It’s no secret that IBM is under pressure from investors to accelerate the rate at which the products it sells are consumed as subscription services delivered via the cloud. Perhaps in response to that, IBM recently promoted John Teltsch to become its new global channel chief in the wake of Marc Dupaquier’s retirement.
Teltsch has said that his top priority is to build relationships with new partners that have established relationships extending beyond the traditional C-Suite—where IBM and its existing partners excel. Much of the interest in cloud services is being driven by developers and data scientists that consume these services.
To help accelerate that push, IBM has hired Dorothy Copeland to be the vice president for channels in North America. Previously, Copeland was general manager for global partner channel and alliances for Amazon Web Services (AWS).
In his new role as general manager for global business partners, Teltsch will leverage his years of experience working at IBM. The 23-year IBM veteran has previously been serving as the company’s general manager for transformation of global markets. Prior to that, he was vice president for IBM Software in Europe.
One of Teltsch’s first orders of business will be to extend a recently launched IBM Express Start initiative that pre-approves partners to sell up to $100,000 worth of IBM products in a 12-month period. He reported that IBM is also moving to reduce the complexity of the contracts it sets up with partners and customers. This is part of an effort to make it more attractive for new “born-of–cloud” partners to conduct transactions with IBM.
In addition to finding partners that can engage new customers, Teltsch said the IBM channel organization will focus on helping partners navigate the business model challenges that come with making the shift to the cloud. The goal is to make it at least equally attractive for partners to sell solutions that run on-premises or a cloud service that compensates them on an annuity basis.
Teltsch reported that IBM is also making a concerted effort to help partners make the transition to what the company describes as the “cognitive computing era.” He said that as part of that effort, partners should expect to hear more from IBM about platforms such as the IBM Watson Build program, in which IBM works with partners to create Watson applications.
There’s no doubt that Teltsch has his work cut out for him in the months ahead. On the plus side, interest in all things relating to advanced analytics and various forms of machine and deep learning algorithms has never been higher.