The end of POCs

Having worked in a team dedicated to them, it feels hard to admit that truth. However, the facts are here : POCs are dying.

Let’s step back a little : a POC, or proof of concept, was often the starting poitn for a large project. Its point was to prove the technical feasability of the project, including the ability of the actors to deliver. This tool has often been used by vendors and providers, to convince a customer regarding e new piece of tech.

Halas, winds have changed. Today vendors are pulling the plug on POCs.

According to my own eminence, the cause is pretty simple. A POC is often paid almost-exclusiveley by the vendor and its partners. The acknowledged purpose, as stated before : validate the technology. But there has been a few hiccups on a smooth ride.

First, a few customers or users, have abused the concept of a POC, in order to get some play material and time. They were able to get their hands on some shiny new hardware or software, and brag about it, without having any intention of deploying it for real.

Second, ad this is particularly valid for IoT or AI topics, the vendors themselves had a different purpose for the POC : create some customer cases, to communicate about and prove to the world that they have the technical know-how to deliver that tech.

If you search a little, choosing a large company, for communiques and testimonies about IoT for example, you will find that there are many firms that have delivered THE IoT platform for a customer, with a glowing testimony from some team from the customer. Which raises the question : how many unique and mind blowing IoT platforms does this customer need? Are they all for real? How many IoT preferred partners can a company have?

The wheel has turned then, and it becomes more difficult, with clear minded actors anyway, to deliver a POC. All is not completely blocked, there are some cases where the POC has a real value. It is even known as a POV (proof of value), because its purpose is extended to prove the value and ROI of the whole project, beyond just technical feasability.

And the money comes jointly for all parties, and not just the vendor. This tends to involve the customer, and limit the POCs to genuine projects for the company.

So yes, recess is over. Serious gaming if not, however 😀

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