IBM Goes Gaga over VIP

By Sara Driscoll  |  Posted 2007-11-08 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Big Blue cites its Vertical Industry Program as the reason for major growth in System I.

Hardware may be out of fashion, but it is still proving profitable for IBM, after the vendor announced it has driven $76 million in new revenue and doubled the number of new customers choosing its System I platform in the past 10 months.

The reason for the upturn, according to David Kinsey, VIP sales manager at IBM, is the vendor's Vertical Industry Program (VIP), launched back in January for partners. "We wanted to launch a program that would resonate with customers and partners, so we invested a lot in headcount and resources to find where our products had the best fit within specific industries," he said. "After we identify the subindustries, then we look at what the partner community looks like in that area."

Pointer Click here to read more about IBM's System I servers, targeted at SMBs.

The program, Kinsey said, also pairs up System I resellers with ISVs who have vertically targeted software for small and midsize businesses. "Usually the ISV and VAR already have a relationship to hit the subindustries, but when they don't we can look into pairing them up," he said. "People think there is a limited-sized pie out there, but when it comes to SMBs there are thousands of subindustries to target."

Kinsey said IBM had initially invested $6 million in the program and plans on doubling that next year as well as increasing its spread from 12 countries to 20 countries.

"By taking this vertical approach, it means we can replicate our solutions around the globe—take one solution in one industry in one region and then replicate that throughout the world."

VIP runs across IBM's Systems and Technology Group and System I platform. Kinsey said other parts of IBM have their own vertically focused programs.

One of the most challenging aspects of VIP was holding back, he said. "We have to restrict ourselves from going everywhere and doing everything. SMB is the fastest-growing area of technology sales, but part of our formula must be to stay focused."

 
 
 
 
Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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