This blog space is dedicated to Microsoft BI enabling business to optimize their business through business performance management. In the Microsoft product portfolio, this is accomplished with SQL Server, MOSS & PerformancePoint Server (PPS). Readers of this blog are also familiar with Microsoft Enterprise Cube (MEC), whereby Microsoft Services makes available to customers and partners, a series of pre-built analytics and data models specific your business industry.

Today, let's talk a little bit about the Microsoft solution to driving your business toward a strategic advantage in your market space. That is, not focusing on the bottom-line of lowering costs and operational efficiencies. While those are very important goals and are very much achievable with PPS & MEC, using these tools and techniques of BPM (business performance management) are really quite vital to continue to grow your business. Simply put, most commercial businesses will not continue to be successful, no matter what the industry, without growing revenues, opportunities and expansion.

Some of the uniqueness of Microsoft BI tools to accomplish this include the full-cycle ability of an integrated set of tools with the Microsoft BI suite. Most of this functionality is available right in PPS.The ability to plan, forecast, measure and adjust your business plans all in a single tool is unique in this space. Additionally, most businesses plan and budget from Excel today. A core belief in Microsoft is to allow you to continue to operate directly from the most ubiquitous BI client tool today: Excel. Take a look at this very good data sheet from PPS regarding planning, budgeting and forecasting.

Once you have completed your budget cycle (which differ from industry to industry) and entered the plan into PPS, you can now monitor and measure your business units against each stated goal. This is the monitoring capability along with drill-down analytics. This knowledge creates power in your organization and Microsoft (especially true with our MEC customers) customers are able to leverage their Sharepoint (MOSS) portals to put the power of making better decisions with better information directly in the hands of everyone in your organization. Collaborating, sharing and maintaining visibility into your key business metrics can drive your top-line and your next planning cycle. Some interesting top-line metrics to use for this purpose include customer net adds, sales opportunities, project inventory turns and customer satisfaction.

 So, what does this all look like when it comes together? Here is a sample budget from PPS, integrated with Excel:
pps plan 1

And here is what a dashboard would look like after you have entered your business strategic goals and objectives:
pps dash 1