**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
By Edward Gately
Embracing the cloud and offering more subscription-based business solutions, rather than hardware or software, are the keys to future success and profitability for IBM’s Business Partners.
To address that need, Big Blue on Tuesday announced numerous initiatives aimed at helping its Business Partners transform to capitalize on new market trends based on cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security. Its newly created One Channel Team combines its hardware and software divisions, and Global Business Partners organization, under one management structure.
The move is designed to make it easier for Business Partners to build skills, drive demand and increase revenue as they transform for growth. IBM has about 150,000 Business Partners globally and added about 10,000 in the past year.
Marc Dupaquier, general manager of IBM Global Business Partners, made the announcement at the 2015 IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.
“As IBM continues to move to higher-value solutions in strategic markets, we are helping Business Partners solve business challenges for clients by providing them deeper skills, collaborative tools and new growth opportunities,” he said.
The One Channel Team also increases Big Blue’s recruitment of new Business Partners, developers and independent software vendors, delivering products and services aligned with its strategic initiatives.
“The spending is moving from the back office to the front office,” noted Mike Gerentine, VP of Business Partners and Marketing, IBM, in an interview with Channel Partners. “Instead of selling to IT, now it’s line of business owners that are making buying decisions and they own the budget. And they want to buy business solutions … so the way you sell now has to change because you’re selling to a new audience.”
The greater cloud market alone is expected to reach $118 billion this year, “representing a huge opportunity for partners to embrace it,” said Darren Bibby, program vice president of channels and alliances research for IDC. The research firm estimates IBM Business Partners will double their cloud-oriented business in the next two years.
In addition, IBM is rolling out a wide array of program enhancements, educational initiatives and technical resources aimed at helping their partners capitalize on …
… new opportunities and position their companies for the future.
Those enhancements include:
The channel announcement comes less than two weeks after news broke that IBM would be laying off more than one-quarter of its global workforce. The company downplayed the impact on the channel, saying that it is “committed to supporting both clients and channel partners to ensure our continuing business momentum.”