IBM Doubles the Money for Partners Displacing Oracle

By Steve Wexler  |  Print this article Print

While the underlying message is the need to deliver more business value to customers, IBM is wrapping its latest software channel initiative with money -- an Oracle displacement program that will pay qualifying partners up to a 40 percent cash bonus. IBM is going for the gut, offering money for database management, application infrastructure and middleware, portal and security offerings. IBM Doubles the Money for Partners Displacing Oracle

No doubt this will be a small comfort to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and friends, but IBM's doubling of money paid to partners for displacing Oracle products is not about just swapping competitive products, says Sandy Carter, vice president, IBM Software Group Business Partners.

"This is more about delivering more value to the client," she told Channel Insider.  

Apparently crushing Oracle would just be an added bonus.

On April 13 Carter will be sending out an email to 100,000 partners announcing IBM's new Competitive Business Partner Sales Plays and a first-ever Software Value Incentive (SVI) Competitive Incentive to help partners grow skills, increase profits and win more business.

Click here to see the full text of Carter's email.

Partners who submit qualifying SVI competitive displacement opportunities in the areas of database management, application infrastructure and middleware, portal and security offerings, will gain access to an additional set of competitive sales and marketing enablement resources.

"We've done all the homework for them," says Carter. Deliverables include deep dives on cost savings, performance comparisons as well as helping with migration and migration tools. The idea is about changing the conversation from feeds and speeds to business outcomes, she says.

Big Blue, which reports it's already providing its software partners with more profit than anybody else, will provide SVI enrollees with up to double the standard fees – 8 to 40 percent cash bonus (up from 3 to 20 percent) -- for eligible competitive displacement opportunities. Carter adds that the deal involves only Oracle and its acquisitions, including Sun, JD Edwards and BEA, but other vendors will be added.

"It's not just to get more sales. We really focus on client value… and not just swapping for swapping sake," she said

Earlier this year IBM announced the results of a Global Business Partner Profitability Survey of more than 800 partners, including those from IBM, Oracle, HP and Sun, conducted by Ronin Corp. According to the survey, 60 percent 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. IBM partners had 36 percent more gross profit for middleware deals than competition, says Carter, and the costs to partner with IBM are lower too.

Training and certification initiatives like 'You Pass, We Pay' means the money stays in partners' pockets, she says. And unlike some other vendors, IBM partners can sell both new licenses as well as renewals.

"We really put our money where our mouth is." The customers benefit with better outcomes, and the partners benefit with more money, Carter says.

Carter says there has been a constant dialogue with partners about concerns with Oracle, and not just about Sun. She believes the market is at an inflection point as partners try and decide which vendor they want to lead with.

"So many of them are questioning other vendors. I saw this huge hole and we're just going to drive a truck through," Carter says

IBM has been throwing a lot of resources, not just money, at the channel, says Carter. In recent weeks and months the company has begun passing on midmarket sales leads valued below $50,000; delivering new cloud computing certification; and providing direct access to more than 130 industry training sessions online and in local markets globally.

Carter says another recent study shows that two-thirds of customers now value industry expertise as much as technical expertise.

"Partners have to expand out beyond just the technology and really understand the industries."

At the end of the day, it's all about delivering more value to the client, she says.

"And what better way to get this message out than to leverage our partners."