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The following is a letter written by Sam Palmisano, chairman and CEO of IBM, to his business partners, affirming IBM’s commitment to working with solution providers and integrators on building a ‘Smarter Planet.’

Dear IBM Business Partner,

I am pleased to send you the attached copy of the updated IBM Business Partner Charter. It represents a continuing commitment to our relationship — which is more important today, I believe, than ever before.

The reason I believe that is because of the major shift now underway across the global economy. This is not simply a cyclical downturn. On the other side of the present turmoil, a very different world is taking shape. And together we are uniquely positioned to lead it.

The world is not just becoming smaller and “flatter.” It’s also becoming smarter. Through pervasive instrumentation and interconnection, almost anything — any person, any object, any process or any service, for any organization, large or small — can become digitally aware, networked and intelligent. And these new capabilities could not be more timely. Even in today’s difficult environment, businesses are willing to invest in IT solutions — if they cut costs, drive efficiency and productivity, preserve capital and create competitive advantage. And that’s exactly what “smarter” solutions do.

The skills, technologies and solutions that you and IBM have built together put us in a unique position to help our clients give their organizations a smart upgrade. This comes together in our Smarter Planet vision and solutions, which we’ve begun rolling out around the world. They can help you provide immediate answers to your clients’ most urgent questions — and then open up a profoundly different long-term conversation with them. I urge you to take advantage of this moment, and this vision. And you can expect to see much more from us in the months and years ahead.

In this world undergoing such rapid and profound change, the IBM Business Partner Charter represents our commitment to what never changes about our relationship, while renewing it for a very different world. Together, I believe, we can shape a new era of leadership and growth.

Sam Palmisano
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer