IBM unveils new skills initiative

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 29 January 2010, 12:28 Hrs
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Bangalore: More than two-thirds of IBM Software partners expect improved profitability from its new skills initiative. The initiative includes new sales and technical resources for IBM Software partners to help jump-start new business opportunities.

For the first time, IBM plans to pass new mid market sales leads valued below $50,000 to authorized IBM Software partners, deliver new cloud computing architecture certification for partners, including education on cloud business models, and provide direct access to more than 130 industry training sessions online and in local markets worldwide.

Businesses today are adopting technology to become more efficient and transform their organization based on specific industry requirements. IBM is delivering this initiative to help partners build the right skills needed for 21st century transformation projects. Given these requirements, under the IBM Software Value Plus skills initiative, partners can choose which products across the IBM software portfolio to become certified and authorized to sell based on their business model and industries served such as healthcare, banking and financial markets, retail, government, telecommunications, chemical and petroleum and energy and utilities among others.

"Business Partners are key to IBM's success in the marketplace, and we continue to invest in new resources that help ensure their success. With this new initiative, we are now providing our partners with the same training and resources we provide our IBM sales team. That is why our partners see us as providing the best opportunity and rewards for those who invest in our software portfolio to better serve clients, tap new markets, and sell into new industries," said Anil Menon, Vice President, IBM Software Group Business Partners.

According to a new Global Business Partner Profitability Survey conducted by Ronin Corporation and commissioned by IBM, 60 percent of IBM Software partners said that they expect to increase profitability in 2010 and beyond by participating in Software Value Plus. The same percentage of IBM's top-tier Software partners said that they see more revenue in the form of hardware, software, and services when selling IBM software as compared to revenue generated by other vendors' top tier partners. From a growth perspective, 50 percent of IBM's top-tier Software partners report that cloud computing will be a leading driver of profitability over the next two years, and the same percentage of all IBM Software partners rank consulting services as their top cloud opportunity.

In response to these survey results, IBM is delivering new resources as part of its skills initiative including, automatic Lead Passing, cloud Architecture Certifications, IBM Technology and Solutions Training for Software. A Francis Albert, General Manager, Redington India Limited, an IBM Value-Added Distributor said, "Our partners are constantly looking for new ways to demonstrate business value to clients and differentiate themselves from the competition. IBM's strategy to boost access to sales, marketing and technical skills with initiatives like Software Value Plus can help partners meet client requirements in a better way and also improve their profit margins."

Today's news comes at a time when IBM is expanding its commitment to increase marketing investments for all IBM Business Partners serving mid-sized companies including a new cross-IBM solutions development team to create a suite of integrated, cross-IBM solution building blocks around areas such as data protection, business analytics and dynamic infrastructure; a $130 million investment in marketing and demand generation programs including a significant expansion in co-marketing programs to help partners design their own lead generation campaigns; and increased support of local partners through Territory Business Partner Representatives to drive opportunities, develop solutions, maximize co-marketing activities and focus on client satisfaction.

"There is a paradigm shift in customers support expectation as their business needs are impacted by the challenges they face in software systems. IBM has introduced SVP, which will raise the bar of partner competency, their niche identity in the market and value realization for customers. Our objective at MicroGenesis is to enable our customers to become agile in adopting high end technology, tools and processes successfully," said Manoj Tharian, Director, MicroGenesis Technosoft, an IBM Advanced Business Partner.

The new resources announced today are provided through the IBM Software Value Plus initiative that helps software partners build technical, marketing and sales skills on IBM's software portfolio and key growth opportunities such as business analytics, collaboration and industry transformation. IBM will continue to expand Software Value Plus with additional demand generation, co-marketing and technical skills resources for software partners throughout 2010.

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