Liz Grant, partners and alliances manager at IBM’s e-business services division, said Big Blue had a legacy of providing bespoke services which were difficult to replicate. But, she added, the company was looking to see if it could offer channel partners a way of reselling packaged versions of some of its higher level services. “We want to identify those offerings we have that we can mass customise into product offerings and then make them available to our customers via channels.” Grant conceded that IBM’s services would be harder to package than offerings from the likes of Hewlett-Packard or Compaq, but insisted the company was trying to identify how this could be done. “The consultancy area would be most difficult to customise and there are some challenges there. But we have a strong desire to be able to make mass customised offerings in that area that we could make attractive to the channel to sell.” David Lea, sales manager at Northumberland-based reseller and consultancy E-Tech Solutions, could not see how IBM would go about packaging its services. “My biggest concern about this is there are no two clients the same, so services would be impossible to duplicate — it’s difficult to see where these services would come from. IBM doesn’t really do low-end packaged services either — the biggest help it gives us as a reseller is marketing.” But Lea admitted IBM’s packaged services were unlikely to create conflict with E-Tech’s own service and consultancy offerings.
This was first published in July 2000