Contracting with Microsoft
Published: April 8, 2013 | Updated: March 6, 2015
In the last several years, procurement processes at Microsoft have become more and more streamlined. This means we can put the focus on what is most important—choosing qualified vendors/suppliers and developing relationships with them that enable us all to grow toward our potential. A transition from using the term “vendor” to “supplier” is underway; accordingly you can expect to see both terms used interchangeably.
Standard agreements and tools save everybody time and concern.
The Master Supplier Services Agreement, the Supplier Code of Conduct, and the Microsoft Supplier Guidelines are the key documents and policies central to contracting with Microsoft.
The Master Supplier Services Agreement (MSSA)
If such a contract is required by Microsoft, this contract must be executed by Microsoft and the supplier prior to doing any work. Because it is an overarching agreement, once the supplier has signed this Agreement, only business specific statements of work or purchase orders are needed. Having a uniform agreement in place helps ensure that Microsoft can consistently rely on certain aspects of its relationships with suppliers without discussion or concern, which frees both parties up for more critical activities—like completing the work! The MSSA outlines, in addition to other things, the following:
- Standard payment terms, which include 2% 10/Net 60.
- Tier X reporting, which helps Microsoft ensure that suppliers at all levels are doing everything they can to ensure as much diversity as possible within the supply chain.
Supplier Code of Conduct
Because Microsoft is committed to promoting a positive work environment, we expect our suppliers and their employees, agents, and subcontractors to adhere to the same standards of conduct and behavior that we expect from our own employees while they are on Microsoft property or doing business with Microsoft. This code of conduct is part of the supplier contract with Microsoft and is intended to assist suppliers in functioning smoothly and efficiently while performing work for Microsoft.
The Microsoft Supplier Guidelines
The Microsoft Supplier Guidelines, an adjunct to the Master Supplier Services Agreement, outlines the requirements suppliers are expected to follow, including
- Microsoft travel policy. Required for all reimbursable travel, the supplier travel policy is consistent with employee travel policy and enables the supplier to take advantage of the Microsoft travel program and associated negotiated pricing.
- Pre-placement policy. Required of all contingent staffing agencies and other suppliers with employees who will be accessing Microsoft facilities or networks, this is a basic background check process that helps ensure the safety and security of Microsoft physical and electronic assets as well as all other individuals working for Microsoft.
- Statement of Work (SOW) parameters. A SOW helps ensure that expectations are understood and agreed upon by all parties up front. Each SOW should include price, delivery dates, and specifications for the work. Legal term should not be included in a SOW.