This was originally published on January 31, 2011 on intelligentworkloadmanagement.com:
Last week I wrote about how software appliances can reduce sales friction. Today I want to elaborate on how appliances make this possible.
Software and virtual appliances package your application in a compact, portable form factor that greatly reduces the complexity of installation and configuration. Since most applications don’t need the full breadth of today’s high-powered operating systems, software appliances also allow you to reduce the OS to just what’s needed, which slims down the footprint of the appliance.
Customers just download your evaluation appliance, install it on bare metal or a hypervisor, and boot it. It really is that simple.
By slashing the time and complexity involved with most enterprise software evaluations and proofs of concept (POCs), appliances make it easy for customers to quickly experience the product’s benefits. Rather than wrestling with the configurations of his operating system, database, middleware, network settings and so on, your customer is already using your software and focusing on how it can deliver value to his business.
Case in point: ROC Software wanted a way for customers to experience its product, without having to go through a traditional installation. To solve this challenge, the ISV built an appliance version of its EasySpooler software. This application workload contains the operating system, EasySpooler software, required dependencies and the configuration files needed to operate. Because everything is pre-installed and pre-configured, customers can even load the software on their desktops instead of having to install and configure it on their servers. ROC’s users appreciate the immediacy and ease of use of the solution.
This approach gives forward-thinking ISVs a huge competitive advantage when delivering evaluations and proofs of concept. Virtual appliances allow software providers to demonstrate the value of their software in just minutes, eliminating a major source of sales friction and accelerating sales velocity.
What’s holding you back from building your first virtual appliance?