When selecting new software, you’ll probably attend many software demonstrations, by numerous vendors. Each type of software demonstration has its pros and cons, and its place in the software selection process. Generally, a combination of different types of software demonstrations are used in the software selection process. In the early stages, web brochures, presentations, downloads, exhibitions and interactive online systems are suitable for identifying and short listing potential software solutions. However, once you have your shortlist and need more information – then live system demonstrations by knowledgeable sales consultants, with each of the shortlisted software vendors are more useful. NB: you’ll get more out of attending a software demonstration if you have already documented your new system requirements. But if you’ve yet to specify your requirements, check out Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates, which can help you quickly and easily gather your new system requirements. The advantages and disadvantages of six different types of software demonstration are summarised below.

1. PRESENTATIONS EG VIA WEBSITE BROCHURES OR SLIDES

Advantages Quick and easy to use. Provides an outline of software features and benefits. Acceptable level of detail for an overview of the software. Disadvantages Information provided may be limited. Does not demonstrate how the software behaves in use. Insufficient detail to base your purchase decision on. 2. LIMITED VERSION OF THE SOFTWARE PROVIDED VIA WEBSITE DOWNLOAD OR CD/DVD Comprises an interactive system, but with limitations eg on access, printing, number of uses, or time. It may contain some demonstration data. Advantages These can be useful to look at the software / system in your own time. You will see more details, get more information and a better feel for the system than with a website brochure / slide presentation. Fairly immediate access to the software via a website download. Disadvantages You will need to be able to work your way around the system and find any data that is there, or you may only see empty screens. Unable to interact with the software very effectively due to the limited nature of the demonstration and limited data. Not as convenient as interactive online demonstrations. You may end up being confused and/or not as impressed as you would have been if a knowledgeable software user was showing you around the system.

3. INTERACTIVE ONLINE DEMONSTRATION SYSTEM

Advantages Quick, easy and convenient. No software or download needed, so save time and effort downloading. Can interact with the software. Product tours, plus video tutorials for learning, functionality, support. Optional navigation, drill down, pdf downloads. Useful for evaluating software, especially from a vendor which offers a SaaS or Cloud option. Disadvantages Sample data. Registration may be required for access to the system, tutorials etc. No face-to-face interaction with vendor or sales consultant.

4. LIVE DEMONSTRATION AT AN EXHIBITION

Advantages It is quick and easy to see several software vendor demonstrations in one day. Useful to compare different software and vendors. Get to ask questions, meet vendor representatives and obtain contacts to follow up afterwards. Disadvantages Most demonstrations will be short (probably ½ to 1 hour) and held at the vendor stand or in an open presentation. They may only cover only general features or just the latest software functionality. The demonstration is shared with other interested parties. You may not get to ask all the questions you would like to ask but may hear interesting / different views on the software. After seeing a few demonstrations in quick succession, it is easy to get confused as to which software does what.

5. LIVE DEMONSTRATION AT YOUR OFFICES, BY A SALES CONSULTANT

Advantages It is a private demonstration, so you can focus solely on your needs. You will have more time to cover the features of interest, in more detail and to ask more questions. Able to interact with the software. Very convenient – save travelling. Disadvantages The preparation eg setting up the demonstration room facilities. Arranging the demonstration.

6. LIVE DEMONSTRATION AT THE SOFTWARE VENDOR’S OFFICES

Advantages Probably the best means of software and vendor evaluation. Fully interactive demonstration. See the vendor’s organisation. Possibility of speaking to vendor’s sales, support, technical staff and management. Can get a much better feel for the vendor from such visits. Attendees are much more likely to be focused on the software and vendor, when the demonstration is away from their offices. Disadvantages The most time consuming of all the software demonstrations. Time taken in travelling to the vendor, attending the demonstration and meeting key personnel. Arranging the demonstration. Time taken to find free time in all attendee’s schedules that fits in with the vendor and organise travel arrangements. Need to decide, create and provide suitable data, if you wish the software demonstration to contain data relevant to your organisation. Need to decide, create and provide the agenda and any demo scripts you wish to follow in the demonstration. For more software demonstration information, visit Vendor Software Demonstrations, Tips for Attending Software Demonstrations, How to quickly create a software demo script

Vendor Software Demonstrations

A comparison of different types of software demonstrations

Axia Consulting

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When selecting new software, you’ll probably attend many software demonstrations, by numerous vendors. Each type of software demonstration has its pros and cons, and its place in the software selection process. Generally, a combination of different types of software demonstrations are used in the software selection process. In the early stages, web brochures, presentations, downloads, exhibitions and interactive online systems are suitable for identifying and short listing potential software solutions. However, once you have your shortlist and need more information – then live system demonstrations by knowledgeable sales consultants, with each of the shortlisted software vendors are more useful. NB: you’ll get more out of attending a software demonstration if you have already documented your new system requirements. But if you’ve yet to specify your requirements, check out Axia’s RFI/RFP Templates, which can help you quickly and easily gather your new system requirements. The advantages and disadvantages of six different types of software demonstration are summarised below.

1. PRESENTATIONS EG VIA WEBSITE

BROCHURES OR SLIDES

Advantages Quick and easy to use. Provides an outline of software features and benefits. Acceptable level of detail for an overview of the software. Disadvantages Information provided may be limited. Does not demonstrate how the software behaves in use. Insufficient detail to base your purchase decision on. 2. LIMITED VERSION OF THE SOFTWARE PROVIDED VIA WEBSITE DOWNLOAD OR CD/DVD Comprises an interactive system, but with limitations eg on access, printing, number of uses, or time. It may contain some demonstration data. Advantages These can be useful to look at the software / system in your own time. You will see more details, get more information and a better feel for the system than with a website brochure / slide presentation. Fairly immediate access to the software via a website download. Disadvantages You will need to be able to work your way around the system and find any data that is there, or you may only see empty screens. Unable to interact with the software very effectively due to the limited nature of the demonstration and limited data. Not as convenient as interactive online demonstrations. You may end up being confused and/or not as impressed as you would have been if a knowledgeable software user was showing you around the system.

3. INTERACTIVE ONLINE

DEMONSTRATION SYSTEM

Advantages Quick, easy and convenient. No software or download needed, so save time and effort downloading. Can interact with the software. Product tours, plus video tutorials for learning, functionality, support. Optional navigation, drill down, pdf downloads. Useful for evaluating software, especially from a vendor which offers a SaaS or Cloud option. Disadvantages Sample data. Registration may be required for access to the system, tutorials etc. No face-to-face interaction with vendor or sales consultant.

4. LIVE DEMONSTRATION AT AN

EXHIBITION

Advantages It is quick and easy to see several software vendor demonstrations in one day. Useful to compare different software and vendors. Get to ask questions, meet vendor representatives and obtain contacts to follow up afterwards. Disadvantages Most demonstrations will be short (probably ½ to 1 hour) and held at the vendor stand or in an open presentation. They may only cover only general features or just the latest software functionality. The demonstration is shared with other interested parties. You may not get to ask all the questions you would like to ask but may hear interesting / different views on the software. After seeing a few demonstrations in quick succession, it is easy to get confused as to which software does what.

5. LIVE DEMONSTRATION AT YOUR

OFFICES, BY A SALES CONSULTANT

Advantages It is a private demonstration, so you can focus solely on your needs. You will have more time to cover the features of interest, in more detail and to ask more questions. Able to interact with the software. Very convenient – save travelling. Disadvantages The preparation eg setting up the demonstration room facilities. Arranging the demonstration.

6. LIVE DEMONSTRATION AT THE

SOFTWARE VENDOR’S OFFICES

Advantages Probably the best means of software and vendor evaluation. Fully interactive demonstration. See the vendor’s organisation. Possibility of speaking to vendor’s sales, support, technical staff and management. Can get a much better feel for the vendor from such visits. Attendees are much more likely to be focused on the software and vendor, when the demonstration is away from their offices. Disadvantages The most time consuming of all the software demonstrations. Time taken in travelling to the vendor, attending the demonstration and meeting key personnel. Arranging the demonstration. Time taken to find free time in all attendee’s schedules that fits in with the vendor and organise travel arrangements. Need to decide, create and provide suitable data, if you wish the software demonstration to contain data relevant to your organisation. Need to decide, create and provide the agenda and any demo scripts you wish to follow in the demonstration. For more software demonstration information, visit Vendor Software Demonstrations, Tips for Attending Software Demonstrations, How to quickly create a software demo script
Vendor Software Demonstrations A comparison of different types of software demonstrations
© 2020 Axia Consulting Ltd
All rights reserved. Contact Us

Axia Consulting