Environmental Sustainability Action Award

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Environmental Sustainability Action Award

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Each quarter we give out an Environmental Sustainability Action Award to one of our teams or employees in recognition of the positive environmental impact they are enabling at Microsoft.

This last quarter (Q3), we gave that award to Jon Schmitz, Global Director Commercial Technical Support (CTS) Labs, for his work creating a Virtual Labs solution within Microsoft’s Commercial Technical Support which is helping to reduce significant amounts of hardware, energy use and costs from our business. This solution, called Virtual Machine Acquisition Server (VMAS), is enabling Microsoft to reduce its carbon footprint through reduced hardware and energy usage, while at the same time delivering faster support solutions to our commercial customers who are turning to Microsoft call centers for help.


Our CTS group delivers technical support assistance to large and small businesses, partners, and developers in 24 languages around the clock. Jon identified an opportunity when he saw how internal engineers were reproducing customer issues using multiple machines at their desks. It would take engineers anywhere from four hours to a few days to set up a troubleshooting environment similar to the customer’s environment, and engineers would work individually instead of collectively as a result.

To address this challenge, Jon envisioned a solution that sits on Microsoft Hyper-V technologies that helps engineers deliver a better experience for our commercial customers by quickly reproducing the issue in a virtual lab environment, while at the same time reducing hardware and power usage.

Jon and his team launched VMAS in April 2008. To date, they have set up 19 private clouds around the world delivering virtual lab solutions to our engineers. Since the launch, CTS engineers have sent nearly 20,000 tickets through VMAS thereby reducing the addition of servers on individual desktops and saving approximately 12,700 tons of carbon emissions. CTS has been able to run on 90% less hardware required to keep up with the growth of the business. Also, because of VMAS, CTS has recycled more than 1,000 PCs and servers and consolidated our lab space, and we continue to work on consolidation. Jon’s vision of “engineering without borders” is making a real difference for customers, for Microsoft, and for the environment.

Thank you Jon Schmitz for the great work!

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  • Hi,

    Can we obtain this solution (VMAS)?



  • Environmentally VMAS is a big win.   From a business perspective its more than a giant reduction in hardware.   VMAS represents cutting-edge application of automation and technology, including Microsoft virtualization.   VMAS is money in the bank for Microsoft as well as being green!

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