I recently came across a new tool that could rather dramatically improve the way that POC’s are done today. It is called Virtual Labs (the company is called Cloud People - http://www.virtuallabs.com.au). The tool was originally developed to enable training of IT staff, but they pivoted a few years back and have produced capabilities that enable POC’s to be prepared, delivered, tracked and managed in some delightfully new ways.
Traditionally, it often takes (substantial) time to build POC environments – Virtual Labs can cut this to a fraction. But wait, there’s more…!
Once a POC is deployed, it is often tough to see how the customer is using the environment. Are they using it at all? Are they running into problems? Are they working the tasks/use cases that were agreed upon?
Virtual Labs enable vendors to generate complex POC environments rapidly, hand them over to customers (via a browser); and track and manage the use by the customer. Vendors get direct insight into how the customer is progressing – see the time spent using the software, number of users, logins, etc. Vendors can also set triggers to uncover problems or issues (e.g., is the user is taking too long to complete a task?).
If the customer has a question or problem, a browser-based q&a session can be established with the vendor right within the environment, if I understand correctly. Libraries of use cases can be pre-prepared and deployed as desired, as well.
This looks like a potentially game-changing tool for POC’s – check it out!