MSP Push Driven by Midmarket Effort

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

IBM told Channel Insider that it is recruiting more managed services partners and will be creating educational programs to help traditional VARs interested in making the move to migrate to the new business model.

Last year IBM announced that all midmarket accounts would be partner-led. Partners could call upon IBM support teams for help with deals, but partners would retain customer ownership.

This year IBM has said that it would accelerate the quality of the offerings. For example, IBM has increased its co-marketing investments to $140 million from $130 million last year.

And while that news of turning the midmarket over to the channel is greeted as good news by partners, many remain skeptical of it in practice. Some partners at the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership conference told Channel Insider that there remained some concern that IBM support would come in and end up taking over the deal.

"That has absolutely changed in terms of our intent and actions," said Abrams. But he understands that gaining partner trust will take time.

"But as a marketer I know that we've got to demonstrate that by doing it over a period of time, and meanwhile ensure we have the right partner-based assets and tools."


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com