Federal Contract Ban Stalls IBM Channel

By Sara Driscoll  |  Posted 2008-04-02 Print this article Print

IBM's suspension has shut down the company's entire federal government channel. 

Partners are likely to feel a significant impact from IBM's suspension from seeking new federal contracts, according to government analysts and the General Services Administration.

IBM was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency from completing or signing any new or pending federal contacts. However, any ongoing contracts or contracts that have already been signed will remain intact.

The GSA confirmed that the suspension applied to all new indirect and direct sales by IBM. A GSA spokesperson said that the government cannot buy IBM products, regardless of source, unless there is a compelling need.

Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer with FedSources, a government market intelligence firm, said that "compelling need" referred to a situation where a vendor had proprietary knowledge of a product or a service. He added that these situations most often applied in instances of national security.

"This is going to have a massive impact on IBM's partners, who will also face the ban," said Melissa Smith, director of research at Input. "Although in some cases partners may have relationships with more than one prime [vendor], it's likely that some will just be with IBM." 

To read the full article on The Channel Insider, click here.

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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