Recently I recently got a chance to see the Kaon Application Delivery Network from Kaon Interactive. It's a different class of B2B sales and marketing enablement tool that lets you deliver three-dimensional product presentations. I've previously written about StoryDesk and Showpad here on TechRepublic, both capable sales enablement tools that enable sales people to present collateral and multimedia presentations during a sales call.
The target market for the Kaon solution is manufacturers, their partners, and resellers that face challenges in marketing and selling of complex products ("big ticket items") like scientific instruments, medical equipment, and data center gear. These products are often part of large product portfolios to boot.
The Kaon Interactive 3D Product app available on the iTunes Store is an example of the Kaon solution in action. It's free download, and I encourage you to check it out if you want to see three-dimensional examples in action that this article just can't provide. The below image shows an example of a presentation from the Kaon Interactive 3D app:
"What's really important is that the marketing focuses on the value proposition and competitive differentiators," says Gavin Finn, CEO of Kaon Interactive. "From key executives, we hear about inconsistences in the sales team and the channel in particular when there's an indirect channel."
Finn talked to me a lot about the role of the app in the sales cycle, though the more time I spent exploring the solution, I came to see the Kaon solution a dynamic sales enablement tool but for the hardware and equipment sales niche.
Like the other sales enablement apps, I've written about; the Kaon solution shines when a salesperson can show the key features and differentiators of the product. It's just that the Kaon solution renders the presentation in 3D on the screen of their mobile device while the sales person launches into their pitch. This shows another example of a medical equipment presentation:
First reactions to the app
When Finn first tried to describe to me how their solution renders presentations, my mind went to it being a video. I can say it's an interactive app. At first when I was reviewing a Kaon Interactive demo, it reminded me of virtual reality markup language (VRML) but with much cleaner rendering.
I could see a sales person walking customers through a demo with the app, or even letting them explore the interactive product on their own. Interacting with the examples in the app is smooth and responsive. Depending on the presentation, you can explore options and features including opening drawers and interacting with product add-ons. When I pinched and zoomed on the three-dimensional models that the app renders, I was driving the presentation. This isn't a scripted demo by any means.. The presentations I reviewed also included tear drop labels for helping users understand the various elements of the product that the app displays.
The app is responsive, and I imagine it could catch a customer's eye especially if your competitors are still toting around a PowerPoint slide deck and a laptop. It's nearly the same reaction I had with StoryDesk and Showpad; it's just that Kaon Interactive fills a presentation niche that should meet the needs of hardware and equipment sales people in particular.
Set these animations up specifically for sales and marketing teams that need to illustrate a feature or differentiator to the customer. It's a feature you have to see for yourself. While you could program similar interactivity in some other sales enablement tools.
Developing presentations: It might get tricky
The company has their own application and solution for building the product presentation. The process including using product photography and building a 3D model of the product from those digital photographs.
Not all of us know a professional photographer, so this might be an unforeseen expense that you need to account for especially if you live in a major metropolitan area. This point is going to be moot for companies that may have amateur photographers on staff who already own high-end camera equipment that can contribute to the cause.
Another tricky point that might come up around presentations is the cost. Finn mentioned to me some variable pricing around the development of presentations depending on the complexity and size of the customer's product portfolio. This sort of pricing can be difficult to capture in an article like this one, so I always advise that prospective customers go in with a list of requirements and know exactly what they want to include what product(s) they want to include in the presentation to get concrete pricing numbers.
A novel element of the solution is the Kaon Share Card, which you can use to share the Kaon Interactive application across Android, iOS, Kindles, web, and PC platforms via a universal URL. The Share Card recognizes the user's device and directs them to the appropriate app store, or to launch the application directly within their modern web browser.
While I was a wee bit skeptical about Kaon Interactive's pitch but their story and demonstration is impressive indeed. I don't rank the Kaon Application Delivery Network as a competitor to either StoryDesk or Showpad. It's a different class of solution in my book. The Kaon Application Delivery Network is a solution to explore if you are in the business of selling heavy equipment or hardware and wants to equip your field sales team with a mobile first presentation tool that can help them deliver dynamic sales presentations.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.