Yet more organisational changes to IBM's channel structure are expected at the vendor's upcoming PartnerWorld conference next month, according to a senior member of its channel management team.
In an exclusive interview, Scott Cooper, IBM's worldwide vice-president of channel and SME marketing, told CRN: "This is the end of the beginning [for IBM's channel restructure]." He hinted at more changes to align VARs and ISVs to better target SMEs.
Late last year IBM restructured its software strategy to focus on various vertical markets, and earlier this month it revamped its ISV support to drive closer relations between its VARs and its ISVs.
Cooper said IBM's business is now "connected together" for partners to sell.
But he added: "We increasingly have partners that aren't just hardware resellers, ISVs or software resellers. We have partners that are all of those things. And they don't want to sign up for three different programmes and have three different passwords.
"Previewing PartnerWorld, you'll see a great deal of conversation around consistency without homogenising the programmes. This 'one size fits all' thing just isn't true.
"You can get in the situation where you have so many programmes it's difficult to navigate them. [But if] you have such a big and diverse community, you don't want to homogenise [it].
"Our approach in rolling out our newer programmes is to say the partners we are going to drive the greatest margin to, the greatest rebate to, and the greatest support [are] the value-added guys."
Bernie McHugh, technical director at Geac, an ISV with IBM hardware resale capabilities, said: "We would expect to maintain the multi-layered relationships we have with IBM.
"But if after PartnerWorld that changes to fewer points of contact with IBM, then that can only benefit the channel."
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