IBM Helps Partners With Cloud, Big Data, Analytics Efforts

At its PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, IBM announced several new offerings to help partners build cloud, big data and analytics solutions.

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IBM announced today a series of new offerings for its partners, including a cloud-based Power platform for developers.

At its PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, IBM announced new development capabilities, programs, and education, system and software offerings to help business partners capture opportunities in strategic areas of cloud computing, big data and analytics, mobile computing, social business, Watson and security.

IBM's new Power Development Platform is an application development cloud that provides solution developers with no-charge access to IBM Power Systems servers to build, port and test applications.

Accessible through IBM's PartnerWorld program, the Power Development Platform provides developers with remote access to the latest IBM POWER7 and POWER7+ processor-based servers running Linux, AIX and IBM i operating systems. This online resource is useful for Linux developers, who need powerful, modern servers to handle the new wave of open, collaborative applications developed for big data, mobile and social business computing.

The platform includes a new Linux porting image with IBM DB2 10.x, IBM WebSphere 8.5.5 and the latest Linux development tools for Power. The platform also serves as an entry point to the full IBM Software Group Software Access Catalog, which contains current versions of hundreds of downloadable IBM software applications, IBM said.

Also new are the "Ready for Smarter Commerce" PartnerWorld offering, the new FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution and several enhancements to IBM's existing PartnerWorld Program.

The Ready for Smarter Commerce PartnerWorld offering creates a new ecosystem that gives clients access to prebuilt Business Partner solutions with validated integration to cloud, mobile and social capabilities. The new ecosystem is expected to deliver 150 new Ready for Smarter Commerce solutions this year.

The ecosystem features business partner-led solutions based on open standards and built on IBM Smarter Commerce capabilities such as IBM Commerce, IBM Digital Marketing Optimization and more.

Invodo and Shoutlet are among the first business partners to join the new ecosystem. Invodo is a provider of e-commerce video solutions that help retailers quickly create, deploy and measure the sales impact of video content across their Websites.

Shoutlet is an enterprise social media marketing platform that is working with IBM to help clients measure the impact of social media campaigns. By integrating with IBM's Digital Marketing Network, Shoutlet is helping marketers streamline social campaign management while employing IBM analytics to unlock insight into how those efforts are driving sales across multiple properties.

IBM also announced its new FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution, which is designed to directly integrate IBM's virtualization software with the FlashSystem 840. The solution is at the heart of a new approach to data management, called software-defined flash, which enables increasing data volumes to be stored, accessed and analyzed—in real time—through flash-optimized data virtualization.

When integrated into platforms like IBM FlashSystem, data virtualization can help clients deploy new arrays into heterogeneous environments quickly and easily; conduct massive data migrations automatically and transparently; and manage greater varieties of workloads on the fly through such features as real-time compression, snapshots and EasyTier.

"As the world is being transformed by cloud, mobile, social, big data and analytics, we need to enable our business partners to transform with it so they can take full advantages of the opportunities these changes bring," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of the IBM Systems & Technology Group and Integrated Supply Chain, in a statement. "Our goal is to provide our Business Partners with the broadest set of capabilities, programs, incentives and solutions in the industry, allowing them to move to higher-value opportunities and achieve greater success."

Finally, IBM made some enhancements to its PartnerWorld Program to accommodate partners moving to the cloud.

As the global opportunity for cloud-based client solutions grows to $200 billion by 2020, business partners must have consulting and design skills across different cloud architectures and deployment models to help them capitalize on that opportunity, IBM said. IBM has deployed a new interactive, education platform called ThinkAcademy to help business partners develop the skills needed to capture the opportunity and modified the PartnerWorld membership-level criteria to recognize business partners' cloud achievements.

In addition, IBM assembled the PartnerWorld Cloud Benefit Guide, a catalog of cloud resources aligned to major business support functions, to help business partners maximize success and profitability. This includes the introduction of a new cloud services mark, an IBM ingredient brand mark to promote awareness of a business partner's use of IBM technologies. Another enhancement is the PartnerWorld SatScor, IBM's free client satisfaction survey to promote referral marketing and improve sales success. Business partners have the opportunity to earn more with positive client feedback, which increases the SatScor.