Every use case matches a specific customer with a proposed product solution. (Here, we outline a telepathic logon technology.) Ideally, the vendor can get one or more in-
depth technical discussions with the customer, spending about an hour asking technical
and business questions. The vendor’s selling and engineering teams then spend another
hour or two completing a diagram of how the solution will fit into the customer’s overall
Customer Use Case:
Telepathic Security Interface for Car Designer
Our company’s solution uses an ESP Interface Card (EIC) in each laptop to capture
brainwaves, and a new telepathic authentication protocol named EAP-ESP that
conforms to the EAP/802.1x standard. We believe that customers will see dramatic
savings from reduced technical support calls and password maintenance – plus much
Customer is one of the top 10 car manufacturers in the world, with production
facilities on several continents. Part of the company’s market differentiation is based
on cutting-edge design: creating the next “new” concept car and capturing the
hearts of “cool” car buyers. We are selling into their core design group.
Figure 1: Current Solution
Customer Usage Case sample 1 www.mironov.com, 650.315.7394
Within the target division, customer has 125 car designers and supporting staff (finance,
manufacturing, procurement, HR) in three facilities worldwide – Detroit, Osaka, Bremen. Of
these, 105 have Windows 2000 or Windows XP laptops and docking stations. The remaining 20
are LINUX laptops for the design software support team.
As shown in Figure 1, all laptops are equipped with high-speed wireless LAN cards (802.11a),
which connect to 20 Access Points from VendorE. Security uses digital certificates assigned to
each laptop and uses the standard EAP-TLS protocol supplied by Microsoft. The AAA server is
from VendorF, and directory servers are a mix of LDAP and ADS. Key software elements are
shown in bubbles.
To gain secured access, end users supply a password and also have their certificates validated
before getting access to the critical systems behind the firewall: a supercomputer-based car
design application, financial apps to compute likely profitability, and ERP/Supply Chain to
estimate manufacturing lead times.
Figure 2: ESP-Based Authentication
Figure 2 shows which parts of the solution change. We will deliver an ESP Interface Card (EIC)
for each laptop, including the EAP-ESP protocol client. This replaces the digital certificates
required for TLS. Customer’s current AAA server will need to be replaced with our ESP Server
(or proxy all requests through to us). Our single-sign-on functionality and mental audit files will
be added value. Back-end directory servers and applications will work unchanged.
Customer Motivations (What They Told Us)
? Certificates are expensive to install, maintain, administer. Customer is spending $200
to $300 per year per certificate for licenses, re-installation. End user support high as well
(not well quantified) because users have trouble operating sign-on software.
? Certificates may not be secure enough. They worry about lost laptops or visitors to the
offices that sneak onto logged-on machines. Unclear if this has ever happened, but the
Customer Usage Case sample 2 www.mironov.com, 650.315.7394
cost would be very high. Michiko, head of the design team, worries that they will see
their newest design on display by a competitor at the annual Auto Design Showcase.
? Must work with current wireless LAN equipment, Windows and LINUX laptops.
Can’t allow any changes to back-end applications – they spent $70M on their design
supercomputer and need it available 24*7 for their worldwide staff. Interoperability with
other vendors and devices is needed.
? Planning a complete upgrade of old BrandX laptops in November for latest BrandA
high-performance models (4.2 GHz dual processors, 2 GB RAM, 320 GB disk, built-in
WiFi) to give designers more power. Must have solution approved and tested by then, or
we are pushed back to later upgrades (15 month replacement cycle).
? Outside auditors will review this, and must give it a squeaky-clean security rating to be
? Concern: will it really work? Technical team had lots of questions for us. Negative
errors: will sleepy or confused employees be unable to log in? Positive errors: can
psychics or family members sneak past security? Reliability, range, etc. We will need to
do a very strong working demo to close this sale.
? Their vision of the “designer of the future” includes ESP-driven drawing applications and
prototype parts carved by lasers from smart epoxy. We play to their “James Bond” sense
Sales Status & Contacts
? Competition is smart cards and hardware tokens from BrandX (incumbent) and BrandZ.
VendorQ seems to have missed this opportunity.
? They are early in the process, but Customer seems to know what it needs/wants
? Internal champions identified so far are Klaus (IT Director) and Roger (interim CIO).
The CFO is marginally interested.
? Possible friction between this customer and BrandX over end-of-life plan for existing
Product Prerequisites & Co-Requisites
? Our staff and expertise to do installation, testing, maintenance.
? Customer’s staff and expertise to do central network management, fault isolation.
? Must work smoothly with BrandX handhelds and required wireless cards/drivers/clients.
? Required compatibility with existing AAA server (RADIUS to Active Directory and
LDAP), user database, passwords
? May have SNA network and AS/400 systems tied to ERP that require independent SNA
Top Requirements (Explicit Customer Demands) ? Works with BrandX handhelds, 802.11a. Upcoming need for 802.1x ESP method.
? Not hackable: they will bring in several psychics to test for unauthorized access and
MDOS (mental denial of service) attacks.
? Really easy to operate
? Really works. Can’t have random problems or inability to access system
? Remote management and fault isolation
? Track all connected users from a single console, including the applications they are using
? US FCC certification for all items, with rapid need to extend to Europe, Asia
Customer Usage Case sample 3 www.mironov.com, 650.315.7394
Bill of Materials
? Headquarters IT
o Interface to directory, thought-password files
o Network management software, manual and troubleshooting
o Real-time session tracking
? Design Location materials
o EICs for all devices
o Installation and configuration instructions (how to hook them up)
o Troubleshooting guide (what to do if it doesn’t seem to be working)
o “OK” form (this works and I’m operational)
o Re-order form (I need more units shipped to …)
Critical Features/Functions (Implicit)
? Stays connected if user’s attention wanders
? Low support effort, no short-term maintenance once installed and working
? QA for BrandX and BrandA laptops and handhelds. Immediately afterwards, need to
extend to BrandB and VendorQ desktops and servers.
? Test with VendorF’s AAA server running on Solaris 2.8 and LINUX v6. Must pass
smoothly through to LDAP (Oracle on Solaris) and ADS (Win2000 Server).
? Session-persistent roaming continues to work. Implemented by VendorF, using proposed
Action Items / Open Issues
Customer Desirability Score – 74 out of 100 Sales Dimensions (10 points each)
Appropriate champion 7
Significant revenue potential 8
Motivated to buy, able to buy 10
Likely to close within a quarter 5
Brand name customer 10
Technical/Market Dimensions (10 points each)
Fits existing feature set 10
Understands own technical needs 10
Likely to “clump” with similar customers 4
On-site IT with strong networking support 7
Geography (same time zone) 3
Customer Usage Case sample 4 www.mironov.com, 650.315.7394