At Lotusphere 2011, IBM announces several new programs for partners and students to take advantage of social business opportunities.
ORLANDO, Fla. - As part of its new Social Business initiative, IBM has announcednew
programs to help business partners embrace the growing social business
market opportunity and to financially reward them for their value to
Moreover, in addition to the new programs, IBM has
announced new curricula and initiatives to help students prepare for
jobs of the future using social business skills. One of the new
programs announced at the Lotusphere 2011 conference here, is a new
Social Business Authorization program from IBM, which provides IBM
business partners that demonstrate a mastery of social business skill
up to an additional 15 percent sales incentive, the company said.
According to IDC, over the next three years, the market for
worldwide social platforms is expected to triple from $630 million in
2011 to $1.86 billion by 2014. IBM describes social business as the
world of possibility that occurs when all of the energy and
opportunities that have been generated around consumer models, such as
Facebook and Twitter, are focused, and brought to bear on business
challenges. Becoming a social business means an organization needs to
change its culture and embrace the technology that integrates social
collaboration into their business processes.
"Social business plays an instrumental role in building a smarter
planet," said Sandy Carter, vice president, worldwide collaboration
sales at IBM. "Our partner and developer communities along with the
workforce of the future are crucial to driving client success. These
new initiatives will help partners grow their businesses and profit as
we prepare the next generation of social business leaders and
entrepreneurs, ultimately fueling growth and innovation for our
Meanwhile, IBM's new Industry Authorization program provides
business partners access to industry-focused resources and incentives
to help their clients transform into social businesses. A partner is
awarded this authorization by showcasing their mastery of an industry
such as retail, finance, transportation or health care, IBM said.
Business partners with specific industry authorization can earn up to
15 percent more financial incentive, and gain access to industry assets
such as IBM Cognos Dashboards, IBM Connections widgets and research
analysis tools to track Web traffic and other key measurements, the
In addition, IBM is offering new sales tools efforts and IBM
software volume offerings. The new sales tools initiative provides
assessment training and tools helping business partners express the
value of social software. In addition, the tools include "day in the
life" demos, presentations and sales material to assist with client
engagements. And the IBM Software Volume Offerings program provides
business partners marketing and sales tools for 35 software solutions
to support deals under $50,000. The goal of the program is to provide
the sales tools resellers need to shorten sales cycles and drive these
deals in key growth markets such as social business, cloud and
analytics, IBM said.
And, finally, the New Education project provides training to help
business partners develop and integrate social business solutions for
their clients. There are social business technical courses
that are available at no charge through the 38 worldwide IBM Innovation
Centers or by virtual sessions. In addition, a new series of
getting-started guides and webinars are now available on IBM PartnerWorld to help business partners transform their organization into a social business.
Indeed, IBM officials said that from developers to business
managers, social business skills are essential for future growth.
Today's students - the entrepreneurs and leaders of the 21st century -
must turn their personal understanding of social media into
business-ready expertise. And to help ensure the future workforce is
prepared for this new era of social business, IBM is delivering new
enterprise social software courses free of charge to more than 30,000
professors at 6,000 universities participating in IBM's Academic Initiative
around the world, the company said in a press release on the
subject. The courses will introduce students to IBM social
business technologies; help them gain a better understanding of the
needs of a social business and the benefits of organizational change.
IBM is also announcing a new program with business partner Group Business Software
to share knowledge around social media and help educate students on the
role social business technologies play in companies. More than 500
business and computer science students from 10 Florida area
universities will attend a day-long social business workshop. This
first-of-its-kind program at Lotusphere is designed to expose students
to the advancements in IBM social and collaboration technologies and
help them identify the relevant skills for future employment.
Throughout the workshop, students will hear from industry leaders in
social business, preview research projects and network with developers,
business leaders and researchers. Recently, Group Business Software announced a
programming contest for Florida area university students. As part of
the competition, the students built an application using Web 2.0
technologies and IBM XPages software.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.