IBM Unveils Resources to Help Software Partners

Technology giant IBM launches an initiative that includes sales and technical resources for IBM Software partners to help jump-start new business opportunities.

According to a Global Business Partner Profitability Survey conducted by Ronin Corporation and commissioned by IBM, 60 percent of IBM Software partners said they expect to increase profitability in 2010 and beyond by participating in Software Value Plus. The same percentage of IBM's top-tier Software partners said they see more revenue in the form of hardware, software, and services when selling IBM software as compared to revenue generated by other vendors' top- tier partners. From a growth perspective, 50 percent of IBM's top-tier Software partners report that cloud computing will be a leading driver of profitability over the next two years, and the same percentage of all IBM Software partners rank consulting services as their top cloud opportunity.

In response to these survey results, IBM is delivering resources as part of its skills initiative, including automatic lead passing, cloud architecture certifications and IBM technology and solutions training for software partners. For the first time, authorized IBM Software partners can automatically receive new midmarket sales leads through IBM's Global Business Partner Portal valued at $50,000 or below. IBM will track incoming sales leads, evaluate the skills and capabilities as required by the client, and notify qualified and authorized IBM Software partners through the portal in markets where skilled partners are available.

Through cloud architecture certifications, authorized IBM Software partners can now learn to design public and private cloud computing solutions based on the same IBM software products they are authorized to sell. As part of the new certification, authorized partners can take advantage of a new cloud business adoption guide that shows how to structure deals based on proven IBM business models. Additionally, IBM will launch new cloud camps for software partners through IBM Innovation Centers and other IBM locations.

Meanwhile, authorized IBM Software partners will have an opportunity to train side-by-side with IBM Software Sales teams to learn key topics such as Industry Trends and Directions, IBM Software Industry Strategy, IBM Brand and Cross Brand Solutions and IBM Industry Frameworks. IBM said more than 130 industry sessions will be available in 2010 to authorized IBM Software partners around the world through IBM Innovation Centers or online using Virtual Industry Summits.

The resources announced are provided through the IBM Software Value Plus skills initiative, designed to help software partners build technical, marketing and sales skills on IBM's software portfolio and key growth opportunities such as business analytics, collaboration and industry transformation. IBM said it would continue to expand Software Value Plus with additional demand generation, co-marketing and technical skills resources for software partners throughout 2010.

"Business partners are key to IBM's success in the marketplace, and we continue to invest in new resources that help ensure their success," said Sandy Carter, vice president of IBM Software Group Business Partners. "With this new initiative, we are now providing our partners with the same training and resources we provide our IBM sales team. That is why our partners see us as providing the best opportunity and rewards for those who invest in our software portfolio to better serve clients, tap new markets, and sell into new industries."

Nicolas Jabbour, CEO of IBM Premier Business Partner Prolifics, said clients recognize the value in working with skilled partners to architect and implement solutions that can transform their business. "Our primary goal is to help clients succeed, and many have already switched to Prolifics because of the business and technical skills we bring to the table," he said. "IBM's focus on providing new and relevant skills to software partners complements our core competencies as a systems integrator, and we are now tapping these resources to grow our bottom line."