Sydney is set to become the home for Microsoft's fourth worldwide inside sales centre and its first in Asia, with the software giant currently hiring 120 staff to run it.
The facility will support the company’s interaction with customers and partners across Asia by digitising the sales experience. The centre will allow staff in digital seller roles to meet customer needs through new technology platforms complemented by data analytics.
The launch comes amid significant upheaval within Microsoft, which is combining two major business units – SMS&P and EPG – and recently named a new Australian managing director and is recruiting for a channel chief.
The Sydney centre will cater to customers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan, and provide support in more than nine languages. Microsoft is also setting up three additional sales sites in India, China and Japan, which will complement the work of the Sydney centre.
Microsoft Australia managing director Steven Worrall said he was “delighted Sydney has been chosen as the location for one of four global worldwide inside sales centres”.
“It’s evidence of our commitment to our business in Australia and the role this region plays globally. The new inside sales centre expands upon our significant local investments from recent years, which includes two cloud data centre regions offering services for Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, and our flagship Microsoft Store in Sydney,” he said.
Microsoft’s Asia Inside Sales general manager, Michele Marrapese, said the way the company met its customers’ needs was changing. Marrapese joined Microsoft in Singapore from Dell EMC, and has also worked for SAP and Oracle over the past two decades.
“We are creating an industry-leading digital marketing and data-driven sales approach to engage customers on their terms. We are looking for people to join us as we create the future of digital selling,” she said.
Recruitment for the sales centre is underway and Microsoft expects to have the facility operational by mid-2017. In addition to language proficiencies and previous sales and technical experience, Microsoft is also seeking recent graduates for the roles.
NSW Industry Minister Niall Blair said Microsoft’s investment was a nod to the state’s IT prowess.
"Microsoft's decision to choose Sydney as one of only four global centres for its Asia inside sales team is great news and recognition of the unique and highly skilled workforce we have here in NSW,” he said.
"Sydney is one of the most multicultural cities in the world – more than a third of the population is now born overseas and there are over 200 languages commonly spoken – making it a natural home for Microsoft's new Asia Inside Sales Centre.”
Microsoft’s other worldwide inside sales centres are located in Dublin, Ireland, Fargo, USA and San Jose, Costa Rica.