Final Paper due Wednesday

3

Operations Management Applied to Microsoft

Sharif Alexander, Dimitri Raimonde, Johanna Fernandez

INFO 301-01

Dr. Mahmoud Elhussini

Abstract

In this paper, you will find the history, opportunities, weaknesses, etc., about the multi-million dollar corporation Microsoft. We, as a group, conducted this paper to help get a better understanding of the company and software of Microsoft Office which is used by millions of people nationwide and worldwide as well.

Introduction

Thanks to a great man named Bill Gates, he originated the beautiful software, Microsoft. The company Microsoft is a billion-dollar company and is known all over the world its also was created around the year 1975. The most famous software that everyone uses from Microsoft is Microsoft Windows. Windows lets you type documents, make powerpoints and has the capability to complete many more operations. Microsoft Windows is very important because people use it in school and we need this software because it changed the way people work now. The SWOT Analysis talks about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a business, all of which are very important. The strengths would be the advantages in a business and the operations in the business. Weaknesses could be all the areas in a business that needs improvement to become strength. Opportunities could be how a organization can benefit from each other such as new markets or legal changes in a business. Threats could be the shrinking in the business or all the risks to the company itself. If you apply these methods to Microsoft, you could make Microsoft an even more powerful company.

Literature review

When reading Ferguson, Edward. “Microsoft Corporation SWOT Analysis & Recommendations.” , he talks alot about Microsoft and how the SWOT analysis could help the company develop long term growth. This is because when you use the SWOT analysis and put it into the company, it will look into “the importance of unique product innovation, cyber security, and business diversification” (Ferguson, Edward). In the article Edward believes the strengths of the company include “Dominant brand image, Product alignment with positive externalities and strong alliances with other firms”. (Ferguson, Edward) The weakness he says include “Vulnerability to cybercrime, Imitability of some products and Lack of dominant computer hardware products” (Ferguson, Edward). He thinks the opportunities are “Business diversification, Innovation for computer hardware products and Stronger security against cybercrime”. (Ferguson, Edward) Finally he thinks the threats are “Cybercrime, Piracy and Strong competitive rivalry” (Ferguson, Edward). Edward makes a lot of sense when he explains his ideas using a SWOT analysis for Microsoft and we all agree to his ideas.

Another author that talks about the SWOT analysis applied to Microsoft will be Dudovskiy , John, article “Microsoft SWOT Analysis”. John believes the strengths of the company include “the company have a wide range of cloud-based computing services that include Bing, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, Xbox Live, and Yammer”.(Dudovskiy, John) He says the weakness are “Microsoft has lagged behind of its major competitors such as Apple and Samsung in terms of introducing innovative products and services and adding innovative features and capabilities to its current portfolio of products and services”.(Dudovskiy, John). John thinks the opportunities are “the enhancing security against cybercrime and he thinks the threats are Anti-monopoly and other lawsuits”. (Dudovskiy , John). We understand what John is talking about and we do agree to his terms.

Findings

Our findings of the SWOT analysis applied to Microsoft will be first, the Strength in a corporation setting is extremely important when it comes to building and maintaining a strong name for your brand. If a business loses its strengths or fails to find any that would help the company grow, it is likely doomed to fail. Microsoft’s strengths include core business operations that are difficult to find in other tech companies. The brand Microsoft has created for itself over the past 44 years is incredibly difficult to match except in very few instances which will become a huge factor in this analysis later. When someone hears the name “Microsoft” what do most people think of? To name just a few, there would be many repeated answers such as trustworthy, high-quality, highly advanced and incredible customer satisfaction. All of these qualities are extremely desirable when creating a brand image and since the birth of the company, Microsoft has worked relentlessly to make sure they stay at the high standard they are held at. The Microsoft company has also formed extremely strong bonds with other firms and smaller companies to help both brands succeed. For example, Microsoft often works with smaller firms who create some sort of computer software and with Microsoft’s help and finances, they make it very Windows-friendly. If a firm created a computer software that was not compatible with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft’s customers would probably not buy that firm’s products. Likewise, the smaller firm’s customer base would probably not buy Microsoft products unless they had another reason to do so. By working together, both companies see extreme growth in revenue which helps enhance their brand image. Since Microsoft is an extremely profitable and trustworthy corporation, creating good standing and partnerships with Microsoft is highly desirable for smaller firms wishing to take the next step in their company’s growth. Some companies that have a partnership with Microsoft include HP and Dell incorporated.

Weakness

Even though Microsoft is an extremely popular and successful company, there are of course some weaknesses that the company struggles with; no matter how successful a company is, there will always be some sort of weakness. In the same article that was mentioned above in regards to Edward Ferguson, for Microsoft specifically, they seem to struggle with three main issues – those three issues being imitability of some products, lack of dominant computer hardware products, and lastly vulnerability to cybercrime (Ferguson, Edward). One of the first main weaknesses that we found was that Microsoft’s operating system continues to remain a target of numerous attacks via cybercrime and unfortunately this has become a global issue; this essentially becomes a major weakness for the company because it sets a limit of the likeliness and attractiveness of their products. On the other hand, the limitability can become somewhat of a weakness for Microsoft for the sole purpose that it can easily dwindle the strength and effectiveness of the Microsoft brand. By outlining their strengths and weaknesses, Microsoft needs to make sure that they continue to improve and revamp product features and enhance its development to establish competitiveness.

Opportunities

Opportunities is how a organization can benefit from each and With microsoft having software for you to type and having a gaming console, it make this company even stronger and it give the customer and the company different opportunities to do different things with the company. The Xbox is own my microsoft and the gaming console is one of the best selling console in the word. With microsoft having a game console and having word documents, it makes the company really strong and hard to compete with. The one gaming console that is trying to compete with this console is Playstation which is own by sony. Sony is a great company and they have different opportunities when you look at the business Operations but microsoft is better. Microsoft is more of a board company and their opportunities of them having PowerPoint and a great Gaming console make this one of the best companies in the word.

Threats

There are numerous threats to every company throughout the world, but corporations specializing in technology, such as Microsoft, are at an even greater risk. Microsoft and other corporations specializing in technology are at an increased risk for many threats such as hacking, piracy and competitive risk as technology has been on the rise since the birth of it. Hackers are getting more and more advanced and better at what they do every year which makes it a nightmare for businesses who keep nearly all of their information and assets online. All it takes is one intelligent hacker to break through a company’s firewalls and cyber protections and an entire multibillion-dollar corporation can be crippled overnight. Companies are constantly being battered by these hackers every week and sometimes they get all too close. People all over the world know friends who have had their social media accounts hacked and shut down without a moment’s notice. Who’s to say they can’t do the same for a computer software corporation? Piracy has been a gigantic issue over the course of a few decades, just like hacking has been. Corporations and their teams have worked countless hours to create the software, hardware and other technology we have today and there are many people out there copying their work without putting in any of the same effort. This illegal copying of technology has stolen millions of dollars from deserving companies and there is often no way to track these “pirates”. Even if someone does not illegally copy the software or other technology, just the distribution of these copies can land some in jail for many years. Corporations need to keep all analytical information on secure lockdown so that no hacker and pirate can steal from the company’s database. Finally, just like all other corporations, Microsoft has many competitors that make it difficult to access all possible sales and other forms of revenue. Microsoft’s main competitors include Apple, Google and a few others. Apple and Google are extremely well-off companies who are just as incredible in many of the strengths spoken about earlier in this analysis. However, Microsoft has been near the top of the technology world for decades now, so it is hard to say that its unbelievable standing is going anywhere anytime soon.

Operations

Since Microsoft is a highly technology-driven corporation it is only common sense that they would have a ton of automated procedures to make sure that nearly everything is in pristine condition and in working order. Automated procedures make up a huge portion of numerous companies’ daily operations, and Microsoft is no exception. For example, Microsoft uses automated operations to locate, fix and prevent security breaches. These automated precautionary measures look at thousands of security every single day and narrows them down to about a hundred that need high levels of attention. From those narrowed down cases, the system determines which cases must be looked at by real employees. Automated emails, filling out paychecks and much more is carried out by automated operations. Tasks like those are ones that don’t determine how much revenue is being made corporate-wide which makes them perfect for automation. Business operations that are carried out by automation are highly useful and can save a business money, time, frustration and much more. Other operations that are not always automated include, but are not limited to production design, production manufacturing, and customer service. Having an incredible customer service representative team is crucial for creating and maintaining happy customers. Without happy customers, a business can and will tank very quickly. Providing great customer service is part of Microsoft’s daily operations that makes it the successful corporation it is.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clear that even though Microsoft Office has had its ups and downs with hackers and threats from their competition, Microsoft still comes out on top and no matter the reputation, Microsoft will always be number one. Thanks to Bill Gates, Microsoft is one of the most successful companies in the world due to the fact that whenever there is a document that needs to be written (Microsoft Word), a slideshow that needs to be presented (PowerPoint), or a spreadsheet that is created to compare and contrast (Excel), people’s instincts will be to download any of the Microsoft Office applications in order to complete any of the documents mentioned above. Just like what was stated earlier in the paper, Microsoft of course has those customers that are not particularly happy with their products and yet, no matter how bad the name is tarnished, people will always go back and continue to use their applications.

References

Ferguson, Edward. “Microsoft Corporation’s SWOT Analysis & Recommendations.” Panmore Institute, 21 Feb. 2017, panmore.com/microsoft-corporation-swot-analysis-recommendations.

Dudovskiy , John. “Microsoft SWOT Analysis – Research-Methodology.” Research, 2 Feb. 2019, research-methodology.net/microsoft-swot-analysis-2-2/.

“Top 5 Best Practices to Automate Security Operations.” Microsoft Security, 25 Feb. 2019, www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2017/08/03/top-5-best-practices-to-automate-security-operations/.

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