Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Microsoft reinvents supply chain for Xbox and Surface

Steve Rogerson
November 21, 2017



To ensure supply keeps up with demand for its hottest products, Microsoft is reinventing its supply chain by teaming with SAP Ariba and Intrigo Systems to create a scalable, modern platform to support the efficient, cost-effective manufacturing of its most popular products, including the Xbox and Surface.
 
“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more,” said Ali Khaki, principal for supply chain engineering at Microsoft. “And our strategy to achieve this is to build best-in-class systems and platforms and productivity systems. When we looked at our supply chain, it was clear we needed to build a flexible, scalable platform that could support the complexity of our hardware business.”
 
And it is using SAP Ariba for direct spend to do it.
 
“The Ariba network is the backbone for Xbox and Surface line of products supply chain,” Khaki said.
 
Through the Ariba network and the cloud-based applications delivered on it – including SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration, Microsoft has created a modern platform from which it can safely and easily collaborate with multiple tiers of contract manufacturers and suppliers across key supply chain planning and execution processes, including sharing production forecasts, orders, quality and inventory information, and anticipating and resolving supply assurance problems. It also helps with onboarding suppliers.
 
Since implementing the services with Intrigo’s support, Microsoft has enabled multi-tier planning and collaboration with contract manufacturers and suppliers, and reduced the supplier commit process from three days to 30 minutes. It has also cut the time to onboard for suppliers from four months to four days.
 
“It’s a very clear and transparent process because of all the communication that happens within the SAP Ariba system itself,” Khaki said. “And it has allowed us to create a very positive user experience for everyone involved in it.”
 
On the Ariba network, buyers and suppliers from more than 2.8 million companies and 190 countries discover opportunities, collaborate on transactions and grow their relationships. Buyers can manage the entire purchasing process, while controlling spending, finding sources of savings and building a healthy supply chain. And suppliers can connect with customers and efficiently scale existing relationships, simplifying sales cycles and improving cash control along the way. The result is a dynamic, digital marketplace, where nearly $1tn in commerce gets done every year.
 
Intrigo Systems is a SAP partner and a provider of advisory, implementation and managed services.