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PTC enlists partners for IoT software infrastructure push

PTC, a company that built its reputation in CAD, is enlisting channel partners as it expands into the internet of things software infrastructure marketplace

PTC is relying more on channel partners as it transitions from computer-aided design to the internet of things...

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The vendor, which made its mark in the CAD modeling software market, is trying to emerge as a key supplier of IoT software infrastructure. Founded in 1986, PTC (formerly Parametric Technology Corp.) has branched out from its CAD software background, moving into the project management space and recently focusing on the IoT market with ThingWorx, an IoT software infrastructure development platform.

A growing reliance on partners

Historically, the vendor relied mainly on direct sales to move its offerings, but that outlook is shifting. 

"We want more of our sales to come from channel partners," said Kerry Grimes, senior vice president of PTC 's worldwide channel sales organization, who estimates that about 30% of its revenue now comes from partners. 

PTC, based in Needham, Mass., has a well-established CAD channel with about 375 resellers. The firm is looking to move a lot of its IoT offerings through partners. About 35 of its existing resellers and another 30 new partners are being trained in that area, according to Grimes. 

Recently, PTC added 10 partners: six in the US and four abroad.  In business since 1996, GDT, a technology integration partner based in Dallas, is one of the domestic resellers. "We want to move up the protocol stack from selling network hardware to marketing software," said Joel T. Hutton, managing principal of the IoE Business Unit at GDT, which has focused on selling network devices to telcos and managed service providers; oil and gas companies; health care providers; and retailers. 

High stakes in IoT software 

The firm, which views the IoT space as a prime opportunity, looked in the marketplace for a product and was attracted to PTC's ThingWorx line. "We liked that the company has virtual reality and augmented reality solutions that supplement its IoT solutions," GDT's Hutton said. 

Like PTC, GDT, which has about 500 employees and generates $1 billion, is in the process of transforming its business. The reseller has a business model and business processes geared to quickly moving hardware. IoT engagements take months or even years before deployment, so the corporation needs to revamp items, like its sales quotas and payment systems. 

As PTC and GDT retool, the stakes are high. Christian Renaud, research director, 451 Research, tracks 318 vendors building IoT software infrastructure solutions, like PTC. Obviously the market cannot support all of them, so vendors need to move quickly and carve out strong market positions. PTC is banking on its partners helping it make that transition.

Next Steps

Read about PTC's Axeda acquisition

Find out about the delivery of IoT software

Learn more about IoT and the connected enterprise

Dig Deeper on IoT APIs, Applications and Software

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