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IBM said by 2010 it will derive 50
percent of its profits from the software side of its business, and it is
counting on its channel partners to make that goal a reality.

Mark Hanny,
IBM‘s vice president of
independent software vendor alliances, said channel partners and ISVs are
crucial to Big Blue’s software strategy, since they are on the front lines
performing consulting and implementation functions for
middleware customers.

"Partners are strategic because clients don’t buy middleware on their
own; they buy it as part of an entire solution," Hanny said.  Rather
than just reselling a piece of  software,
VARs and ISVs can drive their own and
software growth by providing consulting, implementation and integration
services of
IBM software with clients’
existing infrastructure, he said.

Mike Chadwick, executive vice president at Prolifics, said
helped him transition his software development firm from a software reseller to
ISV and integrator. Chadwick said
his company began working with
IBM in the
mid-1990s because he felt
IBM‘s WebSphere
suite was going to dominate the application server market.