As a startup in its early stages, it may seem like your big break is so far away that you can barely dream it, but the truth is, it can be a lot closer than you think. A great way to kick start your path to success is through the execution of a successful PoC (proof-of-concept) with a large enterprise. In doing so, not only will you be able to validate your idea, showcase your product’s capabilities and prove that you are ready to scale your solution, but you will also raise the value of your company and the interest of potential clients.
So why isn’t everyone running PoCs? Because it’s not as easy as it looks – until now. PoCs were once long, tiring, and expensive processes. But, as the only PoC-as-a-Service platform, we’ve created a solution that simplifies the entire PoC process from start to finish and instantly connects enterprises in need of innovations with those startups holding the solutions.
However, we know that there is much more to it than a connection. That’s why we’ve created a 6 step checklist, to help you secure your next PoC.
1. Identify a Need
Before running a PoC, it’s important to recognize the industry you are in and how your product or solution fits within it. By recognizing the current market situation, you will have a better understanding of the demands enterprises face and how your product can be their answer.
When developing your product, be sure to focus on a business challenge that is common to many businesses or to a large industry. If you are able to meet a business challenge or enterprise need with your solution, there is a far higher chance of taking the next step towards running a PoC.
2. Ensure Easy Integration
When considering running a PoC, more often than not enterprises will focus on the integration process, as it could be a major hassle and lead to lost time and headaches. Unless you have a disruptive solution that is desperately needed, enterprises might shy away from running a PoC if integration is deemed as too difficult or requires too much manpower in order to complete.
When characterizing your product, be sure to focus on the integration capabilities and the demands that you would need to make on potential enterprises in order to run the PoC. Make sure integration with your solution doesn’t expose the enterprise to potential security threats and that it runs the necessary backups and checks that will keep the enterprise’s ecosystem safe. If the enterprise has an API that could simplify integration, be sure to adapt your solution to their ecosystem and not expect them to do things the other way around.
3. Have Proper Infrastructure in Place
One of the important things to prepare in advance before launching a PoC is the operational aspect that will need to meet the demands of the increased growth.
The main benefit of working with an enterprise on your PoC is the potential audience and massive scaling capabilities their infrastructure can offer your solution. If you are not ready to withstand that growth, your PoC might not be deemed a success, hindering future PoC’s down the line.
When launching a PoC with an enterprise, the demand on your support team will likely increase tenfold, so it is important to have the operational structure in place that can support the growth.
4. Target Key Enterprises and People
If your product and team are ready and your integration is as seamless as possible, the next step to take in order to secure a PoC is targeting the potential decision makers within the enterprises you are interested in working with.
If you are using the prooV platform, this step is simple. Just got to the Marketplace and view dozens of open PoC opportunities or suggest a PoC to an enterprise. You have access to not only global enterprises, but global enterprises that are actively looking for solutions like yours.
Whether you are on prooV or not, identify the key decision makers in the targeted companies you want to work with and reach out to them. Some enterprises have dedicated personnel whose sole job is to bring innovations to the enterprise, and they will likely be the ones most responsive to your solution. Find their contact email and offer your solution or if you’re on prooV, just send them a direct message (yep, it’s that simple).
5. Limit the Scope
As you begin reaching out to potential enterprises and their decision makers, be sure to limit the scope and align expectations with the enterprise on what they expect from the PoC. Do not just jump in and run a PoC with the first “yes” you get, but rather make sure the PoC is right for your startup and your product.
Take the time frame, deadlines, deliverables and the primary and secondary goals into consideration. If the goals that the enterprise sets for you are unrealistic, your PoC might be set up for failure. Be sure to know what you are capable of committing to and how to meet the those expectations.
6. Don’t Stop Learning
Last but not least, always look forward by taking the past into consideration – look back after every PoC to improve on future ones. As you complete your PoC, whether it is your first or you are a PoC-master, it is imperative that you recognize the steps that you took, examine and learn from them.
If possible, get feedback from the enterprise you worked with and see what could have made the PoC better, if anything. Take key insights and apply them to your next PoC and know that even if your PoC was not successful, you are still one step closer to success (you just found another way that doesn’t work).
Whether you’re a startup with an innovative solution or an enterprise in search of one, we’d love to chat and discuss how we can help you discover what is out there by running PoCs. Get in touch here or email us at [email protected]!