developer productivity

BizOps: The Tools, The Process, The People

BizWho? Why do I even care about it?

BizOps, or as the newbies call it Business Operations, is the foundation for scalability. If your goal is to take your company from a Palo Alto garage to unicorn status, good luck getting there in one piece without BizOps.

What is BizOps?

Solid question. Like most buzzwords in tech, BizOps has a different meaning depending on who you ask. After a quick Google search, I found a definition that claims to be “widely accepted.” It states that BizOps is “a decision-support mechanism that helps to better connect business functions together and enable the smooth operation of a company.”

As someone who has lived and breathed BizOps for four-plus years, I feel comfortable saying that statement explains absolutely nothing about what BizOps actually does.

That is where I come in. After years of explaining to friends, family, and current/potential employers what I do, I figured I might as well attempt to explain it to the world.

Let’s kick this off right with an analogy. 

BizOps is to the business what the cardiovascular system is to the body.

To build a successful BizOps organization you need the tools, process, and people. Similarly, the cardiovascular system would not function properly without a heart (tooling), a standardized way to deliver nutrients and oxygen to cells (process), and of course blood cells (people) to implement the process correctly. 

So how does this play out in BizOps?

Tools

Our Business Systems & Data Engineering Infrastructure allows BizOps to scale our impact at Mattermost by centralizing data, automating processes, and connecting disparate systems to streamline the flow of information.

Examples of our tools:

  • Data Collection & Processing Tools (Stitch, Airflow, dbt, AWS, etc)
  • CRM (Salesforce)
  • Data Visualization (Looker)
  • blapi (aka Business Logic API)

Learn more from this podcast featuring our own Alex Dovenmuehle diving into Mattermost’s data infrastructure.

Processes

To maintain alignment across functions, tools, and people, scalable processes are required. With BizOps smackdab in the center of the business, we depend on standardized handoffs from person to person, person to tool, tool to tool, and tool to person. This can become complex quickly as you increase customization and scale offerings.

Examples of our processes:

  • Manual
    • Quote to Close (Sales Serve)
      • Pricing & Discounting (Deal Desk)
      • Custom Terms & Contract Approval
      • Converting Leads
    • At Risk & Early Warning Customer Reporting
    • Customer Journey Data Enrichment
  • Automated
    • Monthly Cloud Usage & Billing
    • GTM Automation in Salesforce
      • Online Purchases (Self Service)
      • Lead Creation & Routing
      • Renewal Opportunity Creation

People

Let’s be honest, and a little corny: “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

BizOps is nothing without the people. Not only do we support our tools, our processes, and our internal BizOps team, we support and enable those around us.

We hold down the fort at Mattermost with five team members in BizOps. #effective #highimpact

Our team includes:

  • Business Insights: Enables business leaders and employees to make data-driven decisions through a self-service analytics framework, in-depth customer analysis, and metrics standardization and reporting.
  • Business Systems Engineering: Enables teams across Mattermost to scale their processes through automation and integration of critical tooling.
  • Customer Journey Operations: Enables the tracking and reporting of customer journey data, processes, and experiences to support ongoing GTM initiatives across Mattermost.
  • Data Engineering: Enables Mattermost to consume and analyze data by centralizing and transforming data, maintaining high-performing infrastructure, ensuring data security and quality, and developing self-service analytics frameworks.
  • Marketing Operations: Enables Marketing through lead management, scalable customer nurturing, and quality data collection and reporting.
  • Sales Operations: Enables Sales, Customer Success, and Finance to provide a positive customer experience by reducing time to close deals, increasing data quality, and standardizing/documenting processes.

But… what would you say you do here?

One year in, and I can comfortably say that there are very few things we don’t do here:

  • Centralize data, derive insights, and facilitate self-service analytics? Been there, done that.
  • Develop GTM automation to enable self-service and improve the customer journey? Check!
  • Build standardized and sustainable processes to guarantee long-term scalability? Duh.
BizOps at Mattermost

It may be a bit of a stretch, but without a highly functioning BizOps team, you run the risk of bleeding out, high blood pressure, or arrhythmia.

So, if at any point you were thinking do I really need BizOps?, I hope you are now able to answer that question yourself.

To learn more about BizOps at Mattermost, check this out.

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Rachel Bradley-Haas is the Head of Business Operations at Mattermost, Inc. Previously, she was the Director of Go-to-Market Operations and Analytics for Heroku and an associate data scientist at Cisco. Rachel lives in the Bay area.

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