Background Pic
Portfolio - BPOS Reconciliation (Microsoft)

Example of interconnections between various BPOS reports


In FY10 a major priority was the attainment of scorecard metrics for Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS). A key example of one of MS’s software-as-a-service offerings, BPOS was a big push in the SMB segment where the solution represents a cost effective alternative for small businesses and directly competes against major competitors like Google.

The Problem

The organization was missing their BPOS metric. The segments / sales team responsible for closing deals had very few quality opportunities to work with in the CRM system. The integrated marketing team, however, reported the creation of plenty of leads. A high profile metric, a big discrepancy, and no one understand why. No one could agree on what was wrong.

Adding to the chaos was the fact that content, product, and other teams also relied on BPOS data to make decisions and none of it matched either. The proposal was to try and build yet another report that would meet everyone’s needs.


Curtis personally conducted a comprehensive exploratory analysis and identified the performance problems/disconnects. It was very clear that the major gap was cross-functional awareness:

·        The integrated marketing teams reports reflect the fact their team is also accountable for things other than BPOS and create leads for all products and geographies.

·        The BPOS sales team is only concerned with closing deals for their product, in their geography, regardless of whether that lead came from marketing or other sources.

·        The addition of Microsoft’s complicated lead routing logic and differences between targeted vs actual segmentation make it extremely difficult to see how each perspective overlaps.

For the first time the teams could meet together and see the big picture story.
A few examples:

·        The integrated marketing team’s BPOS investments did create lots of leads (bottom right corner) but in many cases leads from small business events turned out to be for larger accounts (non-SMB).

·        Many of the BPOS campaign leads were not for BPOS products (seen in middle) but instead traditional MS office products.

·        The sales teams could see that their best conversion rates were from unexpected sources (like tele-prospecting vs. online).


Instead of arguing about numbers, the team could focus on topics like how to optimize in market campaigns, how best to spend remaining budget, and redistributing leads from backlogged sales teams to underutilized ones. The changes to address the issues worked - within just a few months the BPOS metric went from red to green and the turnaround was a key highlight in the end of year review.

Stakeholder Feedback