Copaco and IBM: Creating a new generation of business partner

Copaco has a long history of innovation with IBM. In 2016, we became the first European IT distributor to include IBM offerings in a cloud marketplace. We added IBM Connections Cloud, IBM Verse and SoftLayer to our 2tCloud platform as part of our ongoing strategy to shift toward a more solution-based market approach. In the past year, we have gone on to add IBM SPSS Statistics, IBM Watson Studio Desktop, MaaS360 and IBM Cloud.

Our strategy took another significant step at the start of 2019, when Copaco announced the expansion of its IBM portfolio to include high-end POWER9-based IBM Power Systems (P3 level) and Simple Storage Service (S3) systems. As a result, we are now able to offer business partners the entire IBM Systems, Cloud and Software portfolios.

In our ongoing discussions with business partners, the fact that previously we only sold selected IBM products became a recurring theme. We have long enjoyed a healthy pipeline of those products we did sell, but when partners wanted to build packaged solutions, they would have to look to other vendors to fill certain requirements. In conversations with IBM, we learned that they were looking to grow their partner ecosystem in the Netherlands. That desire became the tipping point for us to expand our portfolio, enabling our partners to create value added solutions that can encompass the full range of IBM offerings.

For Copaco, portfolio expansion is the next step in our transformational journey, but we’re encouraged by the number of partners who want to explore it with us. As we align our sales and marketing strategy with IBM to capitalize on these new opportunities, our relationships with resellers are changing. Resellers recognize they can benefit from Copaco’s transformation by embracing new offerings and business models such as Embedded Software Agreement (ESA) and software as a service, or by becoming Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

A critical part of our transformation is helping our partners understand that the IBM Corporation of today is not the traditional Big Blue they may have known from days gone by. We recently launched a program we call our T-shirt approach. IBM solutions work for every size of business, large or small, and by focusing on the agility of today’s IBM and the variety of ways its technology can be consumed, we’re connecting with a new generation of business partners (next-gen). Namely, those businesses and developers have an ecosystem mentality and are looking to build solutions that are more than simply the sum of their component parts—solutions that embody the individual strengths and advantages of the partners who create them.

The T-shirt approach is already resonating strongly here in the Netherlands. Enterprises that have been put off in the past by the misconception that Big Blue was too big for them are now getting excited about the opportunities potential in working with Copaco and IBM. When IBM launched its small and midrange storage solutions in March, resellers started asking us how they could work with them. So, we’re helping them to become IBM business partners too.

Visit the Copaco website for more information about how Copaco can help your transformational journey.

Maurice Slaghekke
Manager Business Unit Enterprise Solutions, Copaco