What is the future of PLM VARs?

What is the future of PLM VARs?

Transformation is coming to many places these days. Look how the internet, mobile, cloud (and not only…) transformed our world. You can hardly can find a place that behaves similar to how it was back 10-15 years ago. However, wait a minute…  What about CAD, PDM, PLM VARs? Are they the same as before? Our consumption behaviors are changing, the ways we are buying software are changing. Maybe it is a time to re-think the way we sell the software too?

I came to this topic few times before. Navigate to The future of PLM Consultancy and Will PLM Channels survive cloud era? to read my previous posts about that topic. Two main conclusions – 1/cloud is not destroying consultancy business; 2/the transformation of distribution and service channels will be impacted by cloud software.

Few days ago, I came across an interesting article – VARs want SuperVAD with sales and tech skills by CRN Sam Trendall. I can see the demand for technical skills as something very typical for Engineering and PLM sales channels. With the high level of product complexity and cloud service delivery, technical qualification will be one of the differentiation factors for VARs to compete. Another important service is go to market. The cost of customer acquisition is one of the most critical factors for successful cloud services’ sales. Here is an interesting quote from CRN article:

A survey of VARs across Europe, commissioned by VAD Exclusive Networks, finds that the big three distribution virtues coveted by resellers are, in order of importance: technical excellence; marketing support; and credit facilities. Some 70 per cent of respondents consider lead generation to be a value-added service of the utmost importance. Two-thirds said the same of the ability to act as a VAR’s proxy in technical pre-sales environments, while round-the-clock Level 1-2 post-sales support was highly prized by 64 per cent of resellers.

There are several companies experimenting with cloud PLM software – Autodesk (PLM 360), Dassault Systems and Arena.  Siemens PLM and PTC are not providing any cloud services today. PTC Windchill hosted by IBM is probably an exclusion (I haven’t heard about it already long time). I never heard about SolidWorks VARs selling n!Fuze product. In my view, the most interesting place of experiments among VARs is Autodesk. How Autodesk will organize PLM 360 distribution and services? This is an interesting question to ask.

What is my conclusion? In my view, technical skills and online marketing services will be the differentiation factors for VARs in the future cloud PLM business. We are in the beginning of this process. Interesting and challenging time with lots of opportunities. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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