Shortens Sales Cycle with the Skytap Cloud
- Limited staff to support sales demos
- Expensive laptops required to perform complex software demos
- Sales consultants used multiple laptops and products resulting in performance problems
- No ability for customer to remotely interact with custom demos, interaction stopped when the sales team left the customer premise
- New prospects required hands-on POC environments before purchasing and could not scale capacity with demand
Open Text adopted the Skytap Cloud across its worldwide solutions consultant team to deliver demos and POCs to prospects
- Real-time provisioning for sales and
- Scale sales demo and POC IT capacity on-demand
- 24/7 demo infrastructure, not just when sales team is on-site with client
- Ability to resolve roadblocks in the sales cycle remotely without traveling
- Shorter sales cycles with more new business
Open Text is a provider of Enterprise Content Management software for the world’s largest companies, government agencies and professional service firms. Open Text chose Skytap Cloud to improve the delivery of its complex software demos, and now uses Skytap Cloud across its worldwide sales activities and proof-of-concept (POC) deployments.
Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Open Text (Nasdaq: OTEX) is a publicly-traded company with more than 3,400 employees worldwide. The company has over two decades of expertise in enterprise content management and supports 50 million users in 114 countries. Open Text brings together leading Content Experts to help organizations capture and preserve corporate memory, increase brand equity, automate processes, mitigate risk, manage compliance and improve competitiveness.
Neil Wilson, technical marketing manager at Open Text, is responsible for supporting over 300 sales consultants with complex software demos. Prior to Skytap Cloud, the Open Text sales team provided demos using virtual machines on laptop computers. This approach quickly turned into a challenge as they needed to bring multiple machines to customer meetings to showcase their complex ECM software suite. It was also becoming costly to provision laptops powerful enough to run complex enterprise applications such as SharePoint or SAP.
In August 2009, Wilson started investigating cloud solutions that could automate the provisioning of sales demo environments and enable his
- Quickly spin up sales demo environments
- Remotely address customer obstacles or concerns
- Provide self-service access to virtual IT environments to minimize
- Improve the customer evaluation experience and shorten sales cycles
“Skytap Cloud is a game-changer for OpenText. Our sales team can now instantly conduct sophisticated demos of our software whether they are remote or onsite with the customer. By moving to Skytap Cloud, we have improved the customer evaluation experience and shortened our sales cycle.”Neil Wilson
Technical Marketing Manager
In addition to the cost of providing their consultants with powerful laptops, the Open Text sales team was also faced with a shift in strategy. To keep ahead of the market, Open Text made the decision to move from a provider of point solutions to become a suite-based vendor. As a consequence, the sales team needed to demo multiple products in order to showcase the complete suite solution, and the simultaneous use of multiple products on multiple machines created performance problems during demos.
The Open Text sales team was also challenged with quickly addressing customer questions during the sales process. If a customer wanted to see a follow up demo of a specific feature set, the sales engineer would often have to travel back to the customer’s office and spin up a new demo – a costly and time consuming undertaking.
Additionally, Open Text wanted to increase the rate at which it updated its sales demos. Prior to Skytap, the company produced demo DVDs which it distributed to the field once or twice a year. As a result, demos quickly became outdated and it was difficult for the sales team to keep up to date with the latest offerings. Based on these challenges, Wilson knew he needed to identify a better solution for sales demos, and decided to take a look at the cloud
After a thorough evaluation of the marketplace, Wilson selected Skytap based on its ability to quickly and cost-effectively support complex software demos. Selecting a virtual private cloud like Skytap would save the company significant cost over building an internal private cloud offered by other vendors. “We didn’t have budget to invest in the additional hardware, nor did we want to deal with the maintenance and support cost of an internal cloud,” said Wilson.
Open Text signed up for a Skytap Cloud account and in less than 48 hours had access to a full sales demo environment in the cloud. Over the course of a few weeks, Open Text rolled out Skytap Cloud accounts to its 300 sales consultants worldwide. “Using Skytap Cloud, we can now fire up complex software demos in a matter of seconds. This capability is absolutely critical as we have a large portfolio of products that cannot be taken to customer offices on laptops and USB drives,” said Wilson.
“We are also impressed with how easy it is to share our demos with customers, even when we’re not on-site. We’re often asked to demo additional products and solutions as we get deeper into the sales process, and before Skytap Cloud, that would have meant a return trip to the customer’s office.” In fact, the ability to provide remote demos has been key in shortening OpenText’s sales cycle. According to Wilson, “Prior to Skytap Cloud, we had to make the trip to the customer’s office if there was an issue preventing a deal from closing. Now, we can instantly spin up a demo and address a customer’s question on the spot.”
OpenText is now using Skytap Cloud for approximately 7,000 hours of sales demos each month. Based on the success of its sales team, OpenText has extended its use of Skytap Cloud to proof of concept deployments. “Skytap Cloud has significantly changed the way we interact with prospective customers and deliver POCs. We can now provide potential customers with direct access to our solutions and walk them through scenarios based on their specific needs,” said Wilson. OpenText is also beginning to use the Skytap Cloud for training and cooperative partner development initiatives.
Specific benefits OpenText experienced with Skytap Cloud include:
- Provisioning time for sales demo environments is
- Ability to scale sales demo and POC infrastructure according to demand
- Central library of ‘best practice’ templates to quickly spin up demo environments
- New sales demo releases now distributed four times per year vs. one; updates are instantly available to the entire sales field through Skytap Cloud.