Mission-Critical Service Testing Fundamental #4: “Get The Most Productivity From Your Developers and Testers” Webinar is now available

October 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

The fourth installment of my seven part series on service testing best practices is now up on the SmartBear blog. This time, I describe how important it is to make sure that your development and testing teams are working well together. The Webinar is available here.

If you’re interested in being notified of future editions, subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter: @RD_Schneider.

eSeminar on “Using the Cloud to Support Today’s Growing Analytics Requirements”

October 21, 2013 Comments Off on eSeminar on “Using the Cloud to Support Today’s Growing Analytics Requirements”

I recently conducted an event for IBM & Ziff Davis that talked about the inter-relationships among Big Data, cloud computing, and analytics. From the abstract:

Analytics is being driven deeper into most organizations as more business unit managers and employees need information to make smarter, faster business decisions. At the same time, many companies are relying on the analysis of much larger volumes of data to make such critical decisions. This eSeminar will discuss how a smart cloud infrastructure can help meet today’s growing analytics requirements, while accommodating the larger volumes of data involved in decision-making processes.

You can view the eSeminar here

Proof of concept best practice #1: No POC without a valid sales opportunity

October 18, 2013 § 3 Comments

Recently, I shared some of my observations about guidelines for successfully carrying out proofs-of-concept (POC). In this installment, I want to point out how important it is for the POC to occur – always, without exception – in the context of an active sale.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I heard about a huge deal that was about to come in, if only we diverted all sales engineering talent to work for 72 hours straight (usually through a weekend, with bonus points for a holiday) to crank out a last-minute POC. In nearly every case, I discovered that my company was being used as “POC fodder” (i.e. leverage against another vendor that was much further along in the sales cycle), or there was something else strange about the opportunity.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the most levelheaded salespeople get excited and fantasize that there’s a deal when the customer is just kicking tires, comparison-shopping, or finding an excuse to continually evaluate technology without making a decision. I won’t name names, but I personally witnessed one firm – a major credit bureau – spend 8+ years evaluating Web service infrastructure offerings without ever buying anything. They went to conferences all around the world and ran their vendors ragged on custom demos, POCs, and other free work without ever spending a dime on software.

To prevent these time-wasting wild goose chases, remember that no POC should ever be done without an active sales opportunity underway. Look for an RFP or other documentation that describes a well-planned purchasing process. If the prospect starts getting cagey, changing the subject, or otherwise trying to avoid the question, there’s no deal there.

In fact, you actually strengthen your position by – politely – walking away from abnormal POCs. Prospects are notorious for trying to squeeze free research out of vendors, particularly hungry startups that are desperately trying to win a deal at a large customer.

If you’re interested in POCs and all things related to sales engineering, check out my posts on the habits of the most effective sales engineers.

Big Data security and privacy risk podcast

October 1, 2013 Comments Off on Big Data security and privacy risk podcast

I recently participated in a podcast sponsored by Edward Haletky at The Virtualization Practice.

My co-panelists (Edward, Iben Rodriguez @iben, Mike Foley @mikefoley) and I discussed many aspects of the inherent security and privacy risks that enterprises and the general public alike are encountering with Big Data. You can find a recording of the podcast here.

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