanes-Oxley Act accounting rules, business scorecards and financial scenarios.

When I was working with Documentum, they had the same thing. You could buy an add-on for their document management server that would instantly turn it into a framework for managing documentation related to getting FDA approval for new drugs. They’d obviously spent a lot of time with domain experts learning exactly how that process worked, and the system probably knew more about it than you did.



  1. The concept sounds similar to the plug-ins that Adobe & others (Illustrator, Photoshop, Freehand, QuarkXPress, InDesign, etc…) use to add features to a core application. Kinda like being able to add tools to your pocket knife.

    If MS is smart they’ll make the standards available to third-party developers (but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that.)

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