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32 The PCB Design Magazine • December 2016 by Andy Shaughnessy From its inception, DownStream Technolo- gies has been a new kind of software tool compa- ny. DownStream's post-processing tools address one of the most unpopular parts of the design process: documentation. I asked DownStream founder and CEO Rick Almeida to discuss some of his firm's marketing and sales methods, the trends that he sees, and the influence of the In- ternet on marketing. Andy Shaughnessy: For anyone who may not be familiar with DownStream, give us a quick back- ground on the company and your software tools. Rick Almeida: DownStream originated through our acquisition of CAM350 from Innoveda, now a part of Mentor Graphics. The founders of DownStream were previously the executive staff of PADS Software and were responsible for much of PADS current PCB technology prior to the sale of PADS to Mentor Graphics. DownStream markets and sells its products in 45 countries through a combination of resellers and direct sales. Shaughnessy: What is your philosophy regarding sales? SALES AND MARKETING WITH DownStream Almeida: The main philosophy, whether deal- ing direct with DownStream or through one of our resellers, is to understand the customers' problems first. Not just the technical issues, but the organizational, and financial structures so that we can help our customers configure the right solution that meets all of their needs. Shaughnessy: Do you use direct salespeople or reps, or both? What are the pros and cons of reps vs. salespeople? Almeida: We use mostly inside telesales in North America. There are also some key ac- counts that are managed by a direct sales ap- proach. Everywhere else we use value-added re- sellers who have exclusive regional territories. This allows them to invest in our products and marketing as they reap the direct benefits from those activities. Using resellers is very economi- cal, as you only incur a cost for sales when a sale is made. However, you must have very good partnerships with your resellers because you are one step removed from the customer base. We've had very long and close relation- ships with our resellers. Many of them we've worked with since our days at PADS Software. It's important when dealing with resellers that you understand their business motivations as FEATURE INTERVIEW Rick Almeida

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