IBM investing in skills, competencies and enablement of its partners
Partners drive billions in IBM revenue every year and enable faster technology adoption and a greater reach. IBM’s partner ecosystem includes solution providers, cloud providers, GSIs, MSPs, ISVs, resellers and distributors. While sharing the ways of how IBM enables and helps its partners grow in their respective areas, Lata Singh – Director, One Channel–IBM India/ South Asia also highlights the core strength of the channel and the role she envisages for the new age channel in the country -
In India, IBM’s approach is 3 pronged – enabling its business partners with skills to address the client needs of digital transformation, engaging with them to address new customer requirements and empowering them by identifying new revenue streams to be added to their offering.
“We are working with our partner community to accelerate development and delivery of cloud and AI solutions to our clients and at the same time improve our partner end-to-end experience which is core to the relationship,” says Lata Singh – Director, One Channel–IBM India/ South Asia. “The three pronged strategy enables our partners to execute and evolve as they join us on the Chapter 2 of the Digital Transformation journey.”
IBM is transforming how partners engage with the ecosystem by investing in next-generation skills, competencies and enablement. Based on number of certifications, skills and revenue – IBM has different categories of partners - Silver, Gold and Platinum.
“Working with partners has been an important part of IBM’s strategy for nearly 4 decades,” says Lata. “We ensure that and our roadmaps converge in Cognitive Cloud, Security, Data, Multi-cloud management which will enable them to have increased reach and local presence to drive IBM offerings and solutions in niche market segments. IBM Channel team’s mantra is to be agile like startups. With emerging next generation partners, we see opportunity both ways to leverage IBM Deep Technology Expertise and partners’ innovative ideas.”
IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat is the latest and most significant step in our endeavour to lead in this high-value segment of IT industry. The company is committed to growing and preserving Red Hat’s Partner ecosystem, independence, platform neutrality and company culture.
“With the vast majority of Red Hat’s revenue produced by their ecosystem, we are delighted to make it easier for partners to provide both Red Hat and IBM offerings. We now are inviting Red Hat Partners to participate in our Watson AI-powered collaboration tool IBM Business Partner Connect that enables partners with complementary capabilities to find each other, get to market faster and sell together,” explains Lata.
Globally, IBM partners have doubled in their number of competencies in 2018. From 2017 to 2018, the number of Specialist competencies grew from 909 to 2096, and expert competencies grew from 641 to 1,266. In India the skill set on Security, Data & AI as well as Integration continue to be the focus that IBM Partners are building as the clients drive deeper discussion on capability to deliver and outcomes expected.
Enabling IBM Partners
• IBM Business Partner Connect: It helps partners tap into IBM’s global ecosystem to collaborate on client opportunities, develop new business and bring innovative solutions to market. It uses Watson to enable partners with complementary capabilities to find each other, get to market faster and sell more together.
• My PartnerWorld: It offers a personalized onboarding and enablement experience, allowing business partners to manage their PartnerWorld tools and shortcuts in one place, including My Sales Activity (MySA), Co-Marketing Center and Business Partner Connect platform.
• IBM Skills Gateway: To help partners build next gen skills, IBM has new Business Partner sales and technical journeys on the IBM Skills Gateway platform that provide partners with the same learning experience as IBM clients and sellers to develop their IBM portfolio expertise and help them earn IBM credentials.
• IBM Cloud Paks: To support growth in Cloud, IBM is enabling partners to adopt IBM Cloud Paks which are enterprise-grade container software packages with guidance and step-by-step instructions to quickly build with open standards to enable hybrid and multicloud deployments.
• Cloud Digital Technical Engagement program: This program for both partners and clients gives an unprecedented, self-service access to technical assets focused on product demos and tutorials. These assets provide a deep understanding of product offerings and how they can help clients along their journey to Cloud and AI.
• Seismic@IBM: It is a new sales enablement solution with sales kits, sales plays, presentations, use cases, and other assets from across the IBM portfolio for IBM sellers and partners to support the enablement needs of partners.
• Managed Services Security Provider program (MSSP): This helps partners build their security practices and deliver solutions in an embedded model which allows them to build as they onboard customers.
• Value Package support bundle: This is being expanded to Value Package 2.0, which will include the ability to double IBM Cloud credits, a development sandbox environment, discount vouchers for select education events and additional subscription discounts.
• New Software Deal Registration: This gives partners priority access to special pricing and is designed to reduce conflict between partners while improving the overall margins. This is part of IBM’s ongoing transformation efforts started in January 2018 to improve the partner experience and profitability.