IBM and Arrow: A next-generation partnership which puts IBM Security at the heart of our ecosystem

One of the highlights in the event calendar for Arrow, IBMers and our partners in the UK and Ireland is the annual IBM Broad Reach Cup Regatta and Gala Awards. For 20 years, representatives from across the IBM ecosystem have come together to compete against each other on the water, celebrating and strengthening our relationships and recognizing the best examples of business partnership.

This year in Portsmouth, UK, things were a little different, and not just because we simultaneously had the highest heat and lowest wind in recent memory! For the first time, three new award categories were launched and Arrow were immensely proud to see three of our Business Partners recognized:

So what is it about these partners that makes them stand out? Having worked at Arrow, Portal (a Bell Integration business) and IBM, I feel well placed to answer. It’s about partnering in new ways and leveraging those relationships to do things differently.

Arrow is one of the world’s largest distributors of IBM solutions. Since our relationship began in 1982, we have aimed to add value to our partner offerings by supporting partners in the development of their solutions—not only through education and enablement but also through technical and sales support.

The resulting solutions are based on a new kind of business partnership—one which combines IBM’s offerings and know-how, Arrow’s ability to support partners in the development of enhanced technology solutions and of course and our partners’ own IP.

I have worked at Arrow for the past two and a half years. Prior to that, I worked at Portal, part of Bell Integration. But underpinning my career with both enterprises is the fact that I’m an IBMer and I bring to their business an intimate knowledge of how IBM works, its sales methodology, its portfolio and its go to market.

I joined IBM as a graduate in 2013. After completing sales school and working in IBM’s Security practice for two years, I began my first Champions for Growth secondment at Portal. I’ve been embedded in IBM’s partner ecosystem ever since. What I’m doing is using my IBM knowledge to help Arrow recruit Business Partners and help them create campaigns to sell solutions based on IBM Security.

And I’m far from alone. The IBM Champions for Growth program is putting people who live and breathe IBM’s portfolio at the heart of partners’ businesses to create industry-defining solutions and value propositions through next-generation partnerships.

Under Champions for Growth, IBM specialists of all kinds join Business Partners for a fixed period of two to three years. During that time, we become part of their business, helping them upskill, embrace new technologies or enhance solutions and capabilities.

Champions for Growth has enabled me to see the market from the perspective of IBM’s Business Partners. My business development capabilities are rooted in IBM sales but through the program, I have gained the experience required to navigate complex sales situations from the perspective of each party involved. The result is a relationship that works for IBM, for Arrow, our Business Partners and of course their clients.

To find out more about the Champions for Growth program and how it can help your business get to the next level, speak to your Channel representative.

Sam Hector
Business Development Manager, Arrow