Keytree provides Arm a new way to evaluate deals

Arm Holdings PLC is a multinational software organisation and the world’s leading semiconductor IP company. A market leader in its field, Arm technology is at the heart of a computing and connectivity revolution that is transforming the way people live, and businesses operate. Every day more than 45 million Arm-based chips are shipped by partners into products that enhance the human experience. To date, advanced processor designs have provided the intelligence in over 100 billion silicon chips now powering products from smartphones to supercomputers and base stations to servers.

But to ensure customers are licensed the optimum Intellectual Property (IP), during the sales process Arm were looking for a way to allow a salesperson to select the best solution to help the customer achieve their final design. To test this theory, Arm built a simple prototype using historical information, with the aim of helping motivate better deals and then asked Keytree to develop an enterprise quality version that it could use globally – the Deal Evaluator solution was the outcome.

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“We were looking for a way to allow a salesperson to select the best Arm technology to help the customer achieve their final design. To do this, we built a proof of concept using historical information, with the aim of helping motivate better deals. We then asked our supplier, Keytree, to develop an enterprise quality version that we could use globally.”

Drew Fellows – Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Arm

Researching Arm’s requirements – doing the groundwork

Arm invited a specialist from Keytree’s UX team to work with the sales teams located in Shanghai, Japan, US and the UK to complete the user research and develop the design. These technology agnostic gatherings marked the start of the Agile approach undertaken to deliver the project and were used to develop the concept for the user-centric design of the solution.

Mark Collier, Product Owner at Arm was active and supportive during each development stage, and by using an Agile methodology, it allowed Keytree to create a tool which functioned in a way that made sense to the user and what they were looking to achieve.

The UX process and the iterative evolution of the solution was fundamental to its subsequent adoption and success.

Previously, Arm used standard CRM tools to produce deal information that could be shared with the partner ahead of generating the supporting legal contracts. Now, proposal details are fed automatically into the contract generation process, avoiding the need to enter information manually. Deal Evaluator also offers reminders on recommendations to prevent omissions, which may cause the customer issues that need fixing once they realise there’s a hole.

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Arm gives its partners the power to succeed

Arm provides a broad range of IP, but the variety is such that it’s possible during the sales process to miss opportunities that would help the customer develop the best solution or get their product to market quicker. These missed opportunities are no longer a concern as Deal Evaluator presents the whole product catalogue. The sales team can pick an IP product, have sales and marketing included by default and then choose how they want to license it separately – without worrying about the embarrassment of proposing something already licensed.

While the IP is the same, the commercial license around it is different, and Deal Evaluator joins all these together. Clients can pick a product or products then specify the license type(s) to match the approach sales are taking to the deal, and the sales team can control and plan for the licenses required for delivery.

An enhanced level of information

During the UX research and design process, Keytree identified existing data and functional process improvements that could be deployed in the system to suggest products. Deal Evaluator will now recommend products in a structured way so when a product is selected the system offers a range of solutions based upon the market segment they are selling into with rankings available for each – with the added ability to publish value propositions into the Deal Evaluator application.

By using the strength of recommendation, Deal Evaluator provides greater insight into what should be considered, ensuring the salesperson can decide on the details that go into the proposal. Once they are there, the clean user interface lets the salesperson tailor the deal to the specifics of the customer allowing to set pricing or change the royalty tables – as the sales team now have default royalty tables, which they never had before.


“Feedback from sales has been unanimously positive around the intuitive design and ease of creating proposals. Licensing and sales recognise the value of the platform as-is, and the potential for exploiting the rich data through integration with other commercial systems, as well as further enhancing the capability for users. I am excited about the end-to-end benefits this tool will bring.”

Mark Collier – Senior Director Licensing Operations and Product Owner at Arm

The Deal Evaluator solution interacts directly on top of SAP whereas the previous system exported extracts of data from SAP into the CRM proposal tool to generate the PDF file for the customer. Deal Evaluator uses the customer and product master data, creating and updating the transaction in SAP directly. As the user navigates around the application, SAP is updated in real-time meaning data is always current.

Early feedback has been extremely positive around ease of use, the value of information and speed of creating proposal documents. Deal Evaluator will continue to evolve – full Dynamics CRM integration is already in progress, and business rules will permit selective automatic approval in future.