IBM and Sage have joined forces to ramp up their mid-market sales through both sets of channel partners.
The two vendors are pairing off their resellers to sell IBM iSeries products bundled with Sage ERP software.
Bill Hill, director of marketing at Sage's enterprise division, said: "When we started a dialogue with IBM, one of the plus points was that our software caters for the smallest businesses up to large mid-market businesses, and the odd corporate business as well.
"IBM is looking to extend its iSeries market share and we decided to get our ERP software products working with the iSeries technology, using the Informix and Linux platforms.
"Many customers are using old AS/400 kit and it seemed a good idea to use both sets of channel partners to encourage those firms to upgrade, as well as drive new business.
"One partner sells software and the other sells the hardware. That way Sage and IBM get the licence sales and the partners get the services and consulting revenue, so it's a win-win situation."
Hill claimed that the partnership is also allowing Sage partners to get more out of Sage's ERP system.
Bob Betts, director SMB UK at IBM, said: "Sage is probably our most important ISV partner because we want to drive into the mid-market space. It is a great opportunity for both vendors."
Betts added that IBM had set up a special team dedicated to Sage and its channel partners.
"The breadth and depth of what we are bringing to the market [through channel partners] is very exciting and will help us win together," he said.
John Millward, managing director of IBM partner Platinum Blue, welcomed the strategy.
"We have been working closely with Sage and its partners. The Sage applications provide a new choice for our customer base and give customers at least 80 per cent of what they want," he said.
"Customers are very loyal to the iSeries. Previously Sage software ran on the NT platform, so they wouldn't even consider implementing it. But we have had a lot of success with this partnership so far."
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