TeamViewer's strategic partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, which they recently highlighted at the Miami Grand Prix, has become an important component of strategy in their drive to expand their enterprise presence, as well as to build on their relationships with other car companies.
Recently, at the Miami F1 race, remote access and remote control computer software vendor TeamViewer showed off their partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, which was launched last year at the Monaco Grand Prix. Sports partnerships, particularly this one, have become an important element in TeamViewer’s long-running strategy. They started out in the consumer market, moved into the SMB and have been increasingly driving into the enterprise.
TeamViewer was originally founded in Germany, and their main headquarters is still based there, although they now define themselves more broadly.
“At our heart and roots we are a German company, but as we are now in 60 countries we define ourselves more as a global company,” said Patty Nagle, President, Americas, at TeamViewer.
“We have been around for 14 years, and our heritage is on the consumer side, but we have evolved from a free to paid offering, then to an enterprise class model, and with acquisitions have taken a leadership position in North America,” Nagle added.
‘It’s also a highly profitable model,” said Robert Thiele, VP of Strategic Alliances and Partners, Americas, at TeamViewer. “The last quarter, we had 51% EBITDA. That’s a lot of money to invest in moving up the food chain.”
TeamViewer still maintains the large developer community that originally built up their business.
“We still have a vibrant community of non paying folks, and we continue to support that, including with augmented reality [AR],” Nagle said. “Now that we have over 680,000 paid subscribers globally, we have added to our routes to market. On the channel side, we also added to our strategic model with new solution oriented models, and moved more into a coselling model more than the traditional reseller model. Before we didn’t really have a need for large scale integrators, and our partners were more on the resell/distribution side. Today, with the more sophisticated AR available, it changes the way expertise is brought to the field, and a different level of domain expertise is needed.”
The Mercedes partnership lets TeamViewer display their enterprise expertise to prospects and customers. While they are not new to sports sponsorships – they also support the Manchester United Football Club in the U.K., they see the Mercedes partnership as more strategic within the enterprise space specifically.
“Man United gives more of a consumer orientation to augmented reality,” Nagle said.
“The rise of popularity of Formula 1 is astonishing,” Thiele indicated. “We have a relationship with Mercedes that predated our sponsorship. The F1 race in Miami in early May is one of several that TeamViewer attends to show off how our technology is advanced enough to add real value to the Mercedes car.
“With Mercedes, we are dealing with probably one of the most sophisticated car manufacturers in the world,” Thiele said. “Ours is a very noisy space. What’s important for us is that they see us not as just remote support. They partner with companies who can make an impact in their world.
“We benefit from the fact that the Mercedes car is a constant prototype, which is never finished,” Thiele added. “They only have a very small team that tests the car and gets the data, and they make calls like when to come in and change tires . At SAP SAPPHIRE, we projected a huge virtually realized life size car to show how you do repairs. We leveraged that as a theme.”
The races themselves are also critical to highlighting TeamViewer’s role.
“We attend a certain number of races around the globe,” Thiele said. “We can take investors in and show then what we do and how we fit in. It was a bold step for the company but we really wanted to do something different to show how we bring tech to life. In Dubai in particular we had a lot of traffic. It’s really pretty cool to share this because it raises the game.”
Nagle emphasized that their affiliation with Mercedes also helps on a couple of other levels.
“Affiliations with other sponsors creates a new system of partnership for us,” she said. “This partnership also fits in with the big bet we have placed on automotive industry beyond sports – with companies like Ford, Kia, Nissan and Tesla.”
Thiele indicated that TeamViewer is actively involved in the Mercedes road map.
“We are collaborating with the Mercedes F1 road map where we look into different processes and add our technology, where it is not already implemented, where we can help them with efficiency, with development processes, even on the marketing side. We had an overlay of Lewis Hamilton’s steering wheel.”
“They are one of the most sophisticated labs, and we can support robots and other elements of their supply chain,” Nagle said.