I read this article: "Is the auto franchise system a lemon" in my Sunday paper back in May. Since it's November and I'm still thinking about it, I decided a blog post was in order.

The article is about the auto industry and the fact that BY LAW automobile manufacturers cannot sell us their products directly. You see, their products are too complex and we just wouldn't understand them. So we need car dealers to help us out. Really? Have you ever met a car salesman who could explain anything to you? He can't even sell you a car without “checking with the manager” every five minutes. As a result, we pay 6-9% more for our cars because we have to buy them from dealers. Tesla is trying to change this model, but the auto dealers aren't going to give up their sweet ride (pun intended) without a fight.

The fact is, that the world is changing. It has changed. Buyers can research everything on the Internet and make their own buying decisions. We don't need sales people to tell us what we need anymore. It's true for cars. And it's true for enterprise software.

If Oracle is willing to discount Agile PLM software licenses at 90%, why not just publish that price and eliminate the months of time consuming and annoying negotiation between the salesperson and the buyer? As Keane says in his article, "Why is it that even as we sign the papers, we suspect that somehow and in some way we've been bilked?" The old school way of buy and selling enterprise software destroys trust, creates an adversarial relationship, and in the end does nothing to solve customer's business issues.

I believe Tesla and companies like them – like Aras – are the future. Besides their very cool cars, I like that Tesla is changing the entire car owning experience, starting at the moment you walk onto the lot. They offer a great product, transparent pricing and all information you need on the web. After a simple test drive, you decide for yourself if that's the car for you.

It's a lot like choosing Aras PLM. You can watch self-service demos and videos, and read reviews and case studies from other customers. You can talk directly to those customers online, by phone or at any of our free user conferences. You can download the software, install it and try it in your environment. And then you can decide, for yourself, if Aras fits your needs. Suggest that to a legacy PLM sales rep and see what happens. My guess: he'll ask you if you've had lunch or feel like playing a round of golf.

So, Aras Community members, if you agree with our approach, if you like our process and our product, add your voice to the Community. Help us be even more transparent. Help the next 1,000 community members learn about the open PLM difference. We want more user product reviews and opinions. Comment on our blogs, post to our LinkedIn and Facebook pages, chime in on our Forums and attend and participate in our Aras Community Events.