In a company as big as Microsoft Corp., it can feel like the weight of the world is riding on your shoulders. So, when Microsoft's treasury risk group undertook a proactive assessment of fortuitous and accidental exposures of its businesses–assessing the risks in dollars and identifying mitigating strategies–it was fitting that they chose to call their undertaking the Atlas Project. "We live and breathe risk," says Rich Sadler, senior risk manager at Microsoft.

Enterprise risk management is a priority at Microsoft. But while the risk management group had performed enterprise-level assessment work important for financing, business unit leaders demanded more of a ground-level view into relevant risk information. The

Atlas Project was designed to validate the programs in place and point out the gaps.

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