Editor’s note – May 3, 2021 – AlexaCRM was added to the list of finalists in the Supplier-to-Supplier Collaboration category. In addition, award recipients were removed from the lists of finalists for the Diverse-Owned Supplier of the Year and Supplier-to-Supplier Collaboration categories.
REDMOND, Wash. — April 30, 2021 — On April 28, 2021, Microsoft Corp. held a virtual red-carpet event to showcase supplier achievements and live-reveal winners of the 2021 Microsoft Supplier Program (MSP) Prestige Awards, hosted by Dametra Johnson-Marletti, corporate vice president of Store Category Management at Microsoft.
MSP Prestige Awards recognize suppliers that exemplify the MSP pillars of strategy, priority, agility and modernization in the arenas of sustainability, accessibility, inclusion, representation and community contributions. This year’s awards were reimagined to align with Microsoft values, while instilling a sense of partnership with MSP’s business-critical, diverse and enterprise suppliers.
MSP set out to be intentionally disruptive, to encourage healthy competition and provide inspiration for the entire community. After opening remarks by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, a lineup of presenters and guest speakers from Microsoft and partner companies announced winners across 10 categories.
“These awards give us an opportunity to learn more about the impressive work our suppliers are doing,” said Grace Lao, Chief Procurement Officer at Microsoft. “This year’s event is even more representative of what we are doing all across Microsoft, and how our suppliers are contributing to our success.”
Introducing the 2021 winners, finalists and an overview of their achievements.
Showstopper of the Year – Commitment to Community: Brillio
Acting with intention within their communities to affect significant or compelling humanitarian contributions. Investment in programs, tech centers and vocational centers. Creating development opportunities. Volunteer work and advocacy. Response to major adverse community events. Nominees give their time and focus their efforts to strengthen their communities.
Finalists: CBRE, ClayCo, Meylah Corporation, Slalom, Tata Consultancy Services
Through the Bringing Smiles initiative, Brillio has set up digital classrooms, science and tinker labs, and e-learning centers in 375 schools, reaching over 50,000 students in its mission of making children ready for a digital tomorrow. Brillio’s programs include training teachers and students in digital literacy, training NGO field employees on efficient data collection and reporting, donating refurbished computers to underprivileged schools and colleges, donating $27,000 for food supplies, and volunteering over 30,000 staff hours.
Rookies of The Year: Premier Events Corp and T. Dallas Smith (individual winners)
A Microsoft supplier for three years or less, exemplify the MSP pillars of Strategy, Priority, Agility and Modernization, while amplifying Microsoft values and collaboration. Nominees have shown intention to simplify, enable ease of collaboration, and drive innovation and relevancy.
Finalists: Altran ACT S.A.S., Mitchell & Titus, ProKarma
Premier Events Corp. (PEC) consistently works to find the right solution for each digital event while optimizing attendee experience. C+E Digital Events grew exponentially this year, and PEC has partnered to navigate new digital venues and learning. PEC approaches each project uniquely to ensure the proper support is aligned for each deliverable, often partnering with other talented suppliers. The team creates memorable digital experiences that connect individuals with a physical experience on the virtual screen, bringing brands to life and fostering human connections.
T. Dallas Smith & Company (TDS) is the largest African American-owned commercial real estate brokerage firm in the country focused exclusively on tenant and buyer representation, with headquarters in Atlanta. In the past year, TDS served as the exclusive tenant broker representing Microsoft in its lease in the Hines Atlantic Yards project at Atlantic Station for Microsoft’s new Atlanta campus, opening in fall 2021.
Showstopper of the Year – Amplifying Accessibility: Incite
Actively eliminating barriers to accessibility through the power of data, technology and partnerships. In the areas of accessibility and disability inclusion, nominees demonstrate outstanding accessibility performance and innovation, leadership, and a disability inclusive culture.
Finalists: GINDI, HCL Technologies, Wipro, Wunderman Thompson
Incite conducted a multimarket, dual methodology research project with the goal of making more content accessible to more people. Understanding how creators produce content in Word and PowerPoint uncovered insights on how to talk about accessibility to maximize impact, relevance and motivation to act. Incite tested preference for different discoverability mechanisms, messaging and overall positioning platforms to drive improvements to the current Accessibility Checker. Supplementing an accessibility-checked written report, Incite produced a five-minute film on the standards and results.
Showstopper of the Year – Response & Representation: VelaTrio
Working to build greater diversity and inclusion over time, through advocacy, learning and development programs, and community activation. Nominees infuse diversity goals across their companies, outpace industry averages in representation and affect meaningful industry change.
Finalists: Evia Corporation, Mindtree Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Slalom
In 2019, VelaTrio established a paid summer business internship program for young women, combining instruction and interviews with management from three local small businesses. In 2020 it began a one-year internship program that meets each month for intensive, three-hour sessions to review assigned literature, TED talks, policy, and systems that impact diversity and inclusion (D&I). The internship program analyzes race and equity impact across the workplace, education, healthcare and criminal justice systems, culminating in participants implementing a program within their individual school systems.
Showstopper of the Year – Strides in Sustainability: Alfa Sustainable Projects and Skanska Balfour Beatty (individual winners)
Commitment to pioneering climate change initiatives and alignment with Microsoft’s Sustainability vision. Nominees’ innovative projects are scalable and repeatable, and their activities generate significant GHG reductions that are likely to be long-lived.
Finalists: Digital Realty Trust, KPMG, Mindtree Limited
Alfa Sustainable Projects is a small, employee-owned organization acknowledged as a market leader for sustainable design and construction practices. As sustainability consultant for the new Microsoft Israel Campus, Alfa oversaw development of the first LEED Gold Version 4 building in Israel and the first carbon negative public building in the world. As a result of its work, Alfa is now one of three suppliers recognized on the RE&F EMEA panel of Preferred Sustainability Consultants.
As part of Microsoft’s Redmond Campus Modernization project, Skanska Balfour Beatty (SBB) is supporting a plan to replace the original 14 buildings in the company’s east campus with 17 new buildings. The design features an underground parking structure to prioritize pedestrian and cyclist access at ground level. The project also aims to help Microsoft meet its ambitious sustainability goals of Carbon Negative, Water Positive and Zero Waste by 2030, in addition to targeting LEED Platinum certification. For carbon specifically, in addition to a zero carbon all-electric design, SBB championed the idea of using the new Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) for data-driven decision-making and aims to help reduce embodied carbon in the project by at least 30% using this tool.
Diverse-Owned Supplier of the Year: Lions + Tigers
Third‑party certified diverse-owned suppliers who strengthen our portfolio, amplify Microsoft’s values and commitments, and exemplify the MSP Pillars of Strategy, Priority, Agility and Modernization. Have shown a tremendous ability to be agile and quickly react and respond to the unprecedented changes we all experienced, globally, this past year.
Finalists: Integral Urban, VelaTrio, Oxygen Learning, Zed Ink
Lions + Tigers is leading inclusive workforce innovation. With inclusion as its guiding principle, the team’s agile model creates meaningful opportunities for women pursuing professional growth and economic access, particularly women from racial and ethnic minority groups. Lions +Tigers has set a 2021 goal of allocating a certain amount of total work to people of diverse backgrounds, skills or experiences and has focused on job creation and mental health. Leadership continues to cultivate an internal community intent on lifting others up and creating a safe space for its team to show up authentically at work.
Supplier-to-Supplier Collaboration: Cartus, Ernst & Young and KPMG (joint recipient)
Suppliers forming direct partnerships to strengthen, evolve and grow. These companies have embraced a growth mindset, kept collaboration at the core of all their efforts, and leveraged each other’s knowledge and experience to deliver an exceptional outcome.
Finalists: Compass and CBRE; Colorado Tech Consultants, Myrium Tech Solutions and Alexa CRM; Dynamic Events and OPUS; Image Source and DCG One
In April 2020, Microsoft Global Mobility faced critical challenges, including thousands of workers caught in transition and a senior leadership directive to address an employee experience (EX) issue. Cartus, Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG collaborated to overhaul the EX as contractors relocated around the globe and the number of points of contact (PoC) expanded. The companies reviewed employee communications to simplify and increase consistency, ultimately enhancing the EX with five pillars in mind: Make it Easy, Know Me, Enable Me, Transition Me, and Inform Me. The companies embraced a growth mindset and leveraged each other’s knowledge and experience to deliver an exceptional outcome that exemplified a One Microsoft approach.
Supplier of the Year (3 Levels, by Spend)
Focusing initiatives on diversity and inclusion, accessibility and sustainability, as well as technology and digital transformation. These companies pay close attention to efficiency gains, strategic relationships and impact to the Microsoft brand. Nominees exemplify the MSP pillars of Strategy, Priority, Agility and Modernization, and embody excellence in standards and quality.
Supplier of the Year – Small category: Margolin Brothers
Finalists: 10up Inc, IFG – International Financial Group, Premier Events Corp, ProKarma
As project manager for the new Microsoft Israel Campus in Herzliya, Margolin Brothers was bold, innovative and practical. The team’s safety standards resulted in no major injury or safety incident, despite up to 826 workers on-site each day. Margolin used an Azure cloud-based app to track snags and Power BI for reporting to inspectors. Despite the impact of the global pandemic during the final six months of the project, Margolin delivered on time and under budget.
Supplier of the Year – Medium category: Nextant
Finalists: AG Consulting Partners, AnRui Digital, Catalysis, Persistent Systems
A strategic partner in design and implementation of incentive compensation plans for 35,000 sellers at Microsoft, Nextant provides insight analytics, agility in implementation, and innovative solutions to achieve challenging planning cycles, including executive presentations, strategic projects for the SLT, and running end-to-end scrum processes. Nextant has exceeded expectations by rapidly adapting to new requirements, providing deep business expertise, and running a friction-free and highly efficient operation.
Supplier of the Year – Large category: Infosys
Finalists: Accenture, Cartus, Securitas Security Services, Wipro
For seven years, Infosys has been the first line of defense for questions and issues about Microsoft Call Center infrastructure. Throughout this relationship, Infosys has proposed additional innovations to improve the growth and success of the services provided. When Microsoft needed to move 20,000 customer service agents to a work-from-home model, Infosys reconfigured the call center operations to align. The Infosys team is agile, engaged, transparent, and continuously learning and improving.
So much was different this year, truly making this a day of celebration, collaboration, community and recognition. Not only was the day a memorable, meaningful experience but the momentum of the moment will continue. We can hardly wait for 2022!
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
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