I recently found myself staring at a pile of parts for a dollhouse I bought my daughter. As I sat there desperately trying to fit screw MM into hole H on board C and affixing it to bracket A, I realized that when I was looking at the gloriously assembled and complete product at the store, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. It didn’t help that my 2 year old was now circling me like a vulture over its prey, just waiting for her new toy to rise from this pile of parts into her new favorite play thing. It was then I truly understood why you should never trust a demo.
We’ve all heard of that slick salesman that knows exactly how to sell shiny and pretty while distracting you from the ugly of whatever their goods are. It is our responsibility as informed consumers to seek out those shortcomings and then make an informed decision if the shiny and pretty outweigh the inevitable drawbacks that a particular product or service brings with it. This is why we test drive our cars and have home inspections done before we close on our new house. It’s not that we don’t trust the car salesman or the realtor, we just want to know in the beginning what we are getting into. It is much better to find out upfront that there is a plumbing leak in the foundation before we buy a house than to learn about it afterwards. Those things just never show up on the seller website with all of their perfectly staged pictures and descriptions.
Buying computer software is no different. Anyone can make any computer program do anything in a demo. I once showed a friend that Microsoft Excel can fly a plane. Don’t believe me? Just search online for “Microsoft Excel Flight Simulator”. This is obviously an extreme example, but it is important to know the pros and cons, the truths and myths, the facts and fiction of every application you are evaluating. The only truly effective way to evaluate an application is to use it in your environment. Nowhere is this truer than when evaluating test automation software. At Worksoft we encourage our prospects to see exactly who or what is behind the curtain! Some important things to consider include:
- Require a Proof-of-Concept as part of your evaluation. Pull back the layers of the onion to expose everything. Watch what each vendor does and ask them to show you how they do something when you don’t fully understand how they got from point A to point B. Describe the image. Make them show you the hard stuff. Challenge them to exceed your requirements and understand how they do it.
- Make sure the software is on your system running against your environment. It needs to be live and you need to touch it.
- Only then will you truly be able to say that any particular application is the right one for your organization.
Ultimately, the decision to buy something then lies with you. But now you have the ability to toss the lemon, pass on the house with the leaky foundation, or exclude a vendor that doesn’t meet the goals and objectives of the POC. A demo, just like a fully assembled doll house on the show room floor, will always look beautiful. It is up to us, to know what is in the box when we buy it – and that is especially true when it comes to SAP Test automation. Batteries are not always included and some assembly may be required. Failure to do so could result in a 2 year old girl breaking her daddy’s heart.