Fast Facts You Should Know About IBM Initiatives

 
 
By Michael Vizard  |  Posted 2016-03-04 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Fast Facts You Should Know About IBM Initiatives
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    Fast Facts You Should Know About IBM Initiatives

    It's a new epoch for IBM, which aims to sprint ahead of other tech companies in its path. IBM looks for partners that can sell innovative tech solutions.
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    Four Partner Program Levels
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    Four Partner Program Levels

    IBM has added a new platinum partner level that sits above its gold, silver, and registered partner programs. The goal is to make it simpler for customers to distinguish partners using a precious metals metaphor that is easy to understand. Partner status is based on rate of revenue generated, customer satisfaction and the number of competencies attained.
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    A Standard Set of Competencies
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    A Standard Set of Competencies

    By the beginning of 2017, IBM hopes to have standardized on a set of as many as 44 competencies. While many of competencies are not new, descriptions such as specializations will be eliminated.
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    Partner Rewards
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    Partner Rewards

    In addition to aggressive rebates for selling solutions made up of multiple IBM products and services, partners that attain platinum and gold status will have more access to senior IBM executives.
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    Business Transformation Initiative Experience Preferred
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    Business Transformation Initiative Experience Preferred

    The 350 partners that have signed up for the IBM Business Transformation Initiative (BTI) program have experienced growth rates of more than 20 percent. IBM, which is trying to increase the business acumen of its partners, estimates that it spends $5,000 per BTI engagement.
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    IBM Skill Packs Drive Growth
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    IBM Skill Packs Drive Growth

    A "Skill Pack" is a new offering designed to help new Business Partners accelerate time to revenue that includes resources to grow skills, build prototypes on IBM Cloud and connect with the larger IBM ecosystem.
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    IBM Services for the Channel Only
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    IBM Services for the Channel Only

    IBM is now offering services that can only be resold by channel partners, including mobility, disaster recovery and networking services that are primarily aimed at midmarket customers.
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    Discounts on developerWorks Premium
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    Discounts on developerWorks Premium

    IBM offered partners discounts on developerWork Premium, a subscription service through which developers can increase their skills.
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    IBM Digital Marketing Workshops
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    IBM Digital Marketing Workshops

    Using IBM Digital Content Marketing tools, the company is working with the marketers inside partner organizations to help them craft social media campaigns.
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    Revamped PartnerWorld University
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    Revamped PartnerWorld University

    The company has completely redesigned the IBM PartnerWorld University portal to make it simpler to navigate all IBM channel resources via a single Web interface.
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    Mainframes Running LinuxOne for the Channel
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    Mainframes Running LinuxOne for the Channel

    IBM is crafting a set of mainframe offerings that come bundled with, for example, third-party security software. The z13s mainframes are tailored for the higher end of the midmarket.
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    Toward a Cognitive Computing Future
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    Toward a Cognitive Computing Future

    IBM is spending millions of dollars creating a cloud ecosystem around IBM Watson APIs. The three latest Watson APIs now available in beta cover Tone Analyzer, Emotion Analysis and Visual Recognition capabilities to Watson.
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    Expanding the IBM Cloud
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    Expanding the IBM Cloud

    The IBM SoftLayer cloud consists of more than 40 data centers. While IBM would prefer organizations to use its software to manage those workloads, the company is opening its cloud platform to management software from vendor partners, such as VMware; both IBM and VMware partners can now resell this capability.
 

It's a new epoch for IBM—which aims to sprint ahead of other tech companies. IBM is making a major effort to shift the weight of its channel program toward rewarding partners that drive the adoption of innovative solutions made up of multiple products and services from the tech giant. To achieve that goal, the company is shifting dollars away from partners it deems are only fulfilling product orders, versus those that add intellectual capital that drives the adoption of IBM technologies. In particular, IBM is looking for channel partners that can drive big data analytics, cloud computing, mobile and security solutions, which collectively made up 35 percent of its revenue in 2015. To help achieve that goal, IBM has revamped its channel program with an eye to making it easier for end customers to identify its best partners. A new platinum designation identifies IBM's best partners, followed by gold, silver and registered designations. Channel Insider looks at key initiatives of which solution providers should take particular note if they want to do more business with IBM.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Mike Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWeek, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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