If you're a Microsoft Partner, and you're talking about Microsoft technologies to your customers, Demo Showcase is a fantastic tool to have in your kitbag. Demo Showcase enables you, as a Partner, to carry round a number of ready built demo's, to show some really cool technologies, either using virtual machines, or click-through demo simulations. Having these in your kitbag really can help to create sales opportunities and increase revenues by showing your customers how these technologies work together to solve real business problems. This scenario-based demonstration environment provides an effective way to help you show customers the real-world benefits of end-to-end, integrated solutions.
You can see a flash-based overview of what the Demo Showcase is all about here: http://www.microsoft.com/partner/media/demoshowcaseflash/index.html
You can also read about Partners who've used Demo Showcase to help drive their sales: https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/salesmarketingsection/smsalesdemos/40048165
If you want to get your hands on Demo Showcase 2007, you can pick it up from here: https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/salesmarketingsection/smsalesdemos/40029577
So, what about Demo Showcase in 2008? What's coming? What new scenarios and technologies should you expect to be present?
Well, this special edition of Demo Showcase is designed to complement the current 2007 version and to coincide with the launch of the Windows Server 2008 operating system. This preview release includes six new scenarios that are built on the Windows Server 2008 foundation. In addition, 13 technologies not found in the 2007 release are featured throughout the scenarios.#
You can download them here: https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/salesmarketingsection/smsalesdemos/40029576
As Mark details on his blog, "The new scenarios include 17 products and 8 of which are new in the Demo Showcase environment. All scenarios were built on the new Windows Server 2008 platform and 3 of the scenarios feature WS2008 prominently. Also included are Groove 2007, System Center Essentials 2007, Performance Point Server 2007, Silverlight, Visual Studio 2008 and more.
There are some new features in the Preview simulations. There is now a Forward and a Backward button, a new Chapter feature that let's you jump ahead or behind to specific sections in the demo and an enhanced Show Me feature that will show the user exactly where to click next along with an explanation. These new features should make the simulations even easier to run and be a great readiness tool. All the simulations are built using Microsoft Expression Blend.
One important thing to know about the new simulations - you MUST have the .NET 3.5 Framework installed on the host computer. The Demo Showcase 2007 simulations require the .NET 3.0 Framework but some addional features in the Preview require the upgrade to .NET 3.5 which can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=333325fd-ae52-4e35-b531-508d977d32a6&DisplayLang=en."
The final versions of these will be available in July 2008. The current simulations are built using Microsoft Expression Blend.
So, what does it look like, briefly?
It looks and feels like a real server, but it's a simulation, that comes with a guide so you can click-through and walk-through a scenario to meet a specific need. Great stuff!