Business Insights – Xbox

xboxBy Adam Elliot

In order to successfully apply to Microsoft, it’s important that you have an understanding of our products and why they are important to the company. Especially new, exciting products such as Windows 10, Cortana and Azure; these insights from current interns will give you what you need to know!

xbox-oneWhat is Xbox?

For those of you who have been living under a rock, or don’t have a younger brother/sister/boyfriend/girlfriend who’re into gaming – Xbox is Microsoft’s video-gaming platform. For starters, you have the Xbox One and Xbox 360 – industry leading products that have revolutionised the way people play video games globally. Not only brilliant products, Xbox are famed for cult-classics such as: Halo, Forza, Gears of War, Sunset Overdrive and Fable (to name a few…).

What sets Xbox apart?

I get asked this question on a daily basis – yes, the market is incredibly competitive. Our official tagline is “Best games, best multiplayer”, I don’t think you could hit the nail on head better than that. You buy a console to play video games, it makes only makes sense to play the best games! Alongside a blockbuster line-up of third-party games (such as: FIFA: 15, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Battlefield 4) we have exclusive first-party and second-party titles (a few mentioned above) to seal the deal.

Collectively, this leads to an amazing experience without even connecting to the internet – though it’s better if you do! This is where Xbox really thrives. Xbox LIVE is our online universe where you can do everything from playing a game of FIFA with your mates to ordering a pizza with the Dominos app. For a small fee each year, you get access to an unparalleled online experience and exclusive offers like “Games with Gold”, a service that rewards you with free games for having an Xbox LIVE Gold Account.

Why is it so important to Microsoft?

If you think of Microsoft as a family, Xbox is the cool teenager – I like to think that we give the company a different angle, an opportunity to communicate the brand to an audience who might not have heard of Office365 or Azure. Also, thanks to the upcoming Windows 10 release, Xbox integration is going to allow Windows to really thrive in the video-gaming space. Finally, this console lark is a multi-billion dollar business, the profit gained from Xbox allows the wheels to keep turning so that Microsoft can continue to deliver top-quality products that shape the way we live.

Adam ElliotWhat is my role in Xbox?

Now, before you get carried away, it’s not all fun and (video) games at Xbox. There’s a great deal of hard work that makes our dream a reality.

I am a ‘Business Analyst’ for Xbox in Europe, Middle East and Africa (or EMEA for the acronym-savvy). I work in the Business Planning and Development team – we’re responsible for creating a game-plan for the Business Group (BG) to follow. One of my favourite (and key) aspects of my role is that it is project-driven, this means that I’m never sitting on my hands waiting for things to do. Can’t go into the specifics (top secret, y’know) but anything to do with strategy, forecasts, revenue/profit maximisation, improving our market share – my team play a part in it. Put simply, I pull raw data, looks for trends and correlations and create insights. After this I must synthesise a ‘story’ and put across a compelling and thought provoking argument to make the insights and opportunities I’ve discovered believable, otherwise I’m just a bloke with a PowerPoint and a set of pretty looking charts.

That’s not to say I don’t play my fair-share of video games – it’s “market research”, I promise.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into Xbox and the Business Analyst role, with any luck it might be useful throughout your application!

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