I can’t tell you how many phone calls I took from people looking for Autodesk software and they viewed me as nothing more than a middleman. Resellers offer a lot of services and value and you should take advantage of what they have to offer!
1. Test Drives. Almost all resellers for both Autodesk and SolidWorks hold Test Drive events. Sometimes they are known as Workshops. This is a great way of getting your feet wet with software that is new to you! You go to the reseller’s office and for a couple hours you get to play with the software while an Application Engineer guides you. It’s kinda like an offsite demo.
2. Technology Briefings, Events, Seminars, etc… These are events that are typically held at a hotel and you get to learn about new features of the software or you get to hear a speech about the industry. These are great ways to learn about what’s going on and network with other firms.
3. Technical Support. This is so important! Please make sure your reseller provides you with Technical Support. And make sure they aren’t just transferring you over to the Autodesk or SolidWorks Technical Team. Why? Because Autodesk and SolidWorks are swamped and you’ll wait forever for an answer. And the other thing here is— USE IT! I can’t tell you how many times I would talk to clients and they’d tell me they spent three hours on different message boards trying to figure out an issue they were having…. NO NO NO! CALL YOUR RESELLER! They will get you up and running in much less time than what it takes for you to figure it out yourself.
4. Account Manager. Your Account Manager is the person you call when you need to buy new seats. This is also the person you should forge a friendship with… and it’s easy because Account Managers are actively trying forge relationships with you! Yeah, they want your business. But this is a good thing. Call them up! Ask about what the other firms are doing in your area. Call and see if there are any good promotions coming up. Ask about events. These people are at the forefront and they can be your greatest ally! These are also the people who can get you to the head of the technical support line when there’s a back up, they will fight for you if Autodesk is acting fussy, and they will go right up the ranks of Autodesk to get you a discount. So be nice to them. They probably spend most of their day cold calling and that ain’t easy!
I can’t stress enough that you must develop a relationship with your reseller. And trust them! Most of the resellers I met– even my competitors– were good people! Resellers have to be good people. There’s enough competition running around that if they don’t treat you 100% you can easily find a replacement…and they know that!