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The traditional product demonstration takes advantage of the old adage “seeing is believing” by not just telling someone about a product with PowerPoint, but also showing them directly. Demos can be powerful but they also can be difficult to get right; many times demos devolve into showing a series of features rather than solving business problems.

This year at SAPPHIRE I noticed that some people were moving from demos to test drives. In a test drive, the potential customer uses the product themselves, potentially even without training or introduction.  While a test drive may not allow an individual to experience the breadth of the product, it does reinforce intuitiveness and is an emotional way to overcome barriers of adoption.

The microfinance demo is one such example which teaches users about microfinance and about SAP BusinessObjects Explorer.  This demo embeds a quiz with hints on how to use the product.

Over at the Small Businesses and Midsize Companies Village, attendees can go to the “SAP Business ByDesign Test-Drive and Networking Corner” within the village, watch a quick intro video, and then try out ByDesign running off of live systems physically located in Walldorf. Several analysts commented they were impressed which may help alleviate any current skepticism about the state of SAP Business ByDesign.

Maybe we need to update the adage to “using is believing”.

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