IBM Overhauls Its Channel Strategy

By Gina Roos  |  Print this article Print
IBM's Channel Strategy

IBM has consolidated its channel sales and marketing groups for all its business units into a single channel team to better support its business partner network.

The company is also beefing up its demand creation tools for marketers and developers. It is increasing its digital and social campaigns through co-marketing funds to provide partners with Web-based marketing and social media through enhancements at the IBM Digital Content Marketing platform.

“This will not only allow partners to syndicate content from our Website to theirs, but also will allow them to start to automate how they do marketing campaigns,” Gerentine said.

In addition, business partners will have access to IBM’s new social media and email offering. Currently in beta, IBM Verse will be generally available later in the first quarter of 2015.

Technical assets also will be improved to help partners and developers build and port customized server and storage solutions with OpenPOWER Developer Tools.

To help increase revenue streams, IBM is enhancing its dedicated developer engagement community with dW Answers, where IBM subject matter experts and external peers provide support and share expertise to help developers or ISVs build and test their applications. Developer Centers that focus on specific solutions will also be launched.

IBM is also rolling out Watson Explorer, a combination of data exploration and content analytics capabilities, to its channel partners to resell. The company says this is “providing the bridge between cloud-based services and on-premise proprietary information.”

New incentives include increased compensation through IBM’s Partner Growth Incentive (PGI) for selling IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage. The new program offers a quarterly incentive that doubles if specific requirements are met, and a quarterly bonus for achieving specific skills and certifications.

On the services side, IBM is improving rewards with a new Remarketer Margin Enhancer, which offers a 10 percent margin enhancement on incremental revenue for meeting revenue growth targets when reselling IBM Services. A new Services Consumption Program is available to help business partners drive demand for service provider solutions.

The company is also simplifying certification requirements for selected software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings to help partners earn incentives faster with the new IBM SaaS Entry Product Group.


Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.