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Trimble is Transforming the Way the World Works

November 28, 2017

If you think Trimble just provides mapping devices for outdoor enthusiasts, think again. Since 1990 the company has acquired dozens of software companies with a range of products. It’s using those solutions to transform the way the world works.


Trimble’s (News - Alert) Bill Graber was at the recent LicensingLive! 2017 event discussing the company’s expansion transformation strategy. He explains why Trimble is moving to subscription models and how Gemalto is helping with that.

Founded in 1978, Trimble launched the same year the first NAVSTAR GPS satellite went into orbit. Additional GPS satellites became operational in the years that followed, Graber said. By 1995 both GLONASS and NAVSTAR were delivering worldwide, around-the-clock GPS services. And additional GPS satellite efforts by various players around the world followed.

This was also an active time for Trimble, which began buying companies at a rapid pace. Trimble has purchased 45 software companies in the past 27 years. As a result, the company is composed of half hardware, half software.

Trimble is divided up into major four areas:

• Geospacial: survey and scanning, etc.

• Buildings and infrastructure

• Resources and utilities, including agriculture and forestry, and

• Transportation

Trimble offers everything from a computer-aided design software tool; to management software that uses weather and other data to inform people about how much energy will be needed to power specific buildings; to a forensic solution that helps police recreate, analyze, and visualize crime and car crash scene data.

With all these acquisitions and all the different kinds of software, and the various licensing and uses, Trimble ultimately decided it needed to automate and streamline how it handles software delivery and support. So it called on software monetization company Gemalto (News - Alert) to help with the effort.

Graber said Trimble is working to embrace the software subscription model and to ensure its software is secure from theft. In the process, it is considering adopting a strategy in which activation happens first, and then entitlement happens in the background. Right now, Trimble first takes the order, and then does the activation. But flipping the script on that will help expedite activation, Graber said. It may also assist Trimble in meeting new financial accounting rules related to subscriptions.

Trimble wants to be on par with such top subscription companies as Amazon, AT&T (News - Alert) and Verizon, and Netflix. But to get there Trimble needs to automate and expedite its activation process, which today sometimes takes 15 to 20 minutes, said Graber.

Watch the LicensignLive! Presentation here

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Edited by Maurice Nagle
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