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Today I would like to share with the community an amazing idea that can really help boost sales cycles for Microsoft partners and help customers experience first before they invest. Working with a Microsoft Managed Partner, I have been privileged to come across this handy tool, more accurately call it a product. This product/tool is called Microsoft CIE program.
Working with Microsoft partners as consultants, most of us spend a lot of our time in client visits, understanding their requirements, presale activities, projects management, implementations and post-implementation support. Specifically during the presale cycles we are continuously challenged to POC the custom-solutions, product presentations and demo. We hardly get enough time to setup a demo environment that is implemented with best practices, well integrated, fully tested, reliable, proven to generate sales, demo-ready at all times, and most importantly an environment which has been custom-built to showcase the resolution of real life business issues.
CIE, short for “Customer Immersion Experience”, is an excellent time and money saving idea for both partners and customers alike. The latest version of CIE version 3.5 includes six pre-compiled demo-ready virtual machines that basically enables us, as Microsoft partners, to present and provide hands-on demo for various Microsoft business productivity solutions including Office 365, Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, Visio, Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, CRM 2011 and System Center 2010 to our existing and prospect customers. On the other hand, this comprehensive well-integrated tool allows our customers to play with the latest Microsoft business productivity solutions before investing in them, identify how these solutions would really solve their business pain-areas and which solutions do they need exactly.
I am privileged to deployed CIE in our company. We delivered the first CIE session this week side-by-side with Microsoft to a prospect customer. I am amazed at the response we got from the customer. More projects are coming!
To know more about CIE, go to http://www.microsoftcie.com/. Also, contact your Microsoft Partner Account Manager for the way forward.