IBM has pledged to get closer to partners after reaffirming its Partner Charter for the first time in 15 years.
Chairman Sam Palmisano emailed every global business partner last week, reiterating the vendor’s commitment to its channel through a six-point charter (Channelweb, 27 March), and vowed to keep investing in its indirect strategy.
Jacqui Davey, vice president of business partners IBM, UK and Ireland, acknowledged that the vendor needed to communicate more.
“Many people think that we only deal with the channel through hardware sales, but we are selling more services and software through partners than before,” she said.
One of Big Blue’s major initiatives this year is the Smart Planet concept and Davey said this translates into a $3bn (£2.1bn) opportunity.
“We are working with partners to bring all the assets that we have together to make Smart Planet issues real,” she said. “We want to engage with the channel and help partners exploit the opportunities we are creating.”
Davey added that the vendor would be announcing some new mid-market channel opportunities later this month.
“We maintain our channel relationships in the recession and it is important to reaffirm that we are not looking internally,” she said.
Despite cancelling its global IBM PartnerWorld event this year, Davey said the vendor will focus on smaller, more localised events.
“The idea is for more frequent, more local interaction with our partners, along with the opportunity to network,” she said.
John Lindley, business development director at IBM software
partner Portal Partnership welcomed the opportunity for more dialogue with the vendor.
“IBM has some great products, but needs to do more to make businesses aware,” he said. “Considering how huge IBM is, its profile is disappointingly low compared to other vendors, so it is great that it wants to be more communicative.”
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