One thing I really enjoy during tech-conferences is visiting Partners at their booth. Having a chance to know more about companies that are responsible for the whole virtualization/cloud ecosystem is quiet interesting for me. What problem do they solve and how can they demonstrate/transfer the solution and the knowledge in a short amount of time plays an important role for me (and I guess for many other attendees as well).
I would assume all of us had good and bad experiences at specific booths depend on expectations one had.
I defined multiple criteria to evaluate a personal outcome
See a summary of all ‘lenzker visit’ posts right here.
Lenker’s visit: Summary
Product :D :) :| :(
Company :D :) :| :(
Market position :D :) :| :(
Openness :D :) :| :(
Booth-presentation :D :) :| :(
- What problem does the demonstrated solution solve and which ones does it create?
- Software solves business problems and create new challenges. Server virtualization solved many problems like server improved capacity usage, fast provisioning times, centralized management, etc.. At the same time the impact of a hardware failures could have been much higher than it has been in the legacy 1:1 physical world. Even though we created new problems or challenges the benefits outweighed those problems in the industry.
- Which functionalities are lacking?
- Taking over the consultant perspective. Which concrete functionality is currently lacking? How is the UI? How does this functionality feel? Is it available only on paper or can we deliver this functionality into an enterprise environment?
- How easy is it to install the solution?
- Nothing to explain here. How complex is it to create a proof-of-concept and an enterprise-ready installation?
- How well does it integrate with an existing IT-landscape
- There are many good solutions out there from smaller companies. How easy can we integrate them into our existing infrastructure landscape? Are there any limitation with using existing backup software? Can we create a dependency for other/future deployments in our company? How complex can the architecture get in the future because of the solution?
- How easy is a transition into production (handover/knowledge-transfer)?
- Do we need hours, days or months to integrate the solution into production? How hard is it to train the staff. How tough might it be to convince other units in the enterprise to use this solution.
- Which maturity has the company?
- Is the company offering the solution profitable or is it a startup in a specific stage (series A/B/C). How many employees work for the company? All of the questions are relevant when making a decision for a solution. Even-though I love young and innovative start-ups customers of Pernixdata know what I am talking about. The smaller the company, the higher the risk that something unexpected will happen. How long is the guaranteed support cycle? On the other side young companies might be more reactive to your feature requests and ideas.
- How can you purchase the solution?
- Can we get access to the product directly via the vendor or over a partner/distribution network?
- Who are the opponents on the market?
- The cloud-/virtualization (or in general the tech-) ecosystem is quiet complex. Partner quickly become enemies. Enemies become friends. Friends are competitors in different sectors, etc. To know the opponents helps us to get a feeling where the solution is heading to. Which potential other company might be interested in acquiring the company (which has an impact if you should risk the investment into the new solution)
- How do they differentiate from the opponents?
- In 1980 Porter told the world that in an economical environment the differentiation plays a key role. What is the ‘unique-selling-point’ (USP) compared to the opponents on the market? Price? Quality? Availability? Brand? Those elements are a key factor for a companies success and should be evaluated for sure.
- How easy is it to get access to the binaries and documentation?
- Can we just access a demo-portal , download the binaries for free or need to talk to a sales guy first? Is the documentation good enough to be able to deliver it the customer or do we need specific Training as consultants.
- How much help can we get from the community?
- When I google for a problem of the solution will I find information or a board where problems are discussed. Are there evangelists out there that are trying to explain how things work and what real problems are solved.
- How skilled was the staff at the booth?
- I have seen multiple people working at the booth. From people that were respectful and tried to answer every question to made me feel dump during the whole visit. I know this something that varies a lot, but to be honest. If you leave a booth and have the feeling that the person there did not really take you serious -> please stay at home next time.
- How good was the demonstration of their solution?
- Could I play around on my own? Was it a live-demo or just a video? Did we had the chance to go-off the demo track and demonstrate things anticipated on the questions I had.
- How would the product have changed my statements / life as a professional instructor/consultant in the last years?
Even though this approach tries to be systematic there will be a subjective note to it. Feel free to start a discussion with me and convince me if you think I was wrong.
In general products I talk about are not sponsored in any way. If that will be the case I will make an annotation.