What is the Advanced Partner Program all about?
I believe PTC created the Advanced Partner Program (APP) to provide benefits for both PTC, PTC’s partners (such as LEAP) and, importantly, for new customers who are actively looking at implementing PTC technology.
From PTC’s perspective, it allows them to better monitor and partner with their Solution Providers & System Integrators around the world and identify the better ones – based not just on size and locale, but also based on proven technical competence. For PTC’s partners, such as LEAP, the program provides a key point of differentiation from other partners who may operate in the same location. And of course, most importantly, it benefits potential customers because it helps them to more easily find and compare local PTC partners who have a proven competence in a particular technology (such as PLM & AR).
Can you describe specifically what work was involved for LEAP to be certified to join the advanced partner program?
So I’d start by saying it’s important to note that the APP is quite an involved program. It’s not just a rubber stamp exercise, so partners do need to jump through quite a few hoops to obtain this status – which is exactly why this is such as big achievement!
To get started, our sales and account management team needed to participate in sales training specific to each technology and pass an exam, after which PTC approves you to take the next step. Our technical team undertook an even more rigorous process with a mix of web-based and instructor-led training, followed by comprehensive exams, to achieve a Professional certification in each technology. For the process undertaken by our technical team, the APP requires proven levels of technical expertise in specific roles such as Consultant, Developer and Architect, due to Windchill implementations often involving a complex mix of skillsets across the broader team. This helps ensure that the broader team can successfully define and deploy PTC solutions and properly support our customers throughout the implementation process.
The next step is that our customers are sent surveys from PTC to help gauge their levels of customer satisfaction. There’s also a process of documenting customer references as well – so overall the APP aims to demonstrate not only LEAP’s sales and technical abilities, but also verifies that we have already successfully delivered these technologies using testimonials from real customers using PLM and AR in the real world.
So what does this achievement mean to both you and the LEAP team?
Haha, well I guess we’ve always known we’re very good at what we do! But now this certification officially endorses us – acknowledging the size of our team, confirming that specific skillsets exist within our technical team, and, importantly, that we have happy customers where we have successfully delivered these technologies – as shown by real customer satisfaction and customer references.
Do you know how many other PTC partners worldwide have joined the program to date and attained a similar status to what LEAP has now?
There’s actually only a handful of partners worldwide at the moment that have achieved APP status, and I’m proud that LEAP is the first in our region to attain this status for Windchill (PLM) & Vuforia (AR). I think part of the reason for that is that it does takes some work to go through the entire process, and LEAP have worked hard over the last 12 months in further educating our team and completing the process.
In your opinion, how should the customers view partners who’ve achieved this advanced partner program status?
Well, it’s clearly a very meaningful status within PTC’s ecosystem – particularly so for anyone who’s looking at integrating these technologies such as PLM or AR and wants to partner with an experienced local supplier.
There’s obviously different types of partners. At LEAP, we’re a “solution provider”, which means we provide software and services and we’re also a certified training provider as part of the ATP program. There’s also system integrators which typically only provide services, and the requirements for those programs are slightly different.
From a customer perspective, using the APP they now have the ability to quickly filter between many partners online to find the ones that have been recognized by PTC as having the best skills and resources available. This applies to both sales capacity and knowledge, but also the strength and experience of pre sales and post sales deployment and a readiness to ensure a successful implementation.
As I mentioned, it’s not easy for partners to achieve this APP status, and many might not have the runs on the board yet with customer satisfaction and references that LEAP has. So by choosing a partner with APP status, such as LEAP, a new customer can have confidence that they will be working with a competent and a mature partner with a strong track record.