UPDATED 12:01 EDT / APRIL 07 2022


Microsoft uses data to overcome COVID-19 supply chain disruptions

The pandemic sent the global economy into a frenzy. Companies needed to evolve quickly.

Microsoft depends on its consumer product supply chains to do business. So when the pandemic hit and the subsequent disruptions hit businesses around the world, the company had to move fast.

“Data is the key, and I have a philosophy which is around managing your business by facts and figures,” said Jonathan Allen (pictured, right), director of global network modeling, design and planning at Microsoft. “It’s about how we take our physical supply chain and digitize it in a way that you do have a digital mapping and duplication of what’s happening physically in a digital way across the supply chain.”

Allen and Cassie Wang (pictured, left), senior global network model and design engineer at Microsoft, spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Lisa Martin during the Coupa Inspire event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed Microsoft’s approach to revitalize its supply chain and how Coupa Software Inc. helped. (* Disclosure below.)

How Coupa fits into the equation

While most of Microsoft’s fame comes from the software side of its business, the company also offers a slew of hardware products to its global market: mainly within its Xbox and Surface product ecosystems. With a complex supply chain spanning distributors, retailers and direct-to-consumer sales, the company had to devise an efficient network that can accommodate all of its products, customers, delivery channels, and seasonal demand changes, according to Allen.

Microsoft has never been shy about looking to outside tools to help improve its customer service delivery. And the company leaned on Coupa’s product suite to better digitize its supply chain and make mission-critical data more actionable.

“The main stuff that we’re leveraging from Coupa is the Data Guru and also the Supply Chain Guru. So Data Guru has really enabled us to have the people who do not have an intensive data manipulation background. They can use it, very straightforwardly to, work on the data,” Wang explained.

Moving into the future, Microsoft plans to balance its goals of focusing on both sustainability and technology, which is a company priority over the next decade, according to Wang.

“How do we leverage the the applications, the tools, the cutting-edge technologies for us to achieve a sweet balance between sustainability and technology, supply chain?” she concluded.

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Coupa Inspire event.

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Coupa Inspire event. Neither Coupa Software Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.

One click below supports our mission to provide free, deep, and relevant content.  

Join our community on YouTube

Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, and many more luminaries and experts.

“TheCUBE is an important partner to the industry. You guys really are a part of our events and we really appreciate you coming and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy