I have to give IBM points for even trying this: They’ve developed an online game that walks players through a (BPM) Business Process Management) exercise. But is asking prospects to spend the time playing an online game good for all parts of the sales cycle?


In Innov8 players are presented with multiple scenarios (tweaking a supply chain or improving customer service) and get to see how business process automation helps the business. OK, World of Warcraft it ain’t. Chris Koch, whose blog brought this to my attention, liked the game because it frames the discussion “in a way that makes sense and that connects it to business results…establishes IBM as an expert… (and gives the player) a visual, visceral demonstration of the role that IT automation plays in business performance—which helps IBM sell its WebSphere SOA software (the stuff that enables the automation).”


Maybe. I couldn’t tell because the game crashed my browser, twice, before I could get to the real action. (Incoming calls are now automatically routed to the proper call center!) At that point, I had exhausted my curiosity. Which leads me to ask whether you should wait to offer a prospect an online game until they are willing to invest all the time required to wait for screens to load, understand the rules of the game, work through the scenarios, and cope with problems like crashing browsers?


In a world where business decision makers are more and more pressed for time, it might make better sense to wait on a game until the prospect has seen enough other content that they understand the basic concepts of BPM and want to get more deeply involved. I’d be curious to hear from IBM itself, or from people who have played the game, whether it met the goal of teaching folks about BPM and making them think of IBM for their BPM project.


But if we figure out this game thing, just think of the follow-ons: “Philippines vs. India: Outsourcing Smackdown;” “iSCSI vs. Fibre Channel: The Final Battle,” and of course “Amazon vs. Azure: Dual to the Death in the Cloud.”


Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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