We all know a picture is worth a thousand words. This could not be more true than when selling software solutions. As a partner you have many avenues to get ahold of the product bits to build your own demo environments and to learn from. Additionally, we have other demonstration tools available to you if you know where they are. It can often be hard to find and know the wealth of resources available to you, much less keep abreast of the changes and updates to them.
Microsoft Online Demo Solutions or http://mssalesdemos.com is one resource that provides a wealth of content that can be leveraged for customer demonstrations, learning, and as a place to get ideas for your own demos. The beauty of this resource is that as long as you have an internet connection, you are golden. There is no need to have several virtual machines running locally to demonstrate a compelling solution. All the VMs are hosted virtually and spun up on demand or by pre-scheduled appointment. What is more, Microsoft Online Demo Solutions, has been updated to incorporate demos fro SQL Server 2012 and System Center 2012 and incorporate downloads for offline demos too!. A screen shot of the catalog is below.
The Description of the SQL Server 2012 content is as follows:
The new SQL Server 2012-RC0 demo is fully integrated with SQL Server 2012, SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 including:
- PowerPivot and MDS Excel integration
- Reporting Services integration with SharePoint
- Power View integrated with SharePoint
- Data Quality Services
- Master Data Services
- Multidimensional and Tabular instances of SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services
- Visual Studio 2010
- Silverlight 5
- Picnic Power View sample loaded
This image also includes demos of the RC0 version of AutoSales, TailspinToys, Contoso Energy, Telco (PowerPivot and Power View), Contoso Schools and the Telco demo.
You can run the demo solution interactively thru this site or download the Virtual Machine to install and run locally from: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28802
The Base ImageX Server is a virtual machine that can be hosted in Hyper-V that allows a user to test out the latest Business Intelligence features of SQL Server 2012 – RC0. The virtual machine has been configured to support the use of PowerView reports, PowerPivot Excel documents and various content packs allowing the user to explore the capabilities of SQL Server 2012. Working with the demos that can be installed on the ImageX server the user will have a clear picture of how the SQL Server 2012, Office and SharePoint tools support and enhance the self-service business intelligence environment.
In Addition to the above, there are seven demonstration scripts for download.
The System Center 2012 content is a slight departure from the classic hosted demo. I would imagine we will add one shortly, but as of today the System Center 2012 demos include downloadable click though vignettes created and re-playable via the DemoMate product from Impresys.
The description of the Private Cloud Demos with System Center 2012 is below:
There is no Virtual Machine for this Demo Solution!
Microsoft® offers the most comprehensive approach for customers to deploy cloud solutions with an end-to-end framework for application and infrastructure management. Microsoft Private Cloud provides customers with a highly flexible and customizable platform to meet even the most demanding mission-critical requirements. This demonstration showcases the following scenarios:
- Multi-Hypervisor Management
- Bring Heterogeneous Hypervisors Under Management
- Self-Service Provisioning via Service Catalog
- Service Manager Reporting
- Application Controller Walkthrough
- Application Performance Monitoring
The click through demonstrations are zip files listed under the documents tab. Videos are also available.
I find these demonstration resources quite valuable as they save me time and allow me to demonstrate technologies on short notice. I refer partners to them routinely, and hope you take a few moments to investigate this valuable tool for your sales tool bag.