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SAP and IBM announced plans May 17 to leverage IBM’s access to research and its business partner community to drive business operation innovation on its MySAP All-in-One platform.

IBM Global Business Services will resell All-in-One solutions, built by All-in-One ISVs, through IBM Business Partners in five verticals—wholesale distribution, life sciences, industrial machinery and construction, and food distribution, and beverage distribution industries—extending the reach of SAP partners and the capabilities of IBM partners, both companies said.

IBM Business Partners may also be eligible to earn a fee for referring opportunities for industry solutions to SAP and MySAP All-in-One partners.

The software giants expect to further deliver innovative solutions on the business process platform through collaboration and partnering between the vendors, partners and customers, said Steven Ferencie, head of Strategy and Change Management Practice in IBM Global Business Services.

Collaboration between the four will drive innovative solutions to the way businesses operate and thus provide a means for them to change the business they operate, Ferencie said.

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“You will see SMEs [small and midsize enterprises], who can’t handle a lot of growth today, take on innovative ways of running their business,” Ferencie said. “You will see them gain the ability to free up resources and go after that growth. You will see better access to information on the customer side, marketing and segmenting. … The operations system helps you drive many other programs of business.”

The partnership aligns major strategic shifts by both companies this year to drive sales and swallow market share. SAP in January announced a hybrid direct-channel sales plan to deliver vertical and subvertical solutions through its partner community, and IBM introduced in March its Innovation That Matters initiative to drive new business models and business solutions through partners and academics.