Bad Bakeoffs and the Solution to Them

I’ve been having a problem lately. I’ve got a new product, that a lot of customers want, and they want to test it. Our product works best with a long term trial in a production environment.  In that scenario, it’s almost a certainty that the product will be sold.

I’ve had a few of those scenarios, but I’ve been also seeing my new dreaded enemy, they bakeoff. I’m not afraid that our product won’t win in a bakeoff, BUT I am afraid that our product will not differentiate itself in a bakeoff that is poorly conceived and executed.

I’m not blaming the engineers that are supporting these bakeoffs. For the most part, they know what they are doing is inadequate, and are extremely apologetic for the lack of time and resources to do a proper analysis.

Configuring and installing of equipment takes up much of the time, and the tests don’t mirror real life situations.

I looked at this issue and throught, why don’t we make a virtual lab for our customers? It would be a lab that provides a complete simulated server environment, complete with the necessary data, that a customer can use to test not just our products, but our competitors products as well.

This becomes a great marketing tool as well, because if it becomes widely adopted, we’ll get the names of the contacts at all those new opportunities that use this software.

We get value, the customer gets value. In this case, even the competition gets value, because they get a level playing field on which to compete.

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