> At 07:27 PM 10/31/01 +0100, Peder K. Hellegaard wrote:
> >Hi everybody
> >
> >I have been the reseller in Denmark for some now but recently I
> received a
> >termination letter from Altium with only one month margin.
> >[...]

Obviously Altium has a road map and a business plan in which they plan to
follow. Since none of us sit on the board, we don't know what the plan is.
My observations from Accel and Pads .... they made the same moves several
years ago deciding to pull back their VARs and retailers. Both PADs and
Accel fell into  financial difficulty shortly afterwards while Protel,
Cadence, and Mentor all expanded their market share. Maybe not related
issues, but the  effect was there.  My PADs support was terrible after they
dropped their VARs.      I have long been an advocate for Protel to have
some "visibility" in our market area to increase their position, (while
helping mine of course).  Visibility means retailers, reps,  and support.  I
don't think  anyone can continue to sell this type of software by offering
it to a shrink wrapped market. It needs to be  demonstrated, seminars held,
visits with managers, etc.   I spoke to a manager last year that purchased
15 seats of Cadence only because Cadence  took the time to convince him that
they had the right product for his application.

As far as service packs go....I think Protel did an outstanding job
listening to all of our requirements, needs, and clearly fixed many bugs by
the time SP6 was released. I would have been very surprised if they would
have released an autorouter to us free. The autorouter code will cost Altium
millions to develop, (programmers are expensive as well as Ph.D.. of
mathematics) A new router  has to support at least two products.  I would
develop it so it supports all the competitors products as well.  Seeing that
a good router ( the other brand)  will cost you at least 35- 55K, it would
not be unreasonable for Protel to ask a pittance of that cost.  Since there
are only  a handful of competitive tools out there that have Protel's
capabilities, it wouldn't also surprise me if we see price increases almost
every year. As a manager, I never understood how Protel could offer
"lifetime support".  It sounds great, but in reality, it should never be
offered.  As a seasoned user, I rarely use the support any more, so maybe
that is how they can offer it.   I would offer 1 year (first year) free, and
a fee for subsequent support. Which is basically what they will be doing.  I
cant imagine that 2k or even 5 K is going to break anyone's piggy bank.
This product cost  1/4 less than any competing product. Bugs or not.

Personally, I think Altium is headed in the right direction, ( at least for
now). Their sites are on the big guys Cadence and maybe Mentor and Zuken.
PADS is pretty much done from what I hear from other designers....and
Cadence is swallowing up there users every day.  I think Altium is making
some very crucial moves that will determine their stake and future in this
market.  And besides, the stock price hasn't move much recently anyway so
bold action may be required.

Mike Reagan

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