If you’re a night owl like me, you’ve probably spent quite a bit of time in front of a television late at night looking at ads scroll by for made-for-TV products. Each of those products is designed to catch the eye of someone that just can’t resist the urge to buy them. However, sometimes the methods they use to list of all the great things their products do could use some work.
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen someone try to sell me on sealant spray by showing me how it can be used to seal up a screen door and make it float. Or how a magical protection gel can actually protect someone’s hand from being run over. Or maybe it’s the magical spray-on hair that no one will be able to detect.1
No matter how good your product is, you need to have a compelling demo to sell it. Note that a compelling demo is not something that looks like an infomercial. It’s not designed to hook someone in 30 seconds and get them to call the operators standing by. Instead, it should be something that is relevant to a person’s work. It should show them something indispensable that they really can’t live without. That’s why Illumio comes in to play.
The Power of A Good Demo
Illumio had a great demo at Networking Field Day this past November. What made it so good? Well, for starters they realized that they needed to show something that users were dealing with in real life. Instead of setting up some crazy internal demo that only worked with static workloads, Illumio decided to do everything live on AWS. That’s why people are starting to move their workloads. So if it works on AWS for a demo, you know it has to work for you too.
Illumio also didn’t pull any punches with their setup. They used real workloads to show how the PCE Supercluster could protect a huge number of workloads at scale. This is one of my favorite things to point out to people when they’re doing their demo. They pick an arbitrary number to display. It’s sometimes in the middle of their comfort zone, but it’s also often just enough to sound impressive but be right on the edge of breaking some major functionality.
Illumio didn’t go down the safe road. Instead, they put thousands of workloads up in AWS and demoed how those workloads would perform with their solution. Take a look at this first demo that Matthew Glenn did:
That’s an impressive amount of software being driven on the backend! And it all works because Illumio didn’t take any shortcuts with their demo setup. Instead, they realized that the only way to showcase what they were trying to accomplish was to push their system to the limit and show off how much the PCE Supercluster was capable of. In fact, I think the hardest working part of the whole demo was Matthew changing t-shirts throughout the entire video series.
And that demo was so impressive that it changed minds. People that watched it realized that Illumio had built a solution that didn’t just perform microsegmentation on a few static workloads at a time. Instead, Illumio can protect your applications and data and manage that integration while conserving bandwidth at the same time. It’s a holistic solution designed to scale to the way that organizations use the cloud.
Bringing It All Together
Flash isn’t substance. Substance comes from making something that works exactly like you say it does. It comes from showing that your solution works no matter what you throw at it. And that same solution is easy to use and makes life easy for the people that want to use it. It’s not spraying a screen door or floating fake hair on a lake. It’s pushing your product into the cloud and making every networking and security team’s life easier. That’s the kind of power that you can expect from a company like Illumio. And if you don’t believe me, ask them to demo it for you.
- Unless you’re on HDTV in front of the whole nation. ??