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Developing and launching new and innovative products requires a lot of discipline, enterprise, research and innovation, all together! The Microsoft India Development Centre has mastered the art of combining these ingredients to perfection!
Every day, we say, ‘How can we keep this customer happy? How can we get ahead in innovation by doing this, because if we don’t, somebody else will.”
These words of Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, are reflective of the passion and drive that have led to several customer-focused research-led product innovation breakthroughs. At every research arm of MS or any of its product development centres, the same urge to innovate seems to be pervasive, across the board.
The Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC)—one of Microsoft’s largest product development centres outside its headquarters in Redmond—also exudes the same passion for innovation. Set up at Hyderabad in 1998, MSIDC conducts product-specific, market, customer and technology research.
“The vision behind its inception was to establish a facility that could innovate from India, to drive global business growth and empower the next billion customers in emerging markets,” shares Srini Koppolu, corporate vice president and managing director, Microsoft India Development Centre.
But why did Microsoft turn to India to set up this facility? Koppolu explains: “The decision to set up MSIDC was a big bet for Microsoft, whose R&D efforts were extremely Redmond-centric at that time. In the early years of MSIDC (1998-2002), the main emphasis was on building Microsoft-quality product development expertise outside Redmond. But, to our delight, MSIDC has matured into an international standard product development facility, by successfully marrying Microsoft’s R&D practices with India’s unique culture, thereby defining several best practices around global development for Microsoft.”
An organisation that was set up with a mere 20 people and two products, has in the last 10 years grown to over 1500 employees, who are successfully driving the end-to-end engineering of several Microsoft products, features and technologies that serve billions of customers across the world. The innovative work done by the teams at MSIDC has resulted in the filing of 220 patents by Microsoft in the last four years, shares Koppolu.
There are a few broad product development strategies that Microsoft has set for its product development centres, a blend of which has been adopted by MSIDC. Koppolu reveals, “Microsoft follows two models—global shared development or the collaborative development model, where development centres across the world contribute to the specific features/technologies of a product, and the combined work of all teams results in a world class product. In the second model, the end-to-end engineering responsibility of a complete product is given to a specific development centre.”