Photo of Jose Luis Marti and Neil Doyle, Microsoft.
Microsoft’s traditional business has largely been with big original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Dell and HP. With the emergence of cloud solutions, their business model is changing necessitating the onboarding of thousands of distributors and resellers across 180+ countries. Project Apollo, leverages the leading credit intelligence agencies, D&B and Experian, plus their BPO partner Accenture, to deliver a solution to support the company’s cloud business growth ambitions.
Jose Luis Marti
Director, WW Online Credit Services
Senior Credit Manager
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
Microsoft’s Worldwide Online Credit Services (WOCS) – one of two separate credit services teams – is comprised of almost 300 people (about 290 Vendors and 14 full-time employees) stationed in the US, Argentina, Ireland, Singapore, India, Philippines, China and the UK, covering a 24 hours a day, five days a week service offering.
WOCS sits under treasury and safeguards Microsoft’s vast accounts receivable (AR) assets. With the announcement of a new CEO in February 2014, and respective changes in the company strategy (known as ‘One Microsoft’), WOCS had to adjust in line with the continuing evolution of the company’s ambition.
Microsoft’s traditional business has largely been with OEMs, such as Dell and HP, system integration partners, and retailers. With the emergence of cloud solutions like Office 365 and Azure, Microsoft is now experiencing dramatic growth in direct business with countless smaller entities.
To drive the growth of this business WOCS has made some significant engineering changes to allow for the on-boarding of thousands of distributors and resellers across 180 countries and territories, under the heading of cloud service providers (CSP).
Neil Doyle, WOCS Credit Manager, explains: “The forecasted volumes for new CSP partners is aggressive (it has seen 1,200% revenue growth in the last six months) and the challenge is to enable growth in the business whilst managing the increased volume of work that is required for each onboarded CSP partner, and ensuring Microsoft keeps bad debt risk at a minimum.”
Apollo is the name of the project that was undertaken to look at how Microsoft will grow its cloud business by rapidly enabling CSPs across the globe.
The solution that is in place is a direct link between Microsoft’s online portal and the portals for both Dun & Bradstreet and Experian. Microsoft is using the data from the credit agencies and has developed its own risk algorithms to work alongside. “We are currently in negotiation with two other agencies to ensure we have the best coverage in the Middle East, Africa and Asia,” says Doyle.