IBM Continues to Aggressively Support Its Partners

There are MANY tech companies that have reseller programs but not many companies can match IBM’s breadth of partner support offerings.
Another critical component of selling technology is that the consultant should KNOW about the industry she is selling into. Sure generalists are great, but it’s better to have a consultant who knows about the real estate industry consult to your real estate company.
IBM also rolled out an expansion of IBM SMB Advantage with the addition of SMB Industry Insights, an industry specific sales enablement initiative for Business Partners focused on vertical marketplaces. The new initiatives provide a quick study on marketplace issues including challenges and solutions opportunities. Also included are customer deliverables, practical sales and marketing resources, and a wealth of other tools that help to reduce the sales cycle and make sales into SMB easier.
IBM’s growing SMB Industry Insights portfolio currently includes: Banking, Wholesale Distribution, Automotive, Retail, Fabrication and Assembly, Healthcare and Life Sciences.
Tech Web writes Because IBM doesn’t sell applications directly like rival Microsoft, it’s highly dependent on ISVs and integrators to help drive the sales of its middleware offerings–such as WebSphere and DB2–that support end-user applications. Speaking Monday at PartnerWorld, IBM’s annual event for rallying business partners, Marc Lautenbach, IBM’s GM for SMB markets, said the company’s SMB and ISV programs “are the way we are going to drive software sales.” IBM’s software revenue grew just 1% last year when gains from currency fluctuations are excluded.
Recognizing the POWER of being affiliated with IBM, IBM announced the Built On IBM Express Portfolio initiative which allows IBM Business Partners to market their qualified Express solutions using an IBM approved emblem. IBM also unveiled additions to PartnerWorld Industry Networks including four new industries and a web-based showcase for Business Partner applications.
Also, IBM announced today at PartnerWorld 2005 the addition of industry sales support for IBM Business Partners through an expansion of the IBM Small and Medium Business Advantage (SMBA) initiative with the addition of SMB Industry Insights. In addition, IBM rolled out the SystemSeller initiative which provides Business Partners with competitively priced and pre-configured models of market-leading IBM eServers and TotalStorage products for the SMB market.
As part of today’s announcements the company also detailed a new development initiative which is designed to simplify the building of applications using IBM Express middleware technology.
Marketing of SMB Solutions Made Easy
IBM’s new “Built On IBM Express Portfolio” emblem is designed to enhance the marketing efforts of IBM Business Partners whose solutions and services include IBM Express Portfolio offerings. The initiative is part of IBM’s investments in building the IBM Express Portfolio into the premier solution set for mid-size businesses.
The new emblem will be available for eligible IBM Business Partners, ISVs and Regional Systems Integrators to use as they market and sell their qualified solutions and services. IBM Business Partners utilizing the emblem will have the opportunity to leverage significant investment in advertising and demand generation to build awareness of the IBM Express Portfolio.
IBM today launched four new industries to mark the one-year anniversary of PartnerWorld Industry Networks, the company’s broad enablement program through which it goes to market industry-by-industry with thousands of ISVs across 60 countries. The new industries are Fabrication and Assembly, Wholesale Distribution, Media and Entertainment, and Education and Learning. In addition, the company announced new initiatives and resources to build relationships between ISVs and systems integrators to deliver industry-aligned solutions, country-by-country, in the world’s fastest growing markets.
As part of these efforts, IBM unveiled the Business Partner Application Showcase, a customer-facing tool that will help them easily locate and select IBM Business Partners and their solutions by industry and country. Customers can quickly search for and find these applications, and through a “Contact Me” button will be able to connect directly with Business Partners to speed the sales cycle. The Showcase will be available in nine languages on IBM Web sites around the globe, further extending Business Partner reach into new and emerging markets.
Simplified Selling into SMB Market
IBM today launched a servers and storage Business Partner program, called SystemSeller, which was created specifically to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. This new IBM program enables more TotalStorage and eServer products to be readily available for Business Partners, making it easier to sell IBM server and storage technologies to their customers.
SystemSeller will allow Business Partners to rapidly acquire competitively priced and readily available product that is configured to address the needs of the end-user SMB customer. The program will facilitate faster product sales and allow for greater ease of doing business for IBM’s Business Partners. The program will also provide expanded incentives for IBM systems Business Partners and new marketing initiatives to generate business opportunities.
IBM SystemSeller will be available globally this year and will include TotalStorage and eServer xSeries, OpenPower, pSeries, and BladeCenter systems.
IBM Accelerates Development of Express-based Applications
IBM also announced a new IBM Express Portfolio development initiative that enables Business Partners to more easily build, manage and deploy fully integrated applications based on IBM’s Express middleware portfolio. The new open standards based offerings will allow Business Partners to build solutions without vendor lock-in, enabling customers to protect their IT investments. The new offerings include enhancements to Express Runtime, new IBM Solution Build Express starting points and an online mid-market consulting tool.
The enhanced Express Runtime delivers a simplified approach to helping Business Partners leverage IBM’s Express middleware portfolio. New features include improved security plus simplified deployment and management capabilities as well as the latest version of DB2 Express and WebSphere Application Server Express. Now Business Partners can more quickly build and deploy solutions leveraging IBM’s Express middleware through a single installation and take advantage of a simplified technical support structure.
As part of the IBM Express Portfolio development initiative, IBM is also launching new enhancements to IBM Solution Builder Express, an enablement tool that is designed to help business partners more easily build industry specific applications. IBM is introducing 10 new solution starting points to help business partners deploy applications in vertical industries including Retail, Banking and Healthcare. Now Business Partners can follow simple steps to help them develop customized applications through a new set of enablement tools.
Additionally, IBM will offer a new online mid-market consultant tool to help business partners accelerate the solution design process. Business Partners can gain real-time access to education, technical papers and best practices examples around solution design recommendations.
IBM’s Express Portfolio
The IBM Express Portfolio offers hardware, middleware, services and financing — all tailored to the needs of mid-size businesses — that can be acquired, installed and managed quickly, are cost-effective, and deliver a rapid return on investment (ROI). More than 70 offerings in the IBM Express Portfolio enable customers to improve the responsiveness and flexibility of their IT infrastructure, so they can concentrate on their core businesses. And because cash flow is one of the most pressing issues for mid-sized businesses, the IBM Express Portfolio is more affordable with a series of attractive financing options. To learn more about IBM’s Express Portfolio visit:


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Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, & Infusionsoft. Full bio at . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook