Chris Allexandre
Chris Allexandre
Senior Vice President, CSMO and Head of the Global Sales and Marketing Unit
Published: April 27, 2023

A little more than a year ago, Renesas published a blog affirming the intent and significance of our multi-year, multi-billion-dollar corporate acquisition strategy. As you may know, since 2017 that has included Intersil, IDT, Dialog Semiconductor, Celeno – and more recently Reality AI, Steradian and Panthronics. In explaining the implications of these moves in his executive blog, our EVP and GM, Sailesh Chittipeddi, wrote: “The cumulative effect of all of these acquisitions has been the remarkable transformation of Renesas Electronics.”

In the year since Sailesh posted his remarks, we have accelerated our business further by assimilating a trove of intellectual property assets, management and engineering expertise which is evolving our reputation from a parts supplier to a full-spectrum technology solutions provider. It’s a wholesale Digital Transformation that is as much about re-shaping company culture as it is the business of Renesas.

Winning Combinations: The Backbone of the Renesas Renaissance

To that end, I’d like to highlight our recently expanded Winning Combinations program to show how it triggered a profound shift in customer engagement and the cultural mindset we’ve adopted to solve challenges as an organization. What started in 2019 as a concept to enable more sales per-board by leveraging the full extent of our portfolio has evolved into well more than 400 Winning Combinations, which position us now as a system and solution vendor. In doing so, we have turned a group of disaggregated design teams into an integrated, highly motivated business, engineering and sales force focused exclusively on our customers’ unique system-level design considerations and growing our revenue by the execution of our playbook: broader and deeper. Broader by serving more customers with easy-to-use solutions, and deeper by winning more of the system per board.

While we are proud to be the world’s top supplier of microcontrollers, we now provide customer solutions at scale across an array of analog and mixed-signal competencies, including sensors and sensor signal conditioning, connectivity, actuation and power management. Where we once held up our component performance as evidence of our engineering prowess, we now differentiate our technology by addressing end markets such as automotive, industrial, infrastructure and the Internet of Things as well as the broader mass market. This is the fundamental aspect of our Go-To-Market strategy. The time we are taking to listen to our customers, amalgamate the best of our technology portfolio and evangelize results is paying dividends as our sales force and distribution partners are able to leverage Renesas’ true size, scope and potential.

The Winning Combinations program has not only enabled our sales team and distributors to sell across our full portfolio, it has evolved the way we leverage our own capabilities. As a point of illustration, only 12 percent of the parts we sold in each of our development kits and boards in 2017 were Renesas components – the remainder came from competitors. Last year, that number jumped to 69 percent – a more than five-fold increase – as the Winning Combinations program helped each business unit fully leverage the Renesas portfolio. Think about the number of new touch points this provides as we educate our customers on the benefits of working with Renesas – the Embedded Solutions Provider making people’s lives easier through quick design, rapid prototyping and faster time to revenue. The Winning Combinations program also absolves us of always having to have the highest performing components. If a particular device spec is average, but our embedded solution saves six months of R&D costs, that reinforces the customer service value chain in a way that a component-first mentality can’t achieve.

Renesas Evaluation Boards: Share of Silicon Content

What Is a Winning Combination and Where Do We Go from Here?

In a nutshell, a customer typically searches for a device for their specific needs, evaluates the data sheet and may test an evaluation board to establish compatibility between devices before moving on. With Winning Combinations, Renesas does all of the preparatory work up to the prototype stage. From pre-vetted designs, to pre-built software and cloud development, Renesas even offers full-system solutions with complementary third-party silicon. This eliminates the need for customers to spend hours, days or months researching the best devices for their system, purchasing multiple evaluation boards, writing their own example code and validating their ideas. While every design is different, customers on average see a 25 to 35 percent time savings from concept to product when using our Winning Combinations platform.

The Winning Combinations program was augmented last month through the significant introduction of the Renesas Quick-Connect Studio. Built on top of our Quick-Connect IoT standardized hardware platform, Quick-Connect Studio extends our reach beyond the prototype phase by enabling designers to develop hardware and software simultaneously and validate their designs before committing to hardware layout. Quick-Connect Studio allows engineers to graphically drag and drop device and subsystem blocks on the cloud and build a full prototype solution in less than 10 minutes. This approach of using smaller, interconnectable and mutually compatible building-blocks to design a system requires very little upfront learning or investment and automatically generates, compiles and builds production-grade software to enable no-code development.

Getting the Word Out

Our quest to be a leading embedded solutions provider requires top-down, companywide education to change the way we do business. That means a shift in mindset – not just along the front lines of hardware and software technology innovation, but extending to sales, field application engineering, marketing, legal services and human resources – in addition to our customers, partners, distributors and investors.

In the end, the first point of customer engagement shouldn’t be showing them what we have, it’s about asking them what they want to achieve. Don't start with product, start with what the customer is trying to do. It’s good for business – ours and theirs – because it kindles a passion that is changing the Renesas approach from a transactional parts vendor to a value-added, ecosystem design partner. I look forward to sharing more as we work together on this transformational journey.

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