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Containers Expo Blog: Article

Server Application Virtualization = Sales 2.0 Accelerant for ISVs

Capture all of an application’s state, enabling a demo to evolve into a PoC, which in turn can move into production

As luck would have it, I recently attended two thought-provoking Sales 2.0-focused presentations almost back to back. In the first one, Ben Nye of Bain Capital Ventures spoke about lessons learned from SolarWinds, a poster child for Sales 2.0.  At the next, David Skok of Matrix Partners gave a first-rate talk with practical advice on "How to Build a Sales and Marketing Machine" .  With apologies to Ben and David, I'd "nutshell" one of their key points as follows:

Your product is your sales person.

Technology and expectations have combined to shift away from a sales-rep model to one that is product centric; one that lets the buyer take it for a test drive and become self educated. In this model, the product is made available for evaluation and is the vehicle by which an interested person will become a highly qualified prospect.

Success here requires: 1) ease of installation 2) ease of use 3) intuitive and instruction free interface 4) fast proof that the product works as advertised, which in turn implies that marketing has set clear and accurate expectations ahead of time.  (For articles and videos on these topics, visit the Sales 2.0 company).

Here, is how AppZero acts as a Sales 2.0 tool when ISVs package their application as a Virtual Application Appliance (VAA):

  • Instant provisioning of demonstrations and PoCs
  • Installation time is removed from the delivery process
  • Time consuming configuration processes are eliminated
  • As there is no installation or configuration required, errors are removed from the equation
  • Applications can be instantly provisioned on premise, at the customer site, and/or in the cloud
  • The application can be moved from server to server (physical or virtual) with no lock-in

This last point deserves elaboration. AppZero VAAs can easily move ... again and again. VAAs capture all of an application's state, enabling a demo to evolve into a PoC, which in turn can move into production. The sales process is accelerated. (For a brief description of the ISV-relevant characteristics of a VAA, see my previous blog, "Moving ISV applications in a Sales 2.0 world -- What a difference an "A" makes")

Let's consider a very realistic ISV sales progression. An ISV delivers an application demo as a VAA and converts it into a proof of concept (PoC) in the cloud. Once the PoC is successfully completed, the application - and all the work that has been put into it during the PoC -- can be moved to wherever the customer wishes it to live. That place could be their data center, a private cloud, or a public cloud.

The technical nutshell of Sales 2.0 reasons for ISVs to use AppZero's VAA approach include: ZeroInstall, small image size, fast network delivery, works with Windows, Linux and can migrate to where the customer wants. The business nutshell is even simpler: faster time to customer satisfaction, lowered cost of acquiring customers, and winning more business.

My own Sales 2.0 proposition for ISVs is AppZero's ISV Accelerator Program.  In this program, we offer qualified ISVs the following at no charge: professional services to assist in encapsulating the ISV application as a VAA; the right to use that VAA to deliver demonstrations and PoCs with no time or volume limitation; and six months of support. Hop into our funnel and move your Sales 2.0 self right on through it to satisfied customer/enthusiastic reference.

I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me at http://twitter.com/gregoryjoconnor.

Register to attend the June 23rd Webinar "ISV technical drill down: OS-free Windows and Linux server application delivery for instant provisioning"

This 60-minute event is a detailed, technical, how-to session appropriate for ISV development, operations, support, and professional services practitioners. Presenters will consider a range of ISV-specific benefits in virtualizing multi-tiered, client-server applications for rapid deployment and instant provisioning. They will walk through the process of virtualizing/encapsulating Windows and Linux applications so that they can be easily moved from server to server (physical and virtual) for instant execution in the cloud, on site at a customer's premise, or in a datacenter. Strong use cases will be outlined, as well as those for which the solution is not a great match. Join us June 23rd @ 1pm EST to learn how to boost the bottom line without changing your business model or technology of choice. Register Now>>

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

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