IBM unveiled a redesigned partner programme on Wednesday, with tiers for silver, gold and platinum partners; an accelerator programme for new partners; and a promise of fewer direct customers, pushing more accounts to the channel.
Partners will have a six-month transition period to adopt the new programme, called IBM Partner Plus, IBM's channel chief, Kate Woolley, said during a press conference. IBM will launch a new incentives stack in April and new co-marketing and demand generation programmes in July.
"It is a simple, transparent and predictable programme," said Woolley, whose formal title is general manager of the IBM ecosystem.
"It gives our partners a simplified path for them to progress with IBM, whether they're building, selling or servicing.
"It is inclusive of all of our partner types. And we've built this programme based on what we heard from partners."
IBM Partner Plus Programme replaces PartnerWorld
Partner Plus is Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM's replacement for its PartnerWorld programme, a name used since at least 2004, back when resellers were classified as members, advanced or premier partners.
PartnerWorld itself has undergone multiple redesigns over the years, including in 2020, when IBM added more partner tracks.
The new programme builds upon IBM's October announcement about free, expanded access to employee-level training for partners.
Since that announcement, the company has seen more than 15,000 partner enrollments in sales and technical badges, according to the vendor.
IBM's revamped partner portal allows partners to interact with IBM employees through a dashboard, track their progress through IBM's badging and education system and track their deals and sales, she said.
The portal has already introduced partners to more than 7,000 potential deals valued at more than $500m worldwide, according to the company.
Even with the announcement of Partner Plus, IBM and subsidiary Red Hat's partner programmes will remain separate, Woolley said.
Continue reading to learn why IBM has adopted Microsoft's previous gold and silver partner tiering...