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IBM launches enhanced partner programme

IBM looks to reward those backing its vision by making work quicker and life easier for the channel

IBM has kicked off the year with a refreshed partner programme with the aim of increasing support for its channel.

The vendor’s IBM Partner Plus is being pitched as part of the ongoing commitment that the firm has towards the channel and its determination to place partners at the heart of its strategy.

Partner Plus follows in the wake of October’s move by IBM to release badging and selling enablement materials to partners, which the vendor stated has led to more than 15,000 partner enrolments in sales and technical badges.

IBM is on a path to place itself as a major supplier of hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) and is using the fresh partner programme to get resellers and managed service providers (MSPs) lined up behind that ambition. The firm believes that the size of the potential market is around $1tn.

Under the latest offering, partners will get access to resources, incentives and tailored support so they can increase their expertise around the key technologies. Big Blue is also promising that its refreshed programme will speed up the time it takes to get products and services to market.

The three tiers – silver, gold and platinum – can be gained by demonstrating technical expertise and landing sales. The programme also offers a “clear line of sight” for those wanting to chart their progress up the tiers and unlock higher levels of support.

The incentive for investing in the programme is the opportunity to access demand generation programmes that could offer up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM. Partners will also be able to get an idea of the levels of reward they could unlock through the system. Big Blue has put some efforts into improving deal registration and has been able to introduce partners to more than 7,000 potential deals, which have been valued at more than half a billion dollars globally.

“IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them to gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, general manager of IBM Ecosystem.

“We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. I’m confident these changes and our continued investment in our ecosystem will make IBM the partner of choice across the industry, and together we can drive growth for partners, clients and IBM,” she added.

Partners will have time to transition, with their current tiers being honoured until July, but are being encouraged to start tracking the requirements needed to hold or improve their existing levels.

Bo Gebbie, president of Evolving Solutions, provided a partner response: “IBM is more serious than ever about putting partners first. They’ve listened to our feedback, and it is reflected in the new partner experience that makes it easy for us to collaborate, reward our investments and fuel growth.”

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