In 2009, the Online Services Compete group at Microsoft recognized a growing challenge. Google was producing customer evidence to promote its Google Apps web service to enterprises. The group knew that it could demonstrate how and why all types of businesses choose Microsoft cloud-based services over Google, but Microsoft first needed to build an appropriate customer evidence program. To begin developing an effective response to Google’s marketing initiative, the Online Services Compete Group needed a pipeline of qualified customer references.
The group manager contracted Customer Engagement specialists from Projectline at one-quarter time to generate customer evidence leads. In just a few months, Projectline had qualified dozens of leads among Microsoft cloud-services customers worldwide, and so the Online Services Compete Group retained a full-time Projectline consultant to start producing customer evidence and distributing it to account teams. By July 2010, Projectline had helped the group build a complete Google Apps Compete reference program, introduce a customer nomination website to the field, and produce 21 case studies and seven videos, including videos featured at important marketing events such as MGX and WPC.
“When Projectline proposed we retain a full-time consultant, I knew it would add value, and having that dedicated resource helped us grow the program very quickly.” Hanna Mountain, Online Services Compete Group, Microsoft