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IBM’s local general manager has claimed that the company’s Australian partners are benefitting from a series of major investments in helping them move into cloud and AI services.

In recent years, IBM has been pivoting its business heavily towards cloud and AI services. At its recent annual THINK conference, the company made major announcements, including the open-sourcing of several of its language and code Granite models, new generative AI-powered data products, and a tool called IBM Concert that will produce AI-driven insights across its customer’s portfolio of applications to identify, predict, and suggest fixes to problems.

The company has also been adjusting its go-to-market strategy in Australia, appointing NEXTGEN – a cloud and software specialist – as a distributor last year.

Nicholas Flood, the managing director of IBM in Australia and New Zealand, said that local partners have the full weight of resources from the company’s local technical teams to help them transform their businesses.

“IBM has invested in two critical functions: client engineering and customer success management. These teams, fully funded by IBM, are instrumental in demonstrating the practical benefits of IBM’s technology portfolio to partners and end-user clients alike,” Flood said. “In 2024, IBM expanded the customer success management team’s remit to support ecosystem partners post-sale, too – this ensures that both the client and partner are supported through that modernisation process to maximise the value of their investments.”

New opportunities for modernisation through choice

Flood said that one of the interesting things that IBM had been observing about AI was the demand for it as an application modernisation tool.

“Before generative AI came along, application modernisation projects could be difficult because clients felt they were locked into only one modernisation pathway,” Flood said.

“What’s quite exciting to see among our partners, be they global systems integrators, regional integrators or more niche consultancies is that they’ve really taken the optionality from this new tooling and set of capabilities and used it to put themselves in a position to provide more value to their end users.

“It a stronger message to take to clients than saying ‘there’s only one path out of the morass that you’ve found yourself in.’”

Learn what IBM is doing for its MSP partners globally through its Partner Plus program.