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PCBD-Dec2016

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40 The PCB Design Magazine • December 2016 FEATURE INTERVIEW by Andy Shaughnessy Altium has been shaking up the EDA world for quite some time. The Australian company once slashed the cost of Altium Designer by 75% to grow market share, and who could for- get their famous (or infamous) "Bunny" ad cam- paign? In this email interview with Lawrence Romine, Altium's global head of field sales, he shares his views on sales and marketing in the EDA world, as well as Altium's philosophy on selling EDA tools. Andy Shaughnessy: For anyone who may not be familiar with Altium, give us a quick background on the company and your software tools. Lawrence Romine: Altium has a rich history, starting out in 1985 as one of the first providers of PCB design tools and over time developing into one of the market leaders. Our growth over the past 5 years has exponentially exceeded the CAGR of the industry. We are the fastest grow- ing EDA company at present. Shaughnessy: What is your philosophy regarding sales? Altium is known for being the "rebel" EDA company; does that attitude guide your sales pro- cess? Romine: Simple. Altium has always had a focus on the user as opposed to "the people in the corner offices," and this has really added an ex- tra gear to Altium's growth as we exited the ear- ly 2000s. Whereas the focus in the 90s and early part of the 2000s was primarily cost and highly regulated design processes, now the focus is on having an agile design process in which the tool selection process was returned to the users. The combination of Altium's focus on empowering its users and our sales and marketing approach has served us very well in this new environ- ment. Shaughnessy: Do you use direct salespeople or reps, or both? What are the advantages and chal- lenges for working with each? Romine: We have predominately direct sales, with a handful of exceptions. Now that the us- ers have the buying and decision power, and access to limitless information directly related to the use of the product, the resale channel be- comes challenging. In this environment where Altium's Sales Plan: Deal Directly with Designers

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