Microsoft Procurement Glossary

  • African-American (n.)

    A United States citizen having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

    Asian-Indian (n.)

    A United States citizen whose origins are from India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh.

    Asian-Pacific (n.)

    A United States citizen whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Samoa, Guam, the United States Trust Territories of the Pacific, or the Northern Marianas.

    Black (n.)

    A United States citizen having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

    Category Manager (CM) (n.)

    A Microsoft procurement employee who manages the category of procurement at Microsoft, including the suppliers within that category of goods or services.

    e-procurement (n.)

    A system of online processes by which key procurement activities are conducted. E-procurement processes at Microsoft include MS Market, MS Invoice, MS Inquire, and direct deposit of payments to suppliers.

    Hispanic (n.)

    A United States citizen of true-born Hispanic heritage, from any of the Spanish-speaking areas of Latin America or the following regions: Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Basin only.

    HUBZone small business (n.)

    A small business located in distressed areas, designated as an "Historically Underutilized Business Zone" (HUBZone), which appears on the list of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the Small Business Administration ( A small business must meet all of the following criteria to qualify for the HUBZone program:

    • It must be located in a "historically underutilized business zone" (HUBZone).
    • It must be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens.
    • At least 35 percent of its employees must reside in a HUB Zone.
  • Microsoft Preferred Supplier Program (MPSP) (n.)

    The Microsoft Preferred Supplier Program (MPSP) was created to make it easy for Microsoft employees to work with a pre-qualified, select group of suppliers—and for suppliers such as you to work with us. It includes a series of criteria that suppliers must meet to be included (such as signing the Microsoft Preferred Supplier Program Agreement) as well as provides a range of benefits to both Microsoft suppliers and employees. Microsoft suppliers are divided into two levels-preferred suppliers (80 percent of the suppliers) and premier suppliers (20 percent of the suppliers).

    Microsoft Preferred Supplier Program Agreement (n.)

    This contract is duly executed by Microsoft and the suppliers prior to doing any work. Because it is an overarching agreement, once the supplier has signed this Agreement, no further contracts are needed for work performed (other than specific statements of work depending on the nature of the project).

    Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) (n.)

    A minority-owned business is a for-profit enterprise, regardless of size, physically located in the United States or its trust territories, which is owned, operated, and controlled by minority group members. "Minority group members" are United States citizens who are Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American. Ownership by minority individuals means the business is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by such individuals or, in the case of a publicly-owned business, at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals. Further, the management and daily operations are controlled by those minority group members.

    Minority, Women, or Veteran Business Enterprise (MWVBE) (n.)

    Each of these is a certified type of business enterprise that can be employed to meet diversity requirements. "Veteran" refers to both Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran-owned businesses. For more information, see the definitions of each type in this glossary.

    MS Inquire (n.)

    Part of the Microsoft suite of e-procurement tools, MS Inquire allows suppliers to track payment progress.

    MS Invoice (n.)

    Part of the Microsoft suite of e-procurement tools, MS Invoice enables suppliers to submit invoices or credit memos online.

    MS Market (n.)

    Part of the Microsoft suite of e-procurement tools, MS Market not only makes it easy for Microsoft employees to find appropriate MPSP suppliers, it automates project initiation and setting up purchase orders so suppliers don't have to wait for paper forms to make their way back and forth between employees.

    Native American (n.)

    A person who is an American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, or Native Hawaiian, and regarded as such by the community of which the person claims to be a part. Native Americans must be documented members of a North American tribe, band, or otherwise organized group of native people who are indigenous to the continental United States and proof can be provided through a Native American Blood Degree Certificate (that is, tribal registry letter, tribal roll register number).

    New Vendor Application (NVA) (n.)

    This is a form that Microsoft utilizes to capture information from suppliers who want to provide goods and/or services to/for Microsoft. The NVA captures suppliers IRS tax status, business classification, federal business classification profile, income tax withholding information and banking information for payment. Completion of the NVA does not guarantee that the supplier will be set up in the Microsoft Vendor Master File or will become part of the Microsoft Preferred Supplier Program.

  • preferred vendor (n.)

    The Preferred level is the basic level where the majority of MSVP vendors are grouped. To be at this level, you must meet the basic criteria:

    • Specific criteria for the category of goods or service being purchased.
    • Maintain a high level of performance (that is, quality of goods and service).
    • Sign a Microsoft Vendor Program Agreement or MSVP compliant contract.
    • Agree to 2%/10 net 60 payment terms.
    • Agree to abide by the Microsoft Vendor Program Administrative Guidelines.
    • Agree to Microsoft-wide negotiated rates.
    • Submit all invoices through MS Invoice.
    • Accept payment by direct deposit.
    • Agree to report on Minority, Women, Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran-owned Business Enterprise (MWVBE), Small Disadvantaged Businesses and HUBZone small business subcontracting semi-annually.
    • Agree to target 23 percent of subcontracting spend, where applicable, to small business enterprises, including 5 percent to Minority (including Small Disadvantaged Businesses), 5 percent to Women, 3 percent to Service-Disabled Veteran, and 3 percent to Veteran-owned businesses, and 3 percent to HUBZone small businesses.
    • Be trained on Microsoft brand strategies as well as in the use of general Microsoft procurement processes such as MS Invoice, MS Inquire, and others.

    This level makes up 80 percent of the Microsoft vendor base.

    premier vendor (n.)

    Premier vendors must meet all criteria for preferred vendors, plus they must have recommended by Category Managers (CMs) and/or Vendor Account Managers (VAMs). In addition, a premier vendor must meet three out of the following four criteria:

    • Minimum annual spend of $5 million.
    • Annual Vendor Performance Management Review and Scorecard.
    • Strategically critical to Microsoft and meets at least one of the following criteria:
      • Replacing the vendor would be difficult and would significantly impact Microsoft's business.
      • Vendor is critical to the production/shipping/marketing of a Microsoft product.
      • Vendor is critical to helping Microsoft improve its brand/image.
      • Vendor provides a service that directly touches Microsoft customers and/or partners.
      • Vendor provides key products/services to our IT infrastructure.
      • Represents a strategic alliance with Microsoft.
      • Offers preferred pricing to Microsoft.

    Premier vendors are the featured vendor by category in the e-procurement system accessed by Microsoft employees, and in some cases may be the sole supplier in a category (conversely, note that there may be categories of goods or services for which there is no vendor at the MSVP Premier vendor level). This entire level will include no more than top 20 percent of the Microsoft vendor base.

    Program Administrative Guidelines (n.)

    This adjunct to the Microsoft Vendor Program Agreement outlines the requirements Microsoft Vendor Program vendors are expected to follow, including travel policy, vendor code of conduct, pre-placement policy, and Statement of Work (SOW).

    Recognized Certifying Bodies (n.)

    These organizations certify enterprises as businesses that are owned, managed, and controlled by minorities, women, or veterans; and HUBZone business concerns. The following list includes some, but not all, major certifying agencies:

    • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
    • Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
    • California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Clearinghouse
    • U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Center for Veteran Enterprise (CVE)
    • United States Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Service Disabled Veteran-owned Business (n.)

    • A business concern
      • Not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans; and
      • The management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a service-disabled veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran.
    • Service-disabled veteran means a veteran, as defined in Article 101(2) of Title 38, United States Code, with a disability that is service connected, as defined in Article 101(16) of Title 38, United States Code

    Small business (n.)

    A business smaller than a given size as measured by its employment, business receipts, or business assets. The term "size standard" describes the numerical definition of a small business. In other words, a business is considered "small" if it meets or is below an established "size standard." The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards define whether a business entity is small and, thus, eligible for Government programs and preferences reserved for "small business" concerns. Size standards have been established for all for-profit economic activities, or industries, in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

    Small Disadvantaged Business Concern (n.)

    A small business concern that is at least 51 percent (51%) owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. This can include a publicly owned business that has at least 51 percent (51%) of its stock unconditionally owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and whose management and daily business is controlled by one or more such individuals.

    Statement of Work (SOW) (n.)

    An SOW is to be completed before work is initiated with a Microsoft Vendor Program (MSVP) vendor on any assignment. Doing so helps ensure that expectations are understood and agreed upon by all parties up front. It should include price, payment terms, delivery dates, and specifications for the work.

    supply chain (n.)

    The identification, acquisition, access, positioning, and management of resources the organization needs or potentially needs in the attainment of its strategic objectives.

    Tier 2 (n.)

    The companies doing business as sub-contractors to the prime contractor (a Microsoft vendor) for Microsoft. For example, XYZ Corporation is a Microsoft vendor. XYZ Corporation sub-contracts supplies and services in support of their contract with Microsoft to ABC Corporation. XYZ Corporation is a Tier 1 contractor and ABC Corporation is a Tier 2 contractor (or sub-contractor) to Microsoft.

    Vendor Account Manager (VAM (n.)

    The Microsoft procurement employee who is in charge of a particular vendor, helping to ensure that their relationship with Microsoft runs smoothly on both sides.

    Veteran-owned business (n.)

    A business

    • that is at least 51% unconditionally owned by one or more veterans (as defined in 38 U.S. Code 101(2)), or in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock is unconditionally owned by one or more veterans; and
    • whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more veterans.

    Women Business Enterprise (WBE) (n.)

    The criteria used by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council for defining a business as woman-owned are:

    • Fifty-one percent (51%) ownership by a woman or women.
    • Proof of effective management of the business (operating position, by-laws, hire-fire, and other decision-making roles.)
    • Control of the business as evidenced by signature role on loans, leases, and contracts.