Level 7 Technology Group

order from chaos

Projects - Infogenics

The Infogenics Demonstration Web Site was created to allow prospects to try out Dynamics ERP and Siebel CRM applications at their own pace  without a committment to purchase. All accounting and CRM applications were populated with sample data and enabled with the entire product suite of optional modules. Each page has a description of the application features and benefits and a link to launch it. Since these applications were implemented as Windows client programs for the desktop using a ODBC connection to a SQL Server 2000 backend data base engine, there was a question of how to present the application to the prospect.

The answer was to use a web browser to present the prospect with a live interactive session in which they could use the application. Citrix MetaFrame 1.8 for Windows 2000 Server was chosen for its ability to host multiple user sessions and publish the application so it could be delivered using the Citrix ICA client as an ActiveX or Java component through the web browser. This delivery method allowed the salesperson to "shadow" the prospect's session in manner similar to PC Anywhere or Webex. Since both parties had a common desktop, view and controls, it allowed the salesperson to tailor the experience to the prospect's application requirements.

Click here to see a conceptual diagram.

An added feature was the ability of the prospect's technical and user community to sample the actual speed of the application across the internet. In many instances, this led to a decision to deploy the application through ASP partner organizations. A Microsoft Terminal Server or Citrix solution allowed to customer to install the client application once on a server and have the remote desktops connect using a browser or the Microsoft or Citrix thin client. In any event, the requirement to visit each workstation and perform a singular installation was eliminated.

Currently, Microsoft uses the "virtual lab" concept consisting of spinning up a Hyper-V virtual machine to allow a customer to "kick the tires".