Recently, I’ve been doing what is possibly the least favorite thing about my job – watching LIMS demos. There are so many products out there and they’re so similar that they just blend together, for the most part.

I’m Not Doing Because I’m Just Crazy!

But I have several reasons to actually give in and watch the occasional demo:

  1. When customers are looking to buy a new LIMS, ELN or LES, I do need to watch the demos with them to look for the details. That’s why they brought me in.
  2. When software vendors ask me to review their software then I do actually need to what a LIMS demo when I agree to it.
  3. I sometimes have customers ask me about specific brands and types of software that I’m unfamiliar with. If it’s a name that often crops-up, then I think it would be a good idea to investigate that product, further.

But I Will Be, Soon

With all that said, I still would rather do just about anything else than watch LIMS demos. In the past two weeks, and for all the reasons listed above, I’ve watched quite a number of them. I have some comments:

  1. I want to scream at the top of my lungs when I hear software vendors use certain words. “COTS” and “out of the box” are two such examples. I’ve also come to despise them when they talk too much about how “great” the product is. This is, as opposed to the details of why that would be.
  2. Being so very jaded about this activity, I occasionally forget why customers would hire a separate person to sit in on demos. I forget until I sit in the demo, that is. Because I then remember that I’ve been to so many that I know how to identify red flags for problems. I sometimes spot things that customers don’t notice and they’re sometimes important.
  3. Some products seem to be on the right track toward becoming something really great but often have a number of roadblocks. For example, in the QC (quality control) area, it almost doesn’t matter how well the software manages the tasks or how easy it is to implement, maintain or grow with – what really matters are its references. In the USA, alone, if a product doesn’t have a strong Pharma reference from a big pharma company using the product in its QC area (i.e., gone through all its validation steps), then other customers just don’t feel they can afford to take the risk on those products. The validation effort is so significant that it’s probably the major hurdle I run across.