IBM kicked off its 2012 PartnerWorld conference with a barrage of initiatives designed to help its channel partners to grow.
With more than 1,000 partners from around the globe descending on the Hyatt Regency hotel in New Orleans, the vendor outlined how it was planning to invest consistently in its channel this year.
Mark Hennessy, general manager of global business partners and mid-market at IBM, gave the opening keynote and reiterated Big Blue’s strategic focus areas of cloud, analytics, Smarter Planet and growth markets.
One of the key finance initiatives announced on day one was the IBM Solution Accelerator – a rebate initiative aimed at partners selling combined software and systems and/or business solutions.
On the software and systems side this involves a five per cent incremental rebate for selling eligible IBM systems and a 15 per cent incremental rebate for selling eligible software together to a single client. On the business solutions side it offers an additional 10 per cent rebate for selling a solution classified as a software element of an "eligible solution".
According to IBM Global Financing, it has increased the number of new mid-market clients it is financing by 23 per cent, compared with 2010.
The vendor also unveiled new resources for its business partners including: Ready for IBM SmartCloud services – a directory that makes it easier for customers to find technology from business partners that is certified for the IBM SmartCloud; Tech Talk for Cloud Computing – a monthly virtual learning series run by IBM developerWorks; a Social Business Toolkit; and SmartCloud Entry on IBM System x – which delivers a template for resellers to help their clients deploy a private cloud.
Richard Potts (pictured), vice president of business partners and mid-market UK, who took over the channel role from Jacqui Davey recently, said the announcements have already created a buzz among UK partners.
"I have spoken to 10 to 12 UK Business Partners already and they are all talking about the same thing, which is ‘what are the ways in which we take advantage of these new opportunities with customers’ around cloud, around analytics, around changes in social media and the new ways companies and consumers are interacting,” he said.
"The points made by the speakers in the main session were all around how IBM is investing consistently in our key growth plays, and we want to make it attractive for partners to invest in the right skills and capabilities and help us grow business together."
"That is why the incentives announced today underline that we are making sure our programmes reflect what we are asking our partners to do. We want our Business Partners' help to take all this to market and we want to reward and support them in doing so."
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