IBM Training Moves to Partner-Led Model

IBM has transitioned its IBM Training function to a partner-led model with four key channel partners providing training on IBM software and systems.

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.