IBM has added a services focus to its Integrated Partner Team (IPT) and plans to double the number of resellers signed up to it by December.
Last week IBM unveiled five SME Express Managed Services for IPT, ranging from email recovery services to a web security service. Each is designed to sit alongside the SME products already offered through IPT partners.
Ed Booker, business manager for Express Managed Services at IBM, said: “Some partners may want to take all five services, but some may pick and choose the number of services they want, specifically to fit their business.”
IPT was unveiled in February to solely focus on the SME sector.
Earlier this month IBM unveiled plans to add services into the IPT’s remit (CRN, 8 May).
Big Blue has claimed that the addition of services to IPT will enable its partners to take both tailored products and services into an expanding SME market.
According to a recent IDC survey of 160 European resellers, 64 per cent believe that the SME managed ser-vices market is a major growth area.
Francis Toye, managing director of IBM partner Unilink, said: “Many of [IBM’s] services already exist elsewhere, but this is an attractive package to both partners and end-users.”
Jared Carey, sales director at IBM distributor Northamber, said: “These services will be tailored sales. All our previous frustrations have been solved by IPT. This is extremely welcome.”
IPT currently consists of more than 200 VARs, but Booker claimed that IBM has plans to recruit more.
“We want to double the number of partners we have in IPT by the end of the year,” he said.
However, Antony Hawkes, sales and marketing director at IBM VAR Taskala, remained cautious over the increase in partner numbers.
“[It’s a good thing] as long as the partner expansion is done in the right way, and doesn’t dilute existing partners’ services margin,” he said.
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