From the outset, Microsoft and Accenture implemented several best practices for success in strategic relationships. They included a gain-sharing performance incentives to keep their interests aligned and established performance-based milestones. Microsoft also made sure Accenture had enough funding to make the right decisions to keep the partnership successful.
Although trust grows over time and successful outsourcing alliances evolve to become even more beneficial for both parties, the true foundation for success lies in the hands of buyers when they begin seeking a services provider. That spot in time when a buyer determines its objectives (the outcomes it wants to pay a provider to produce) and then matches its provider selection criteria to those aims is crucial to outsourcing success. Microsoft definitely demonstrated how to do it when it selected VMC Consulting for testing and other IT support services for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.
Believe it or not, before the launch of Windows 95, the ledgers of Microsoft’s European entity, based in Ireland, looked dreadful. Mark Creighton, EMEA Credit and Collections Manager for Microsoft European Operations Centre, says the company decided to bring someone on board to clean it up before the launch of the new Windows product. French & Associates knocked on the door at just that time and was given the task. Their fee was based on a percentage of what they managed to collect, and Creighton (who was at that time part of the French team) recalls that it was far more successful than we ever had imagined.