Editor's Note: As part of our special editorial partnership, CRN is republishing this recent article from Channelnomics
The IT buyer is no longer the IT guy sitting in the datacentre. Increasingly, the buyer is marketing executive, line of business manager or chief executive officer, and this is necessitating changes in go-to-market strategies and defining of technology values, IBM staff told resellers attending PartnerWorld 2013 in the US.
Mark Hennessy, general manager of IBM global business partners, told the 1,500 Big Blue partners in attendance that businesses are no longer just interested in using IT to save money through efficiencies.
Rather, businesses are looking to technology to enhance their ability to open markets, create new revenue streams and drive value.
"We need to help clients go on the offense, not just play defense," Hennessy said.
IBM believes four major technology trends - big data, cloud computing, mobility and social collaboration - are reshaping IT consumption among businesses. All 15 of IBM's major business units have restructured their strategic plans around these technology trends and the notion of delivering offerings that provide greater value and productivity to consuming businesses.
Hennessy told partners that each unit has been directed to incorporate channel as part of their transformation and growth strategies.
"This means game-changing strategies to reshape businesses, and that spells opportunity," Hennessy said.
Just as IBM is transforming the way it structures offerings and brings products to market, Hennessy and other IBM business leaders implored partners to rethink the way they're defining value and going to market.
Bruno Di Leo, senior vice president of sales and distribution, said transformation for the new age of innovation and customer needs will require professional development around new technologies, integration techniques, service delivery models. Moreover, he says providers need to understand their customers' businesses structures, operations and performance expectations.
"IBM will continue to transform itself and its important for [providers] to transform their businesses, too," Di Leo said.
Hennessy said IBM is spending $150m (£99m) in channel demand generation to support resellers in their transformation, making $4bn in financing available for customer purchasing through partners, increasing field pre-sales and technical support and matching partners with peers with complementary and enhancing capabilities.
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