IBM Offers Cloud Training, Resources to Partners

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Print this article Print

IBM is looking to enable channel partners to improve their cloud skill sets to better sell cloud-based solutions.

This week IBM locked its targets in on enabling its channel to take better advantage of the cloud by rolling out a new initiative that it says will provide partners the means to improve their cloud skill sets and minimize the steps required to start selling cloud-based solutions.

Offered initially as a pilot program to customers who have attended Big Blue's Smarter Commerce events, the program for partners will give them access to web analytics in enterprise market management and business-to-business connectivity in commerce. IBM hopes to help partners drive increased software-as-a-service (SaaS) sales and arm them with the ability to provide customers with quick access to IBM business solutions on its Smarter Commerce cloud portfolio.

The initiative has IBM investing in skills training, technical support, development resources and providing a greater pool of industry expertise to its partners interested in selling IBM's cloud. IBM says that improved support is necessary to help shephard partners in an environment that has customers changing their buying patterns due to trends in areas such as social networking and mobile computing. For example, most recently partners have been faced with the prospect of selling to non-traditional IT buyers, such as marketing officers and procurement executives who don't necessarily have a technology background but are looking for specific cloud services to help them achieve business goals.

"Smarter Commerce represents a new playing field for IBM business partners and gives us a huge opportunity to compete for commerce, online and off-line," said Teresa Zobrist, CEO of Zobrist Consulting, a pilot participant.  "As an authorized Smarter Commerce Business Partner, we can now address every aspect of commerce from multi-channel marketing, merchandising, analytics, storefront, warehousing, fulfillment, supply-chain to help our customers truly optimize their business processes to be competitive in the global marketplace. IBM is the only company that has the vision and the execution power for Smarter Commerce. We are grateful to be an integral part of the strategy."

An IBM market analysis printed in second quarter of 2011 showed that the market opportunity for Smarter Commerce to be at $20 billion for software and growing by about 14 percent.