PTC channel chief sees IoT opportunities for channels

Kerry Grimes, Senior VP, Worldwide Channel Sales at PTC believes that the partners selling CAD have several opportunities to involve into IoT.

Sejuti Das Mar 06th 2017

PTC, with the acquisition of ThingWorx, has initiated its Internet of Things activity in 2013. Since then, it has been developing robust IoT offerings in the market. With the company's new virtual reality products, PTC is now creating several opportunities for its channel partners.

Recently, PTC made the strategic decision to relaunch Vuforia Studio to promote augmented experiences for businesses, as part of an expansion of PTC's ThingWorx IoT technology platform. According to Kerry Grimes, senior VP, Worldwide Channel Sales at PTC, there are ample opportunities for PTC partners selling CAD (computer aided design) software to delve into IoT.

Edited excerpts:

Why do you think channels are important for PTC’s business?

Channels are important for PTC’s business because of today’s customers and their demanding requirements. PTC is not selling only CAD software anymore. Rather we do a lot more with the enterprise software. Therefore, our customers need partners to work with who not only procure the software but also help them to build the solution and deploy it properly to solve their business problems.

Based on the market, the products that we sell, and the targeted customers in the country, it makes perfect sense to have a good market strategy that includes channel partners. PTC believes partners are critical to driving the next generation of connected solutions to market regardless of the technology platform.

What are your new strategies to grow PTC’s channel business for this year?

At the beginning, PTC wasn't much of a channel-oriented company. As the dynamics of the market started to change, we made quite some progress towards that. PTC as a company started focusing on being a partner-oriented company, especially in India, where half of our business comes through channels, rather than our direct sellers.

It is our goal that by 2020, we would try to push our complete business towards channels. To make this happen, we are in the process of growing our channel ecosystem, where we are working aggressively with our existing partners, as well as trying to grow newer partner base. We have also hired channel professionals around the world to work with us towards this goal.

We believe that channel success is predicated by three key elements: Executive commitment, articulating to partners a clear go to market segmentation strategy, and demonstrating to partners a strong path to improving their profitability.

The PTC Partner Network Program trains and authorizes partners in our various solution and technology implementation methodologies. Together with a network of partners, we aim to bring innovation and technology to customers across industries and around the world.

How is PTC participating in augmented reality and IoT market?

We consider IoT important for this era and therefore, treat it a little different than our competitors. Earlier, we focused on the growing the CAD market, but then we realized the importance of expansion, and with the change in information technology, we decided to penetrate the IoT market. We started with acquiring IoT companies, and ThingWorx was the first among them. Then right around the corner, we had acquired Axeda, ColdLight for analytics, Kepware for connectivity, and recently Vuforia for augmented reality. We’re working towards putting all of these pieces together to not just create a platform that we're taking to the market through larger companies, but also to augment our portfolio.

We are in the process of growing our channel ecosystem, where we are working aggressively with our existing partners, as well as trying to grow newer partner base. 

Although we have IoT technology, I believe we are reinventing the CAD usage. Although ERP and CRM systems helped companies automate their businesses, it really didn’t change any of their processes. On the contrary, CAD software helped in creating products and made processes more efficient. As the third wave of the revolution starts, products are getting smarter and well connected. We, therefore, have these newer technologies as it’s the core of our business to help companies create smarter and connected products.

What opportunities are being opened for PTC’s channel partners?

We are diving deeper into the world of IoT and creating opportunities for our channel partners with new virtual reality products. We have a product called ThingWorx, which can help a company advocate information collected from different sources, address device and applications management, analytics, dashboard elements, and the most extensive ecosystem to help organizations jump start their IoT initiatives.

PTC has also recently announced the availability of Vuforia Studio Enterprise, which promotes augmented experiences for businesses. There are ample opportunities for PTC’s CAD selling partners to hook to IoT. Now, CAD is not just being created to help design products, rather can be leveraged and used for service in a very creative way using augmented reality. PTC has made it agnostic to the CAD files so that we’re able to sell Vuforia to customers who use AutoDesk.

What are your plans for this year to stay ahead of your competitors?

We are continuing to work on the channel front, making sure that we have the best offerings for our partners to resell, and improving on the different types of programs to help our partners make money. We are also trying to push our business completely towards channels by the year 2020. We are looking to recruit new skill sets and making a lot of changes in our strategies to survive this dynamic market. We have also added new ThingWorx partners in order to expand our IoT partner ecosystem.