IBM has ramped up its independent software vendor support again, aiming to drive closer relations in the mid-market between ISVs and its channel community.
At its Lotusphere conference in Orlando last week, Big Blue said it will provide technical and marketing support for mid-tier ISVs, extending the existing ISV Advantage programme to push products such as WebSphere or those from its collaboration software arm Lotus to VARs.
The company hopes this will form an 'ecosystem' to strengthen channel relations and drive penetration of vertically focused ISV software offerings built on its portfolio in the SME market.
Last year IBM announced a $10m cash injection for its ISVs to develop on its iSeries platform. The latest strategy is initially designed to ramp up IBM's presence within the channel through vertically focused packages such as Lotus Workplace for business control.
One ISV in the UK told CRN that the latest move was bringing the initiatives in the partner community further into the Lotus community, following IBM's software reorganisation.
Scott Hebner, IBM's marketing and strategy vice president of ISV and developer relations, said: "Our customers are looking for IBM to evolve from a technology provider to being a partner in transforming and integrating their business operations.
"As part of that IBM is pushing better relations with resellers. We are going to drive a much greater percentage of our revenue through the channel, and there's going to be a whole set of new programmes coming."
Ian Charlesworth, senior research analyst at Butler Group, said: "IBM's strategy makes it easier to do business with it, [although] it is still an issue in terms of looking for margins.
"Resellers are being squeezed by the ISVs and by IBM's own solutions. For them it will be a question of moving up or moving on before the pressure gets too great."
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