IBM?s software arm and its network management systems house Tivoli have merged their sales and marketing operations into Lotus creating a single, worldwide channel infrastructure.
Major corporate resellers and distributors, labelled as ?tier one?, have had integrated logistics with the three companies for more than six months. Jes Miller, channel sales manager at Lotus EMEA, said the merging of the three operations brought the ?second-tier? resellers into line.
But resellers doing significant amounts of business with both IBM and Lotus could face losing soft dollars as the merged organisation consolidates sales and marketing staff and dealer account managers.
Miller said the issue of marketing funds had not yet been resolved. ?We haven?t made any decisions about budgets and the amount of money available to partners. But the new structure will allow them to leverage available funds more efficiently.?
The merged channel organisation, based in the US, will be headed by Deb Besemer, Lotus executive vice president of worldwide field operations.
Besemer, Mark Elliot, general manager of worldwide sales at IBM, and Alex Kuli, senior vice president of worldwide sales at Tivoli, will form a strategic steering committee. Ian Bonner has been named as general manager of Lotus and IBM worldwide partner marketing, responsible for all joint marketing. Larry McMenamy, Lotus marketing manager for Europe, will assume the role of vice president for Lotus and IBM worldwide partner sales.
Details of how the merged channel structure will affect staff in the UK will not be released until Q4. But there could be some redundancies, as sales and marketing roles within the organisation are consolidated.
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