IBM Tweaks Partner Program for the Cognitive Era
There will also be new business partner marks that tap into a redesigned visual expression and showcase a business partner's relationship with IBM and their competencies. These can be used by business partners on their company Website, on email signatures and other marketing collateral. As well, there will be comprehensive benefits aligned with deeper skills, training, marketing, sales, support offerings and other opportunities that build visibility for business partner solutions. And, as noted earlier, IBM is introducing "Skill Pack," a new offering designed to help new business partners accelerate time to revenue that includes resources to grow skills, build prototypes on IBM Cloud and connect with the IBM ecosystem. "For a vendor like IBM, with a partner ecosystem that spans hundreds of markets and organizations and thousands of individuals, changes in fundamental strategies occur incrementally," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "IBM has become increasingly committed to and vocal about its cloud and cognitive computing strategies over the past 24 months but what does that mean to individual partners? Not a whole lot unless the company can meld its strategic vision with tactical execution steps that partners can follow. "That's really what the programs announced at PartnerWorld aim to do. In essence, IBM is offering its partners ways to effectively build new cloud and cognitive skills, explore and develop associated services, and accelerate revenue opportunities attached to IBM's new solutions. In very real ways, IBM—and other vendors, too—depend on partners to translate their strategic vision to customer organizations. But doing so with practical skills, solutions and benefits makes all the difference between partners showing their clients the value of IBM's cloud and cognitive efforts or simply telling them what they might expect."IBM also is adding Digital Marketing Workshops across the globe, designed to enable business partners to include digital and social tactics in their campaigns. The workshops include practice with IBM Digital Content Marketing (DCM), an integrated suite of marketing tools and content that enables business partners to execute integrated digital marketing campaigns across the Web, email and social media. IBM also is expanding its Business Transformation Initiative (BTI) workshop offering to reach significantly more business partners across the globe who are looking to transition their business models to higher value solutions and "as a service" delivery. And there is a new, limited time opportunity for business partners to acquire, at an attractive price, developerWorks Premium—a subscription service that provides developers of all levels with resources to help grow their skills, connect with the IBM ecosystem and build next-generation applications on IBM Cloud.
In addition to launching the redesigned PartnerWorld program, IBM also is expanding a number of benefits for partners. These include a newly designed PartnerWorld University portal, a Web-based learning management system delivering education to business partners to help build sales and technical skills, with a broader repository of courses to enable them to gain new IBM certifications. The enhanced portal includes a personalized user experience that notifies users when a new course is available that meets their interest, ability to start where they left off, statistics on learning, and a course progress tracker.