Introducing new information technology into your organization is a massive endeavor—especially when it will have a direct impact on business-critical SQL Server workloads. Somehow you need to find time to undertake a labor-intensive solution identification process, complete a thorough proof of concept (POC), and write a formal proposal—all while simultaneously maintaining the standard day-to-day requirements of your job as an IT professional.
No IT team wants to be in a position where they just spent months testing and advocating for a software solution they are excited about, only to be shut down by executive decision-makers who are not willing to prioritize the project. A successful POC that doesn’t end in technology adoption is draining and discouraging. Unsurprisingly, it can ultimately result in an IT team that is reluctant to pursue business-enhancing innovation at all. And if there’s anything that organizations can’t afford in the age of digital transformation, it’s complacency within their IT department.
So, if you’ve identified an impactful solution that could benefit your organization, what are some best practices you can employ to have the best shot at getting the support of the decision-making hierarchy?
Capitalize on the Power of the POC
Depending on the size of your organization—and especially within the scope of SQL Server high availability—new software acquisitions will typically impact the day-to-day lives of multiple people on your IT team. Invite as many users as possible to share in the POC process and let them take the new solution on a test drive with you. Truly powerful software solutions will speak for themselves when new users get in the driver’s seat for the first time, and the more advocates you have for technology adoption, the stronger and more compelling your proposal becomes.
At the very least, inviting multiple users to join the POC process opens a forum for a greater diversity of perspectives and opinions of the solution being evaluated. This helps avoid fixation or tunnel vision, and can help you more accurately gauge the total impact of technology adoption.
The POC process also needs to be accompanied by strategic, measurable goals, because this is how you are going to show your decision-makers how this solution quantitatively and objectively can make a difference at your organization. When evaluating SQL Server high availability solutions, this might look like measuring:
- Relative failover speeds
- The impact on total licensing expense
- The number of workloads that can be safely stacked on a single server
New solutions are not adopted on a positive gut feeling after reading marketing materials. POCs give you the power to show the potential benefits in black and white, so approach them intentionally with specific demonstrations of value in mind.
The Solution Provider is Eager to Help – Use Them as a Resource
You are in the driver seat when it comes to evaluating new software. The solution provider is generally ready to assist in whatever way they can to help facilitate your understanding of the software solution, because they want to make a sale. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. Learning your way around new software can be a time-consuming task, and it’s worth taking advantage of the resources at hand to help make it as efficient a process as possible.
Obviously, technology vendors have strong technical knowledge and competency to help you along the way through product evaluations. However, their usefulness does not stop there…
Most technology companies have experienced their fair share of deals that got away. Sometimes these disappointments are just due to budget constraints, champion turnover, or other logistical shortcomings. The failed adoptions that sting the most though are the ones where organizational decision-makers failed to see the value in our solution. These are nothing if not learning experiences though, and they have equipped solution providers with a multitude of valuable insights that they would love the opportunity to share with you.
As the technology evaluator/product champion(s) for an organization, it can be an invaluable exercise to tap into these insights prior to your final proposal. While your perceived value of a solution can be fixated around a particular benefit or feature, these conversations can unlock a more holistic value story to help sway your organization’s key stakeholders and decision-makers.
Integrate Technology Proposal with Existing Goals
It’s not rocket science. Technology proposals have a much higher chance of being successful if they help achieve existing goals at your organization. Whether continuous improvement or other business initiatives, these goals are crafted with the needs and priorities of all business units and stakeholders in mind. In-turn, methodically introducing new solutions in the scope of these objectives is a critical advantage in enticing key stakeholders.
Even if a new solution is identified that could have an unambiguously positive impact on your organization, it can be a tough sell if the impact falls outside the scope of these existing goals. Because previously established goals and initiatives are accompanied by previously determined budget allocations. Re-allocating resources is usually only a realistic expectation when reacting to a serious negative event like a security breach or extended downtime incident.
Making the Final Technology Adoption Proposal
Your POC is complete, your team of evaluators have become enthusiastic advocates, and you’ve formulated an amazing proposal that fits like a glove in the scope of your organizational budget and goals. This is by no means a secret formula for 100% success, but based on our interactions with customers and prospects these tips will give you the greatest probability of having your proposal approved, and your hard work rewarded.
Just don’t forget to talk to decision-makers as humans too. Call us a “glass-half-full” company at DH2i, but we believe appealing to emotions and the human experience can be impactful even within the corporate machine. Modern software solutions don’t always just bring new technical capability to organizations. New technology can also simplify management and genuinely improve the quality of life for the IT pros who use it. In other words, certain technology can be accompanied by sensational ROI, and also positively impact the people at your organization. Reducing turnover and improving quality of life can contribute to overall success in the very same manner that technical capability can.
At DH2i, we make ourselves available to help every step of the way through the evaluation process. We typically start with a personalized demo to help you determine how our solutions could benefit your organization’s SQL Server environment. Then we offer free, fully-featured trial licenses for a flexible duration to allow your organization to complete a thorough evaluation. We provide free email-based support with on-boarding and throughout the duration of your POC of DxEnterprise Smart HA Clustering, or DxOdyssey SDP technology. Our dedicated support team has even been known to provide after-hours assistance to ensure success for prospective customers.
Customers have chosen our solutions after being able to clearly demonstrate industry-leading failover speeds, as well as other capabilities in the POC stage that unlock the following benefits in their SQL Server environments:
- An 8-15x reduction in OSes under management by safely stacking instances
- A 30-60% reduction in overall cost licensing costs
- Up to a 40% increase in replication throughput when using the highly performant network transmission technology of DxOdyssey
Lastly, with lightning-fast failover speed and advanced modernization capability, DH2i can enable patching and updating during regular business hours. This is a truly powerful value proposition for DBAs and other frontline IT pros—getting their nights and weekends back while simultaneously reducing total downtime.
If you’re interested in learning more about DH2i’s approach to smart high availability technology, get signed up for a one-on-one demo today.
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