IBM Training Leads to Partner-Led Model

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-07-16

IBM Training Moves to Partner-Led Model

IBM has transformed its training business from an internal IBM-run model to a partner-led one, farming its IT training capability out to four key channel partners.

Big Blue has long offered a comprehensive portfolio of technical training and education services designed for individuals, companies and public organizations to acquire, maintain and optimize their IT skills in IBM Software and IBM Systems. That function will now be handled by partners.

"To make our training more impactful, we are taking a new approach," said Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president of software and systems, in a blog post about the transition. "Until now, our training has been based on an internal model—completely run by IBM. But that model has reached a point where we can no longer deliver everything we need on our own. So over the last year, we've been working on an important initiative to enable our IBM Business Partners to become major participants in the training challenge."

IBM has selected Arrow ECS, Avnet, Global Knowledge and LearnQuest as its Global Training Providers to deliver software and systems training to clients, IBM Business Partners and IBM employees.

"This is an important initiative, one which we did not approach lightly," Mills said. "We've placed a strong focus on quality and certification. We're providing our IBM Global Training Providers with robust curriculum and will continue to participate with them to create world-class, highly effective training, delivered everywhere in the world."

Moreover, with this partner-led model, IBM believes its training will be accessible in more countries, available in more formats and better mapped to clients' business goals, Mills said.

The training will also focus on skill development across a range of disciplines, he added.

Arrow Electronics' IT training group, Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions Education, is an established education and training services provider that is among one of the most comprehensive and innovative in the IT industry, and is one of the largest IBM Training providers, IBM officials said. In the next 12 months, Arrow ECS Education will implement its IBM Global Training program for IBM's Software Group and Systems and Technology Group in up to 130 countries. It is anticipated that the program will be available in 10 countries to start, and that it will be offered in more than 50 additional countries by the end of 2013. All other countries will have the program by summer 2014.

Arrow has been an IBM distributor since 1989.

"This initiative that we have tested with IBM in Europe provided a great opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities to deliver high-quality IT skills training," Laurent Sadoun, president of Arrow ECS in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.

Arrow plans to support Big Blue's partner-led model by offering training programs. Its global training experts will boost education and adoption of the IBM software and systems portfolio globally, Sadoun said.

The initiative "will also deliver to our partners an outstanding degree of visibility on their customer projects, bringing many cross-selling and up-selling opportunities," he added.

IBM Training Leads to Partner-Led Model

“Arrow demonstrated its capabilities to roll out IBM Training consistently across the globe as one of our IBM Global Training Providers,” said Bob McDonald, vice president of IBM Training, in a statement. “With our long history of successful collaboration, we look forward to teaming with Arrow to help business and technology leaders reduce the IT skills gap through greater access to skill building resources for advanced solutions such as mobile, cloud, analytics and social business.”

Avnet Technology Solutions provides global IT solutions distribution with training centers to support this global training role to be rolled out beginning in mid-July in two phases, starting with the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Phase two will include Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Avnet will now offer its global network of partners, resellers and end users training programs to build competency and knowledge around the IBM software and systems portfolio.

Global Knowledge provides IT and business skills training with operations centers in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and an extensive network of partners and affiliates around the world, Global Knowledge will deliver IBM’s portfolio of software and systems training to drive skills development and certifications for IBM products, including AIX, Cognos, DB2, Power Systems, Rational, Tivoli, and WebSphere.

LearnQuest provides education solutions to help corporations and government organizations train their staff in the latest business skills and Information Technology tools, methodologies, and languages. Through this new partnership with IBM, LearnQuest will help clients expand IBM education for IBM Software Group (SWG) and IBM Systems and Technology Group (STG) by accelerating skills growth, increasing adoption of IBM solutions in the global marketplace, and providing the training and expertise to clients.

“Our goal remains the same: help our clients, IBM Business Partners and employees build new skills and sustain the skills necessary to manage and maintain information technology for the long term,” Mills said. “We are confident that the four providers we have selected will help IBM accelerate the growth of skills and training for greater enablement and engagement of IBM solutions. The value of technology is realized through its implementation, and that implementation requires people who are effectively trained with the necessary skills to make the best possible use of information technology solutions.”

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