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As the saying goes, it’s an ill wind that blows no good, and so it is with global warming.

The concern about global warming has led to so much concern over carbon emissions that corporations all over the globe now need to measure the amount of carbon they are spewing into the atmosphere. If, for example, a power company is deemed to be emitting more than its allotted amount, it may be restricted from building additional power plants regardless of how much demand there is for power. That is, of course, unless it can buy carbon emission credits from another company that is generating less carbon than its allotted amount.

This new world environmental order is effectively creating an exchange for the buying and selling of carbon emission credits, which is exactly what Evergreen Energy hopes to help build with help from Enterprise Information Management, or EIM, a solution provider that specializes in IBM technologies. The two companies have agreed to build a portal that companies can implement to first keep track of their carbon emission footprint and then secondarily participate in a global exchange market where carbon credits can be bought and sold. The technology used for tracking carbon emissions is based on metering technology that was developed by C-Lock Technology.

According to Matthew Garst, director of worldwide sales and marketing for EIM, the company is looking to partner with fellow solution providers that have expertise in IBM technologies given the fact that their solution is built on top of Websphere and FileNet products from IBM.

What’s interesting here is that rather than the channel program for this effort being run and managed by IBM, it’s being managed by EIM, which is in the final stages of crafting that program. IBM, for its part, is lending EIM some technical expertise under the auspices of IBM’s Venture Capital Group. Despite its name, this group in IBM isn’t in the venture capital investment business but rather serves as a facilitator for developing solutions based on IBM technologies for emerging market opportunities.

What all this means is that we’re starting to see an evolution of the channel where solution providers create their own programs as part of an effort to partner with other solution providers as opposed to hoping that manufacturers will somehow do that for them. As more solution providers continue to invest their own intellectual capital to build solutions, the need to create effective routes to market will set the stage for the next level of maturation in channels where the solution providers rather than the manufacturers will be the dominant forces.

In the meantime, all things related to green energy projects are red hot these days. So if you’re looking to get into a new emerging vertical market segment with big demands for IT resources, an opportunity to get in early on a business trend of this magnitude comes along about once a decade.

For more on IBM’s role in this venture check out this podcast with Drew Clark, co-founder of the IBM Venture Capital Group.

Michael Vizard is editorial director of Ziff Davis Enterprise‘s Enterprise Technology group. He can be reached at