Today we are featuring a guest blog post from Tony Scott, our CIO at Microsoft. 




One of the best things about being the CIO at Microsoft is helping the company develop great products for our customers.  The Microsoft IT organization is Microsoft’s first and best customer.  We take pre-release versions of our products and rigorously test them in our enterprise to make certain they are rock-solid for our customers. Internally, we call this process “eating our own dog-food.”

Microsoft IT begins the “dog-food” process by collaborating with our product teams at the start of the product development cycle, during the design phase for a new release or a new product. That close collaboration continues every step of the way—from the first iteration of code that is built all the way to the point where we deploy these products enterprise wide at Microsoft.

By working closely with our product teams, we stress test our products and services in a wide variety of enterprise situations, across many different devices, and in global user scenarios similar to customer usage. In particular, Microsoft IT tests for manageability, availability, and ease of support and upgrade. We also test for tools and technology integration. Based on our “dog-food” efforts, we are able to validate productivity gains, recommend additional product features, and demonstrate support costs. Microsoft IT partners with the product teams to co-develop innovations that enhance business productivity. Finally, we publish our experiences with most of the products to Microsoft IT Showcase so our customers can learn through our experiences.

Microsoft IT takes its role of being the first customer very seriously. To that end, we file more enhancement requests and bug reports than all of Microsoft’s other customers combined. It’s all about creating a better user experience for you, our customers.

It’s exciting to partner with our product teams to create and test new innovations. Being Microsoft’s first and best customer gives us deep insight into the customer experience in all phases of our product cycle, from installation to management to productivity.  For me, ultimately that’s what it’s all about.