Microsoft-sponsored data science competition

We are pleased to announce that a Microsoft-sponsored data science competition is now live on Kaggle!

The competition is also being hosted as a conference Cup by the Big Data Innovators Workshop (BIG), co-located with the WWW-2015 conference.


The Cup

The problem presented for the Cup is one of classifying malware files into their associated malware families, based on file content and characteristics.

Successful application of data science to malware-related problems is critical to mitigating the increasing risk of malware to every organization and individual online.

We hope that this competition will encourage scientists to invest resources in this extremely important, and rising, research field.


Microsoft Effort and Objectives

This One Microsoft undertaking, which has been maturing over the past year, is a joint effort between three organizations –  the Israel Microsoft Talent Acquisition Team (generously sponsoring $16k in prizes!), the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) OneProtection and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning.

The Talent Acquisition Team’s goal is to expose the data science community to the exciting opportunities that the growing data science discipline at Microsoft offers.

The MMPC OneProtection team would like to enable published and repeatable research related to malware, and encourage research efforts to go in this direction. Cup winners are required to publish their methods.

The Azure Machine Learning brand is featured in the Cup’s site and communications, reaching a large and targeted audience of data scientists.



We would like to thank WWW-2105, and in particular to the BIG committee: Prof. Alessandro Panconesi  and Prof. Alessandro Mei from “Sapienza, University of Rome”, Prof. Jimmy Lin from U. Maryland, and Dr. Junlan Feng from China Mobile.

This would not have been possible without the invaluable scientific advice from Elad Yom Tov, Shay Kels, Daniel Radu, Gal Lavee, Nir Levy, and Noam Koenigstein, and the legal and procurement support from Zvi Friedman and Anat Noam-Rubinstein.

It would also not be possible without support and encouragement from our leadership – Anat Assaf, Yoram Yaacovi, Dennis Batchelder, Mario Goertzel and Elad Ziklik.

Special thanks Dr. William Cukierski from for his help.


Please help us spread the word!



Corina Feuerstein, Marian Radu, Royi Ronen, Anat Kigel

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Get a running start with these 10 career tips

Written by:
Michelle Feder

October is an ideal time for us to recognize the contributions of women at Microsoft. With Grace Hopper going on this week, we’re celebrating women in technology and business. We recently featured Sarah Filman, a Senior PM Lead for Microsoft OneDrive, who is attending this sold-out conference.

In this post, we’re highlighting Louise Lamb, a U.K.-based Support Practice Manager. Louise joined Microsoft in 2004 as a Technical Account Manager, an individual contributor. Now she’s a manager in the Premier Support organization for our enterprise services business, and she’s passionate about helping people on her team fulfill their goals.

Outside of work, Louise is an avid runner. She ran the London Marathon in 2013 in honor of a friend who is a breast cancer survivor. For the occasion, she wore a pink tutu and fairy wings — and raised 3,500 pounds for the cause.

Louise is training for a half-marathon, so you can think of her as a coach who wants to help you reach your  next big goal. Here, she offers 10 tips for women and men alike who aspire to leadership roles:

  1. Stretch. “During university, one summer I worked at a toy factory on an assembly line. It was a massive wakeup call. I learned I needed to do something that challenged me.”
  2. Choose your route. How does someone go from manual labor in a factory to acquiring a management role at Microsoft? Raised in a small town in South Wales, Louise decided to move “to the big smoke near London,” to pursue new career opportunities. She applied for a job with Sun Microsystems, where she fell in love with tech and the culture of a large American corporation.
  3. Cross-train. At Sun, Louise was a telephone salesperson. She asked her boss, “’Any chance I can go see a customer?’”  She learned: If you don’t ask, you don’t get opportunities.
  4. Test your drive. Early in her career, Louise sensed she may be perceived as less credible than her male counterparts. “I did feel I had to work extra hard, and be extra assertive, in running a meeting or delivering a tough message to a customer.”
  5. Persist. At Microsoft, “It took me five attempts over four years to get my management job.” Louise knew at first she wasn’t going to get it. “The best thing I learned and took away from the experience was input for a strong career development plan. This gave me a great foundation to move forward and understand where I needed to focus to get to the next step in my career.”
  6. Form friendships around a common goal. How did Louise break through to a management role? “Having a strong network enabled me to let people know my career aspirations.” When a management role became available, Louise was given a six-month secondment to try the role in an acting capacity, as a manager within the consulting services. “For me it was a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience and to prove my capability, having never done a people management role before, it was a great opportunity for the business to see that I can really do this.”
  7. Stay motivated, even when it hurts. Doubling up in the two roles at once allowed Louise to prove herself to her team’s leadership. She recalls, “I did my existing role as a technical account manager, and I managed 29 consultants. It was a real stretch and challenge.” She tested her limits. “I’m a bit like a terrier dog: If someone sets me to do something, I do it to the best of my ability.” Looking back on the juggle, Louise laughs and says, “I can’t believe I did it, but it really reinforced my goal to become a people manager.”
  8. Be positive. No matter what stage of your career, she says, when you get constructive feedback, have courage and hear it. “Sometimes it’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the constructive feedback that helps us all develop.  That will be useful to you on an ongoing basis.”  She’s gotten positive reinforcement for her optimism. “People see me as having a sunny disposition. I think that has worked to help motivate people around me and when needed, get customers on my side.”
  9. Recharge. “For me, work should be a bit of an adventure,” Louise says. “I take it seriously, but having fun here is important to me.” Downtime is essential: “Ten minutes for a cup of tea to communicate and connect with my team and peers is where I get a great deal of satisfaction from my role.”
  10. Lace up your shoes and go. Today, Louise believes that women in business are regarded as equal. At MGX, for example, “I was struck by the number of female leaders who were presenting in the main tent, like Amy Hood, our CFO. And I thought, ‘She’s got really nice shoes!’” It was a revelation: “Wow, you can be glamorous, feminine, successful and senior, at the same time. It’s a real step forward for women and technology.”

Summing up these insights, Louise says: “At Microsoft, I can be myself.” She’s glad the days are over when women had to get ahead with a pushy demeanor and stereotypical big shoulder pads. Here, she says, “I can be feminine, I can wear jewelry and a dress. And I can be viewed by my peers and the leadership team as me, judged purely by my performance.”

Ready to put your training into action? Come as you are, do what you love, and go the distance. Visit Microsoft Careers, our global web site.


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What is your one?

What is your ONE?

As the New Year is upon us, we naturally reflect back on our accomplishments and what we have left unfinished. Some of us make resolutions for the year ahead and others look forward to what new opportunities may be presented. With a fresh new year brings excitement for all that can be achieved.

The past is a powerful place that far too often draws us back into our comfort zone. It’s the place that keeps people from discovering their unique purpose. In order to step out of our comfort zone we need to see what that place of unknown looks like. The science world tells us that water is hot at 211 degrees, however, at 212 degrees (just ONE more degree) water boils and when water boils there is steam, and steam can push a locomotive train. That ONE degree is a shift from mediocre or just good enough to GREAT. The “ONE” is not satisfied with good participation they demand the GAME changer attitude. The ONE moves from being the “HOT ONE” to the “Boiling PRODUCER.”

By challenging ourselves to move past our comfort zone into that ONE more state of mind, we will never know what we can achieve or how our efforts will mold the success of others. Just ONE more is the “curator of dreams personified!”

What does that ONE look like for you?

Wishing you and yours the best this New Year!

Written by:

Michelle Hart

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First Codess event in Israel

We recently held the 1st Codess event in Israel. 55 pre-registered and pre-screened top female students from tier 1 CS, EE & MBA faculties attended the event. The event’s concept was speed mentoring sessions with tech female Microsoft employees discussing various topics: career planning and management, tips for job search & MS interview process, Microsoft Technologies – Cloud/Cortana, how to influence in organization, internships experience at Microsoft.

Shelly Landsmann, PS lead for Microsoft Israel, opened the event and shared with the students her career path and tips on how to build and succeed in their career.

The energy at the event was great, the students enjoyed the conversation with the mentors, asked lot of questions, it was hard to stop the sessions after 20 minutes and switch mentors.  Following the event we received requests from students to register to Women of Excellence (a special program for outstanding female students in Israel) and to apply for positions at Microsoft.

I would like to thank Alexa Glick for introducing us the format, sharing great best practices and helping us to develop successful  event for Israel.

Israel Coddess

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Microsoft: Meet the Company | Inspiration Starts Here

On the evening of Monday, October 27, 2014, Microsoft Services Staffing partnered with the DC Women in Technology forum to host Meet the Company – Microsoft networking event for females in the technology industry at the Reston Virginia office. Over 50 attendees spent the evening engaging with senior leaders from across the Services organization and were given the opportunity to hear from Jim Holt, General Manager of Federal Civilian, as well as a female panel of Microsoft employees.

The evening kicked off with informal networking interaction game which rewarded attendees with small MS giveaways. The formal program kicked off with an opening remarks from both WIT representatives, an overview of MS Services which moved into our Q&A Panel discussion. Afterwards, the attendees moved into a more intimate roundtable discussion with other MS leaders to continue the discussions and share their own personal experience at Microsoft.

Attendees appreciated the intimate access to senior female leaders. The diverse, genuine, personable and approachable panel resonated with the audience.

“I found the event extremely encouraging. It was great to hear the stories of other women. It left me feeling very hopeful… I thoroughly enjoyed the event and was thankful to be there. I look forward to one day being a panel member, sharing my story with women.”

Due to the intimate size and small group conversations, participants on both sides had the opportunity to have meaningful conversations and develop relationships with other females in the technology industry.

Panelist Grace Barajas Orozco shares her personal journey at Microsoft with other Women in Technology at Reston’s Meet the Company Event on October 27th.

Panelist Grace Barajas Orozco shares her personal journey at Microsoft with other Women in Technology at Reston’s Meet the Company Event on October 27th.


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Global Delivery Hiring Story

GD Photo1








GD Photo2


So if you ask what our Services Staffing in MEA and EMEA are busy with, the answer would be the Global Delivery hiring! We wonder more about the team and hiring so let’s listen the story of Global Delivery team from Ramshanker Krishnan, our Consulting Practice Director for Global Delivery…

So Ram, would like to know more about your background just in brief? How did your journey start in this business?

I started with MS in 1999 as a Consultant and then took position as a Support Manager in Redmond. My journey with Services started in Global Delivery (GD) back in India years ago. GD was 13 member organisation and today it is great to see that we have grown significantly. More than anything, we have become a critical function in Services and Consulting to help our business.

What is a good early story about the Global Delivery (GD) business?

We started very small back in India and the idea behind GD was to provide capability for MS services to do larger end to end projects for our customers. There was a strong feedback from our customers that they would like to see MS to have much more scale in the game. So as MS Services being evolved from a technical consulting into now handling a lot more into the outcome to the customer, GD has a phenomenon role in playing a delivery engine and capability that is a truly world class to help our customers get the best of the Microsoft platform- investment that they can make it.

What are some of your greatest challenges in your business you’ve been facing?

There has been so much change in customer expectation what the cloud first or mobile first world look like for our customers. Internally; travelling is a challenge; quickly responding to customer needs and placing resources for customer locations. Immigration and mobility could also be challenge. But we can see all these challenges as opportunities. Consultants have the opportunity to work in the time zone. They have a large spread to cover.

What is the team’s impact on Microsoft technologies?

One of the things is the best use of the technologies within our customers’ scenarios. We face unprepared situations where we work closely with Product teams by building bridges. When we involve in these projects, there is a huge amount of learning that we can share with the partner. In return, we can also provide our feedback on these technologies to the Product team.

Could you tell us a little about the Consultants and how they work? What is the most exciting part of this Consultant role?

The goal is to be able transfer the business requirements of customers into technical implementation of MS technologies. Really understand our customer’s requirements very well and what they try to accomplish. The whole IT industry is transforming. We’re talking about mega trends so helping customers through what they are trying to accomplish in their business. Coming up a very solid approach, plan and finally follow up to meet the timelines and costs is the primary of the role. In terms of consultants, we are hiring very strong technology standpoint. Especially the customer that we hire in the time zone close to the customer, they need to have exceptional customer management skills; in terms of communication, setting expectations, being able to present to senior executives. So a really big focus apart from the technical area is the communication and customer management as well.

Exciting part is the delivering a technical solution. With MS, other good thing is you will be working with latest and greatest which is exciting. The amount of learning is tremendous through various channels that we invest in Readiness. Events and platforms – huge amount of investments in Consultants. The second piece is when they actually implement them. MS Consulting and Services is focused on taking customers forward.

Whom we are targeting in these hiring across EMEA and MEA?

Strong customer focus to deliver project, technically strong and mobile professional

What is your vision for this team in the near future?

This team is currently positioned to have a really big impact, we spent a lot of time and effort to mature the capabilities in-country and then in the off-shore centres. Now we clearly see the need for us to grow the capabilities is the near shore piece.

What advice would you give to potential Consultants considering joining MS?

This role is for people who are passionate about customers and technology.

My only advice is find your passion is and then if you want your potential to be realized there is no better place than MS!!


To find more about our VACANCIES:

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Gen Y’s Perspective on Microsoft Services




As many of you may already know, Microsoft has a very ‘cool’ program named MACH—Microsoft Academy for College Hire—which mainly focuses on identifying top talent among young graduates and equip them with knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences required in professional life.


Those who have participated in the MACH program tend to land in senior roles at Microsoft.


Haddy El-Haggan and Sean Wasonga are two of these top young talents, who were spotted among thousands of applicants. Now as part of their “on-the-job training” they are working for Microsoft Services. We wanted to take this chance to benefit from their fresh perspectives and Generation Y’s point of view by asking them couple of questions about their life at Microsoft Services.



What’s your role at Microsoft?



I am an associate TAM in Services for South Africa


I am an associate TAM in Services for Microsoft Gulf and based in Dubai.




What are the top 3 things you like (or don’t like) about your role in Services, or about services in general?



First of all, the role en visions both the Business element and the Technical Side, which is presenting value of Microsoft Solutions in Technology and business for our customers.

This makes Technical Account Manager a trusted advisor to the customer and a sales resource to the business.


As we move into being a Devices and Services company, Services will play a pivotal aspect in the transformation of the organization. Having a role in Services, will give me the privilege to be a key element for this transformation.


The other thing I like, is the ‘tools’ we have. There are a variety of tools that can be used in Services , they are used for several reasons, such as easing of communication for customers, providing deliveries for them in a proper structure such as Unicorn, Axis, SDP and more…



First thing I like about my role is the opportunity of having a direct relationships with customers. It gives you the experience in both technical and relationship management side of the business. 


My role also encourages me to follow latest trends in the market, which is an ongoing learning process. And seeing the way we are embracing these trends to our daily business makes me more eager about my job.

The last thing is; the future is all about services. For example, we don’t measure success by just sales numbers, we want our services to be used and make our customer lives easier.


How much of your time you end up spending with customers, and how much for internal activities?



So far, interactions with customers have been quite a few, as the team is focusing on new financial year planning, but normally the interactions with customers is about 60-70 % of my time and 30-40 % for internal activities.

The customer interactions are mostly through proactive services (Trainings, workshops, Risk assessment).

But Microsoft Services has also reactive engines such as 24/7 Critical situations operations, Problem Resolution Services. The ones who are working for these groups spend their entire time with customers.



It really depends, there are days where we spend our entire time with our customers. Either in their office or having back to back calls to be able to understand their needs. And sometimes we focus on internal activities. Technology is changing everyday so we need to be up to date with relevant trainings and learning opportunities.



How important is CPE (Customer and Partner Experience) for services?


CPE is very important in the services, especially for the Technical Account Manager role. Customer and Partner Experience score is a key metric for a TAM. There are surveys to get customer feedback and based on these surveys we are able to see if we could deliver what was expected form us.



It is not important, it is actually the nature of the business itself. It’s all about customer satisfaction. Our core commitment is enabling our customer through Microsoft technologies, making their lives easier, making their businesses more productive. If they are not happy, it means that our job is not done yet.




What role Services plays in the company transformation?



Microsoft is transforming to a devices and services company. For a successful transformation, Services has the key element of presenting value of our products/Solutions to our customers.



Microsoft Services is a strategic segment for Microsoft. The way I see, Microsoft Services’ success enables all other segments in Microsoft. And it’s the same for the company’s transformation. With all organizational and people capabilities, Services is the key engine for a successful transformation to a Devices and Services company.


What’s the most difficult (funny) situation you have faced in your role?



I attended a chalk and talk session on Configuration Manager at ABSA group, it was being delivered by the Premier Field Engineer of configuration manager. We walked into the presentation room with the PFE and sat at different parts of the room, as I was a visitor and I was given a Barclays Tag.

When the Client came in, he asked where I was from, I said “Kenya”. His assumption was that, I was a representative of Barclays Kenya (Because of the Tag).

Throughout the session he kept explaining banking IT concepts to me, and how they can be influenced to help both ABSA and Barclays, people I should reach out to in the organization.

In the end he realized that I was Microsoft and we all had a good laugh.


How is your collaboration with other groups in Microsoft? (EPG, SMSP, Marketing… etc.)



Technical Account Manager is a Trusted Advisor and a Sales Resource. The most successful renewals take place when the TAM and the assigned seller are agreed on what actions each will do through the sales process.

The guidance services provides, is a best practice and more often result in better outcomes.

However, real success only comes with PARTNERSHIP between the Technical Account Manager and the Seller. (In either EPG – Enterprise and Partners Group or SMS&P – Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners)



I am very new to the job, to be able to give a clear answer on this one, but EPG and Services have strong ties as two business groups. They are ultimately aiming for the same outcome. EPG sells Microsoft products and solutions and Services makes sure that customer has the best experience with these products and solutions. Services job is basically making customers’ live easier with capable technical people strong know-how such as in deployment to risk assessment, trainings or relevant business solutions scenarios etc. And it’s all about enabling customers through Microsoft Solutions.



Where and when do you see your next role (move) within Microsoft?



Coming from a specialist Technical background (Computer Security), the Opportunities to grow in services are immense, for now the TAM role will give me a defined understanding of the business element in Services, as my next role I would like to move into the Premier Field Engineer role specialism in either Security or application development management, in 1- 2 year period.



Need more time to come-up with an answer for this one 🙂



We wish good luck to Sean and Haddy for their unique journey at Microsoft and especially at Microsoft Services.



Learn more about MACH Program

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Wondering if making a change is right for you? Laila, a TAM in Saudi says: “Go for it! Don’t be afraid!”

Laila Bukhari, a passionate believer in technology and a great example of a female TAM in Services, started her journey at MS as a MACH. Since she joined MS, she experienced how the company appreciates talent while working with inspirational people. A little bit about herself, Laila studied Computer Science and worked in several organizations including MIT in the US before moving to her current role at MS. Let’s meet our talent and explore her journey further.

Laila Bukhari

So how did your journey start with MS?

Officially in 2012, I was hired as a MACH under the Services TAM track. I was pleasantly surprised of how welcoming and supportive the environment was, given I had an accelerated start as I covered a fellow-MACH while she was on maternity leave. As such, I started managing my colleagues’ commercial accounts during my third week at Microsoft!

I was a back-up TAM for 3 months for customer based in the Western region (Jeddah), and I can honestly say it was an incredibly valuable learning experience. Since being in a customer facing role, you are expected to manage your customer during the good and the bad times, but still quite valuable. The best achievement I recall was helping to position the first Premier Mission Critical (PMC) offering in Saudi Arabia and the third in MEA. Credit to my wonderful TAM colleague for closing that opportunity and delivering it, so it was really special to have my name included in the announcement for PMC, it is a great example of being part of a company and a team who knows when to say ‘thank you’ and ‘good job’!

I then relocated to the Eastern region (Al-Khobar) to manage accounts. There were no female TAMs in the East, so I was the first female TAM. I worked closely with a great peer mentor on the account handover, and during that time (Ramadan), a massive cyber-security attack hit my customer, causing a huge crisis for them and some of their affiliates. As an immediate call to action, my colleague and I mobilized the remediation efforts, I cancelled my vacation plans and worked very closely, around the clock, to ensure we had the best resources onsite and offsite available for the customer. Eventually, and with the great support of our army of PFE’s, consultants, CTS and GTSC engineers we were able to rebuild the customer’s IT infrastructure.

Looking back at this experience, I can say it wasn’t the best situation for my customer, but nevertheless, it was a rewarding learning experience, and as a result, my relationship with my customer grew stronger, positioning me as a trusted advisor.


“Come as you are, do what you love” – so from this inspiration, could you please let us know your experience so far as a female Technical Account Manager based in Saudi? What is the best part of your job and what do you like best about working at MS as a female employee?

I am quite an extrovert, I like getting into interesting discussions (technically and philosophically) about what I’m reading, what I’m doing (inside and outside of work) and what I intend to do. I am also a risk taker, I like to challenge the status quo, and this has worked well with my customers, and has paved a way for me to position critical services in a timely manner and capitalize on them, which strengthened Microsoft’s footprint in my accounts in general and my advisory status with my customer in specific. As such, as a TAM, the best part of my job is making an impact on our customers and helping them solve real-life issues as well as optimizing what already exists. As a female working at Microsoft, the best part of my job is working in a female-friendly and supportive environment with talented and inspiring people, especially our female colleagues (shout out to the PHENOMENAL ladies of MS Arabia)! I learn a lot from the great people I work with and I draw inspiration from them.


What advice would you give to other females from your country/area, potentially considering joining Microsoft?

I would say “Go for it & Don’t be afraid!” Our region and country is rapidly changing and there is great potential, so challenge yourself and be part of the change. Know that this company has many areas you can explore, so this is your chance, don’t shy away!

If you are considering to work for Microsoft, you’re in the right direction! Keep in mind that this is a company that challenges you and it is worth it!


Thanks Laila!  If you’re interested in seeing what careers are available for you, you can do that here!



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Working in Microsoft brings opportunities not many fresh graduates can get…

Ania recently joined the MACH program in Poland. Find out more about her experience and why she loves her job!



My journey with Microsoft began when I was right out of university – invited to take part in the recruitment process for MACH graduate program in Poland. My efforts proved successful and I was offered a place in the 2 year program to develop my skills on the position of Technical Account Manager.


Right now after well over a year in the role I am already acting as an independent trusted advisor to Premier Support customers. I am providing guidance around operations and optimization of their IT infrastructure. My role gives me an opportunity to learn how customer’s IT infrastructures work and how Microsoft products are utilized. It gives me insight into various challenges of IT management and possibility to assist the customers to overcome them. But the biggest value in Microsoft are people who are ready to share their knowledge and experience. They are passionate about their work and collaborating with them is an opportunity for someone like me who embraces technology.

You can learn more about our MACH program here

Interested in working for Microsoft Services? Check out our career opportunities!

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Microsoft Consulting Services is holding a recruiting event in Cambridge, MA

Microsoft Consulting Services is holding a recruiting event in Cambridge, MA

Career Invitational – Cambridge, MA

June 26th – 6:00pm – 9:00pm


One Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

This event is FREE, but space is limited.

Resume and RSVP are mandatory to attend

Send your resume to

We invite you to attend an evening to meet, socialize, and most importantly network with other Professionals in Technology. This career invitational will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the company, the organization, and the day-to-day lifestyle of a Microsoft Senior Consultant.

We have many open positions in all technologies spaces. To be considered candidates should have current or previous consulting experience (5 years +) and be willing to travel in support of our commercial business.  Some of the technical skills which are focusing on include Dynamics (ERP/CRM) Application Development Manager, Desktop Deployment, Identity Access Management, System Center, Exchange, Lync, Virtualization, SharePoint Architecture/Infrastructure, and Windows Server.

Appetizers & Drinks will be served

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