New PTC Channel Chief Grimes Establishes Rules Of Engagement


Kerry Grimes
Kerry Grimes

Kerry Grimes, who was named the new worldwide channel chief for product lifecycle management (PLM) software maker PTC last month, has quickly established new rules of engagement aimed at driving more opportunities for the company's channel partners.

The 20-year channel veteran unveiled the new rules of engagement after just 18 days on the job at the company's recent global channel partner kickoff meeting in Boston. Under the new rules of engagement, Needham, Mass.-headquartered PTC has committed to a named accounts strategy that will eventually supersede a $250 million hard deck, creating clear segmentation for partners to grab a bigger piece of the PLM pie particularly in the midmarket.

The new rules mark a channel turning point for the PLM pioneer aimed at driving significant growth beyond its $1.4 billion in annual sales, said Grimes. "This is about taking this business to the next level," he said. "The executive team understands that it needs a strong partner ecosystem. The channel is not a necessary evil anymore. It is needed to ensure profitable growth for this company."

[Related: 2013 Channel Chief Profile: Kerry Grimes, Vice President, Global Solution Partner Sales, Siemens PLM Software]

Grimes said his appointment and the new rules of engagement come with top-level commitment from PTC CEO James Heppelmann and PTC Executive Vice President Worldwide Sales Bob Ranaldi.

Ranaldi, in fact, pledged commitment to the new rules of engagement in a signed endorsement that the new principles would be "communicated and enforced internally" with the worldwide sales organization.

Grimes' appointment along with that of new North America Channel Vice President Gary Smith, former vice president of channel sales for Autodesk, who recently joined PTC, is a sign of a new commitment to grow and scale the business working hand in hand with PTC channel partners, said Dwight Griffith, president of TriStar, PTC's largest solution provider in North America, headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz.

"This is a whole different philosophy," Griffith said of the move to bring in the proven channel veterans and establish rules of engagement. "The channel is no longer a second-class citizen anymore. It is a viable partner to help PTC profitably scale its business. It shows PTC is going to take the channel seriously and understands the value of the channel to profitably scale the business."

Griffith expects the channel charge to help drive a 20-25 percent increase in sales for the $35 million TriStar over the next two years. "PTC has the best technology out there," he said. "And now PTC realizes they are at an inflection point for the channel to scale over the next couple of years.

What's particularly exciting about Grimes appointment, said Griffith, is that he has first-hand experience moving a direct sales culture to embrace channel partners.

Over the course of eight years at PTC competitor Siemens PLM Software, Grimes more than doubled channel sales. "Kerry joining the company is huge," said Griffith. "He knows how to take a direct sales organization and get them to think differently about the channel. It means the voice of the channel now gets a seat at the executive table that we never had before."

PUBLISHED OCT. 30, 2013