For technology manufacturers, independent software vendors and even service providers and technology manufacturers, demonstrations and proofs of concept are a critical step in the sales process. Demonstrations illustrate relevance, while PoCs establish that a given technology, product or service fully satisfies the buyer's particular requirements.
"When capturing a new sale, time is often of the essence," explained a piece of Citrix documentation about utilizing the cloud for PoCs. "Software providers have a finite amount of time to capture customer mindshare, and the competition is trying to beat them to it. Spinning up a customized working demonstration in minutes - versus days or hours - could mean the difference to winning the [purchase order]."
That's the ideal. In the real world, however, PoCs often run into significant challenges and obstacles that result in delayed and sometimes missed sales opportunities:
Using a demo cloud to deliver cloud-based, self-service demonstrations and proofs of concept
Demonstration and PoC clouds can address these shortcomings and make life easier for both sales teams and prospective customers. An efficient demo and PoC cloud can, for instance, eliminate the steep capital costs and logistical pitfalls of traditional field-based PoCs and improve the operational efficiency, remote usability, agility and responsiveness of central lab-based PoCs. Such an infrastructure-as-a-service cloud solution can deliver commonly used demo and PoC environments to teams in the field. The result is shorter sales cycles and increased opportunity pipeline.
A streamlined user experience is imperative when working with a demo cloud. A solution like QualiSystems CloudShell offers the essential features for demo/PoC cloud automation, including:
Ultimately, a demo/PoC cloud should accelerate the sales process and eliminate the common causes of delay. With deep integration of workflow automation and resource management, a solution like CloudShell also produces significant CAPEX and OPEX savings through increased efficiency and productivity. In a future post, we will look in greater depth at how some other specific demo cloud features lead to easier field tests and PocS.
The takeaway: As tech and telecom sales organizations look to speed up and shorten their sales cycles, they will need to overcome the logistical and productivity blocks to meeting customer demands for demonstrations and PoCs. Using IaaS to offer access to common environments, they can overcome the hurdles that beset PoC testing and prove that products and services can operate across complex, customer-relevant infrastructure environments.