IBM Pledges $100 Million to Aid PartnersBy Renee Boucher Ferguson | Print
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The company aims to raise awareness about its partner programs and help its partners become more profitableespecially in the SMB sector.LAS VEGASAt its PartnerWorld event here in Las Vegas this week, IBM is drilling home the message that partners are crucial to its successprimarily as it works to build channels into the small and midsized business sectorand Big Blue is putting its money where its mouth is.
IBM pledged on Monday to spend an additional $100 million in creating demand awareness around its various partner programs, and to investing even more money in helping its partners be profitable. That includes deploying 1,000 IBM sales professionals to help its partners close more deals, and creating of a number of new initiatives.
Behind the message is IBM's basic intent: to sell more of its software (and hardware) through its partner affiliations.
As part of the Built on Express program, partners are provided with development, sales and marketing tools to help them better develop their software around the Express offering, and then to get the word out on the capabilities. To help, IBM is allowing the Express partners to use the IBM emblemrecognizable to just about any size company.
Separately, IBM unveiled a new program to help ISVs, partners and system integrators build what it refers to as a Data Retention Center of Competence. Essentially, the Data Retention Centers will enable partners to map their software to IBM's Risk and Compliance Framework, and in turn will act as a proving ground to help their customers build out systems that combat data-retention challenges, officials said.
IBM is working in other ways to help partners as well. Through its registration process at this year's PartnerWorld event, for example, the company is building out a database that partners can use to profile partner capabilities to find potential synergiesand new partnerships.
At the same time, the company is working internally and with partners to establish "teaming agreements" that identify and reveal potential partner alliances.
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