One of the biggest problems with product or solution demos is that they eat up a lot of time. On average, it takes 24 man-hours to set up a demo. A fully equipped collaboration demo can take up to three weeks to be up and running. And, not just any employee can set up a demo—often it requires a high-level engineer who could be performing billable activities for your company.
Ingram Micro surveyed its Cisco partners and was surprised to find that 60 percent of respondents were not aware of two invaluable demo resources: The Ingram Micro Cisco Experience Center and Cisco’s dCloud (demonstration cloud) solution. Both are free services available to Cisco partners and can significantly reduce the time and labor burden associated with product or solution demonstrations. Plus, they offer several additional benefits.
The Ingram Micro Cisco Experience Center, located in Buffalo, N.Y. and sponsored by Cisco, is a state-of the-art training and demonstration facility designed to address the needs of Cisco solution providers. Key offerings include:
- Live and remote-access product demonstrations geared toward sales, marketing, and/or engineering personnel
- Live, remote training sessions via webinar
- One-on-one technical briefings
- Partner consultations
Demonstrations cover a diverse array of solution architectures, such as:
- Next-Generation Firewall
- Identity and Context-based Services
- Security Appliances
- Enterprise Networks
- Unified Access
- Cloud Managed Networking
- Internet of Everything (IoE)
- Unified Communications
- Video Solutions
- Customer Care
- Data Center
- Unified Computing System (UCS)
- Nexus Solutions
- Network Services Controller
- Cloud Integration and Networking
Cisco dCloud is a virtual demonstration and lab cloud service hosted on one of Cisco’s data centers. Like the Experience Center, it can be accessed via a desktop or mobile browser and offers complete administrative control of a virtual demo. The presentation is not a PowerPoint or video virtualized demo — it is the real deal. Partners can test, demonstrate and run more than 140 different labs, demos, and sandboxes. Cisco also offers a VPN setup, which allows Cisco partners to extend the lab right into their own offices.
Experience Center demonstrations are delivered by Ingram Micro engineers and customized to meet partners’ and end customers’ needs, whereas dCloud uses pre-recorded demonstrations that are delivered by the partners. Additionally, dCloud demos come with scripts that partners can follow, making it easier to explain the what, why, and how during a presentation. This video illustrates a dCloud session of a Cisco FireSIGHT Management Center.
Other helpful features built into dCloud are traffic simulators, which are useful for firewall demos and security labs. Some Cisco partners may opt to provide high-level Cisco solution demos to prospects and customers using dCloud, and to use the Experience Center to provide more in-depth and customized demonstrations with the aid of Ingram Micro’s engineering resources. Or, partners could use Ingram Micro to help them get started with dCloud until they feel comfortable doing demos on their own.
Whatever option or combo you choose, there is no cost, so don’t delay. For additional information on these invaluable training, testing and proof-of-concept (POC) resources, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.