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PTC Readies SaaS Offensive For Its CAD, PLM Applications

Rick Whiting

Solution providers are excited by PTC’s push to develop SaaS editions of its popular Creo and Windchill software, even as they await details about the vendor’s SaaS channel strategy.

PTC Channel Chief Stuart Heavyside
PTC Channel Chief Stuart Heavyside

PTC is gearing up to begin releasing SaaS-based editions of its software portfolio this fall in a transformation of the company’s product line that will have a significant impact on how it works with the channel.

The company’s Windchill product lifecycle management (PLM) application will be first out of the gate as a SaaS offering, followed next by its Creo CAD/CAM/CAE offering, with other PTC product lines set to follow.

“PTC has been leading the way with SaaS,” said Stuart Heavyside, senior vice president and channel chief at PTC, in an interview with CRN. “The market’s going to go SaaS, so if we don‘t make a bold move then our partners are going to lose out to competitors doing that. The whole world is going to SaaS. So we’re really following the market. But we‘re the first to get there in our industry.”

[Related: PTC Acquiring Intland For $280M To Boost App Man PTC Acquiring Intland For $280M To Boost App Management ]

PTC is currently developing a partner program “as fast as humanly possible” that will spell out just how solution providers will work with the new SaaS applications, he said. While it’s too early to provide details about what the program will include or what kind of resources are being invested in the effort, Heavyside said the company has been carefully working through business and financial elements, rules of engagement and technical issues about partners’ ability to access and work with customer implementations of the multi-tenant applications.

“We‘ve essentially spent the last six months saying ‘OK, how are we introducing this? How will the evolution happen? What are the things we need to do to help enable [partners], how do we work together so that we can all move forward into the SaaS world and be successful?’” said Heavyside, who took over as PTC channel chief in February.

Solution providers who work with PTC are excited by the company’s SaaS plans. But with such a significant change comes anticipated challenges.

PTC partners interviewed by CRN said they expect some disruptions as they adopt a SaaS business model and have many questions about just how channel partners will work with the new SaaS offerings.

“This is a good fit for our organization,” said Helmut Hass, CEO and owner of Inneo Solutions, a PTC platinum partner based in Ellwangen, Germany, noting that his company already works with cloud applications. “There are a lot of question marks [and] many questions open, but we have to trust and rely on PTC that those questions will be answered soon,” he said.

Heavyside said his and PTC’s goal is to make the move to SaaS as smooth as possible for partners.

“Our goal here is for our partners to be successful in the transition to SaaS,” Heavyside said. “It‘s really that simple. We’re spending all of our time and energy doing that.”

 
Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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