Autodesk to sell direct to UK resellers


Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) partners in the UK will soon have the choice to sidestep distribution and buy direct from the vendor.

Autodesk resellers in the UK are currently served by distributors Datech and Man & Machine. However, newly-appointed VP of worldwide channel sales, Bill Griffin, strongly believes that VARs should have the choice of bypassing distribution if they wish.

Griffin tells Channel Pro: “We’re looking to build a programme where our best and brightest VARs who have proven capabilities and delivered results, can attain a status that we call D-VAR, which is ‘Direct VAR’, and they would have the ability to buy directly from Autodesk, if they pass credit. Some additional benefits would be increased margin programmes, better discount, increased access and prevalence to leads and more dedicated resources from Autodesk in terms of partner management.”

However, Griffin stresses that “having the ability to buy direct doesn’t mean they have to. They can choose what the best path is for them, and they might choose to still buy through distribution, or they might do a mix, depending on products.

“I think it’s important for them to have the choice. It shows recognition of their expertise as well as their results, and it sets them apart from other partners. It’s a small section of partners – it’s not a complete channel programme. There are specific requirements you would have to meet.”

The move is part of Autodesk’s newly implemented global sales framework, and brings the UK in line with other geographies where resellers are already buying directly from the vendor.

Adi Drotlef, CEO of distributor Man and Machine shrugged off the planned changes today at Autodesk’s Channel Summit. “We’re used to that from France and Germany,” he says. “It was clear they would do that, and we’re prepared.”

He adds: “There will be a handful of dealers who go away – and those are with the lowest margins for us, so it doesn’t affect our business in terms of revenue.”

Although Autodesk won’t confirm a specific date for implementation, it says it’s likely to happen towards the end of this year.

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Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.