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Sliedrecht, The Netherlands, (JUNE 21, 2010) — UNIT4, the world’s leading provider of change-embracing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, today introduced the world’s most protective, and versatile option for dynamic businesses looking to leverage the cost/time-saving benefits of cloud computing. Called VITA Cloud Angel™, the solution supports the Agresso Business World line of ERP software, currently installed worldwide at more than 3,000 private and public organizations.

VITA Cloud Angel gives UNIT4 a new subscription-based deployment offering for customers. It extends the low-cost “do-it-yourself” change advantages of the Agresso Business World VITA™ architecture to model. This uniquely-built architecture is uniformly acknowledged and documented, both by industry technology analysts and Agresso Business World customers, as the ERP market’s most effective technology platform for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC) ™. Via VITA Cloud Angel, Agresso Business World users now gain additional versatility for evolving requirements around hardware infrastructure, data and processing locations, industry-specific deployment needs and shared service requirements.

“We understand that no one type of cloud-based deployment solution is right for all companies,” said Ton Dobbe, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing for UNIT4. “The Agresso Business World ERP suite protects mid-market companies that reorganize and restructure more often, that acquire/merge more regularly, that are more challenged by compliance issues than other businesses and that are under greater regulatory pressures than other industries. Over the past four years, UNIT4 has established and laid claim to a category of technology buyers operating as Businesses Living IN Change. These companies have rejected the expensive, hard to change ERP solutions of the big three ERP providers, as well as other competitors who do not have the easy change capabilities of the VITA architecture.”

Recent industry surveys from CFO Research (http://www.unit4software.com/why-agresso) and IDC (http://www.unit4software.com/erpdisruption) have established that without VITA, businesses can spend millions of dollars supporting change in their organizations. The VITA platform is unrivaled in its ability to allow businesses to continuously change their data, business processes and information delivery preferences …without having to re-code software or absorb the typical IT costs necessitated by competitive offerings. More than 90% of business changes can be handled by business users, versus needing technology or systems integration/professional services executives.

The new VITA Cloud Angel solution provides rapidly deployed, turnkey solutions across four industry sectors: Professional services, non-profit/charity businesses, healthcare services and education. Each of these 80% pre-built templates are mapped to industry requirements, speeding up typical ERP deployment cycles by months or even quarters.

New 5-Part Solution Leverages Optimum Cloud Model for Dynamic Businesses
VITA Cloud Angel is designed to protect and insulate dynamic, rapidly changing companies from some of the concerns around cloud-based solutions, while offering the cost-savings of subscription-based cloud deployment:

  • No co-mingling of business-data;
  • Full knowledge of where the business data resides;
  • No restrictions on location of technology hardware infrastructure;
  • No costly migration for companies changing deployment options in the future – from on-premise to off-premise or back again;

The specific five new capabilities offered with VITA Cloud Angel include:

  1. A Virtual-Machine (VM) Environment Choice: VITA Cloud Angel offers multiple hardware deployment choices that allow businesses to migrate between on- and off-premises environments as they wish.
  2. The Perfect Private Cloud Environment: The IT operations of VITA Cloud Angel will be managed by UNIT4 Hybrid Computing Center which provides Agresso Business World customers with a single point of contact; service level agreements; a centralized provisioning/reporting center; end user IT support and telephone/e-mail and self-service portal support. Various private cloud options are available to manage/host an organization’s data.
  3. The Intel-Agent Data Privacy Protection: UNIT4 is also introducing Intel-Agent ™ Data Privacy, a unique VITA feature that provides a complete set of administrator-only controls for maximum data/application protection.
  4. A Redundant Web Backbone and Data Storage Component: The virtual, high availability of these operations enable all components within a data center to be switched within seconds in the event of a problem. Fiber-optic lines provide an additional monitoring layer to provide immediate combined fail-over and data recovery.
  5. A Shared Service Option for Industry Partners and Associates: Agresso Business World Shared Services has been deployed by over 450 private and public sector organizations around the world and is in use today by more than 77,000 active users. This option is now available via the VITA Cloud Angel deployment option. This offers economies of scale by the sharing of one application, but allows organizations to retain autonomy through their own chart of accounts and data.

Supporting quotes: Industry Analysts Address Hosted vs. Multi-Tenant Cloud Options

”Agresso Business World has proven to be an agile, flexible and scalable applications platform that easily adapts to the rapid changes of any organization,” said Albert Pang, president of APPS RUN THE WORLD. ”This new VITA Cloud Angel announcement reinforces UNIT4’s strengths in providing more deployment options especially for customers that may deem multi-tenant SaaS solutions restrictive because of their frequent need to change their system landscape due to rapid expansion and mergers and acquisitions. The UNIT4 options will give them ready access to cloud-based services that entail considerable cost savings, easy migration, and guaranteed data protection.”

Technology Evaluation Center’s Predrag Jakovljevic, principal analyst, Enterprise Applications said: “The Agresso Business World solution has been well established both in terms of product breadth and maturity, as well as the point of differentiation based on its change-centric architectural platform. Multi-tenant solutions provide advantages for some companies. Other firms (such as highly dynamic companies whose circumstances change and who are not comfortable with the traditional i.e. ‘where is my data’ model) may want something other than on-premise or multi-tenant SaaS applications. VITA Cloud Angel can be a compelling new market option especially as to its cost-saving, low-cost migration and data protection fronts.”

Addressing the changing business landscape in general Cal Braunstein, CEO and Executive Director of Research for the Robert Frances Group said: “The Agresso Business World offering has been a leading low-cost solution that provided companies with the ability to address organizational, regulatory, and tax related changes rapidly without the traditional, excessive IT expenditures. The new VITA Cloud Angel brings the Agresso BLINC model to a whole new level, which should enable a new class of users to take advantage of the features previously unavailable to them at a very reasonable price point. We agree that no one solution works for everyone. So the addition of a cloud service offering to its traditional hosted model shows the company is adapting to the changing business requirements by providing a leadership cloud solution.”

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About UNIT4
UNIT4 is a global business software and services company aimed at helping dynamic organizations to embrace change simply, quickly and cost effectively in a market sector it calls ‘Businesses Living IN Change’ (BLINC)™. The Group incorporates a number of the world’s leading change embracing software brands including Agresso Business World and CODA financial management software.

For mid-sized services intensive organizations, UNIT4 markets the Agresso Business World ERP suite that is widely acknowledged as the business software solution that delivers the lowest Total Cost of Change. This is achieved thanks to its VITA™ architecture which allows for ongoing, post-implementation changes without the typical external IT costs and services that cost firms huge sums of money each year.

CODA Financials is our award-winning suite of best-of-class financial management software designed to integrate with your industry- and company-specific applications. CODA’s LINK™ architecture sets it apart from ordinary accounting systems by providing a financial information backbone for companies with fast-changing and mixed application environments. It is a global accounting solution for mid-to large sized organizations, offering a “no compromise” approach to financial modeling, process control and application choice.

UNIT4 is a top six mid-market ERP software player globally and the 2nd largest European ERP supplier. With offices in 13 European countries, as well as 6 countries across North America, Asia Pacific and Africa and sales activities in several other countries, a revenue of €379.4 million was realized in 2009. UNIT4 is headquartered in Sliedrecht, the Netherlands. The company has 3,456 employees (31 December 2009).

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