When Cisco was looking to launch the VersaStack, an integrated collaboration between IBM and Cisco at VMWorld in August 2015, they wanted to make a big impact. First, they had a problem they needed to solve. They only had one full-scale demo built out to take to shows.
A. J. Ramsey, Global IBM Partner Marketing Manager for Cisco, described the demo unit as a “beast of a box” that was expensive and difficult to ship around. On top of that, only larger venues and events could handle the power and size requirements to display the fully functional demo unit.
Cisco partnered with Kaon Interactive to create the Kaon v-Rack, an interactive 3D product demonstration.
The Kaon v-Rack is an immersive experience that provides Cisco’s sales engineers with a tool that is even better at demonstrating the VersaStack’s capabilities than the actual physical equipment.
Ramsey said that the sales engineers like using the Kaon v-Rack because it is easier to use when conducting technical discussions. They can drill down to line diagrams, show switches, and pull out and spin around components. Details they cannot showcase on the physical box.
Not only is the Kaon v-Rack more flexible to demo, but it is also easier to transport, set up and configure.
“The Kaon unit adds to the number of venues where we can have a physical presence,” Ramsey said. “Not just conferences, but maybe it’s some type of big meeting where you want to show a demo.”
The system also adds the ability to run a representation of the full 3D version on a laptop or tablet, so sales reps can take it with them to meetings, expanding even further environments where Cisco can do demos.
Building the physical rack is expensive. Cisco has to buy the components, build it, house it, and ship it. Those racks also have a limited shelf life of about three years before they have to start over.
Ramsey says the Kaon units are more flexible, less expensive, and easy to keep current. In many cases, the Kaon v-Rack is more current than the physical boxes. No matter where is team is located around the globe, they know they have the latest version available. Moreover, it is not just Cisco, IBM has access to the very same resources, and so the two companies are always in synch.
Gavin Finn, CEO of Kaon Interactive, says the lead-time to implement their system is about six to eight weeks and four to six weeks for complex updates after that.
While Finn said that most their customers use the Kaon device less as a presentation tool and more as an engagement tool – that is the customer doing the interaction themselves while talking to a booth staffer, Ramsey’s team expands on that use.
Ramsey recently was in Las Vegas at IBM InterConnect 2016, where they positioned the Kaon unit so it was facing out into the aisles.
He said that when customers would start to engage with the Kaon v-Rack, a sales rep would walk over to engage them in conversation. Alternatively, if customers came into the booth to ask questions, the rep would take them to the v-Rack and start walking them through.
A 3D demo alternative is not just a solution for IT solution providers. The Kaon platform is also being widely used in the medical/scientific and industrial manufacturing industries by companies such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, GE, Fujitsu, and Schneider Electric.
There will always be buyers that want to see that “beast of a machine” and Ramsey said he understands that so they do still ship the physical VersaStack to larger shows.
“At times, it’s nice to have a physical rack, but [the Kaon v-Rack] is a tenth of the cost to get around,” he added.
– See more at: TSNN