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A new conference has risen from the demise of IBM PartnerWorld,
which Big Blue hopes will be more focused on the real business issues
facing channel partners.

PartnerWorld, which was the annual global partner conference for IBM
that ran for seven years, is no more; instead the vendor has launched
the IBM Partner Leadership Conference.

“We looked at PartnerWorld and decided there were two types of
attendees at the event: the C-level executives, such as CEOs, CIOs,
COOs, and the more technical people, and they both wanted different
things,” an IBM representative told Channel Insider.

The IBM Partner Leadership Conference will be held April 30 through
May 2 in Los Angeles and is invitation-only, according to the
representative. “We expect there to be around 1,200 attendees to the
Leadership conference, from the 4,000 who attended PartnerWorld last
year,” he said.  He added that a broad range of partners will be
invited, noting that it will not depend on the partner’s size.

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The Leadership conference will focus more on the business of
partnering, VAR strategy and how VARs can grow their businesses,
including panel debates, breakouts and time with IBM executives, with
less emphasis on a deep expertise on products.

However, the representative said IBM is opening up its Systems Group
and Software Group university conferences for those who do not attend
the Leadership conference.  These two conferences, which provide a
deeper technical program, will be held in Los Angeles after the
Leadership conference.

“We want to make sure everyone who attended PartnerWorld will still
get valuable networking and interaction with the right people,” the
representative said.