Bull`s Eye Awards: Global Channel Executive of the Year

  • By

    Lawrence Walsh

    | Posted 2009-12-22



Rich Hume
General Manager
IBM Global Business Partner Organization

The world faced some of the greatest challenges it has ever seen in 2009: global warming, political instabilities, constrained energy resources and, of course, the global recession. Rather than turning in on itself, IBM under the direction of Rich Hume made a bold commitment to its partners by drafting a partnership charter to reflect changing global commitments and IBM’s intention to create a "smarter planet" with its partners.

IBM remains one of the most channel-focused vendors in the business, and it's Hume who shepherds Big Blue’s global ecosystem of more than 100,000 business partners. While the world seemed like it was spiraling out of control, Hume deftly instituted reforms and enhancements to the IBM PartnerWorld program to focus on enhancing partner growth and profitability, and ensuring simplicity in partner relations.

When it comes to growth, Hume believes partners can build their businesses by enhancing their offerings, better packaging and vertical alignment. IBM launched several initiatives to help partners focus on specific technology opportunities with a broader perspective of attached sales through holistic solution building. IBM developed new training and certifications to ensure partners have the right resources and knowledge sets to meet the needs of their customers. To complement this push, IBM created new solution building options that brought together packages that reached across the traditionally segmented IBM business units to include hardware, software, services and financing.

Hume and his organization have spent more than $100 million on partner marketing, helping IBM resellers reach new customers and markets. The IBM Business Partner Organization has compiled a vast library and repository of resources designed to help its business partners penetrate and address the needs of midmarket customers. By creating products and resources for the midmarket, IBM is creating new sales and growth opportunities for scores of its partners.

Let’s face it, IBM isn’t the most approachable company in the world. Its vast size alone makes it a challenge to work with. Hume has made simplicity of doing business with IBM a priority. He’s overseen the launch of new community efforts and resources for partners looking to enhance their business with IBM and peer IBM partners. Internally, the "Know Your IBM" initiative is opening greater accessibility between partners and their initial contacts for quoting, financing and solution building.

When the revised partner charter was released in March, Hume promised that IBM would evolve its partner program to meet the needs of the changing world but not move away from the partners that build and support IBM. The initiatives that Hume has undertaken in 2009 have not just affirmed that commitment, but advanced IBM’s partner program and the interest of its business partners. For his commitment to the channel and IBM’s partners, Channel Insider is proud to name Rich Hume the recipient of the Champion Bull’s Eye Award for Global Channel Executive of the Year.

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Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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