IBM introduces new initiatives and investments for partners

Programs expand reach, build skills, and progress opportunities in 2019 and beyond

By | 4 minute read | February 11, 2019

We continue to drive the strategy we established together with our Business Partners in 2018 to create the next-generation IBM ecosystem, where great thinkers and good technology come together to build the future.

Over the last year, our partners doubled their number of Specialist and Expert Competencies in IBM technology, and many embraced new ways of doing business by going to market through third-party marketplaces, embedded solutions, and software-as-a-service models. We’ve also seen significant momentum in the number of partners building their skills and selling solutions in strategic areas like IBM Security, Cloud, IoT and Watson AI, with our second Watson Build Challenge producing more than 500 AI solutions and prototypes that run on the IBM Cloud.

To continue this momentum, today, at IBM PartnerWorld at Think, we are announcing new ways that IBM will 1) transform how you engage, 2) invest in your skills and enablement and 3) help you drive growth with new security and hybrid multicloud offerings.

All of these initiatives are a result of continuous, real-time feedback from you – our partners – and your clients – as we listen and respond to improve your experience and help you grow.


PartnerWorld at Think 2019


1) We are launching four new initiatives designed to transform how you engage.

IBM Business Partner Connect is a first-of-its-kind Watson AI-powered engine designed to help partners tap into our 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 is designed to offer a personalized onboarding and enablement experience, allowing Business Partners to manage their PartnerWorld tools and shortcuts in one place, including My Sales Activity (MySA), the PartnerWorld Console, Co-Marketing Center and Business Partner Connect platform. This streamlined digital experience is set to launch February 15.

New Software Deal Registration gives Business Partners priority access to special bid pricing and is designed to reduce conflict between partners while improving financial outcomes. This is part of our ongoing transformation efforts started in January 2018 to help improve your experience and profitability, including projects around channel pricing, incentives and streamlined resale authorization.

IBM Power Systems, IBM LinuxONE and Z “In It to WIN It” incentives are now available for Business Partner firms, and we are extending the highly successful “In It to Win It” incentive for IBM Storage into 2019 and deploying new demand generation tactics to drive leads exclusively to our Business Partners.

In addition to the four initiatives above, we continue to support your transformation journey with IBM with enhancements around new routes to market and business models. For partners embedding our technology into their solutions, we are launching an ESA Co-Marketing offering. In third-party marketplaces, we’re enhancing IBM’s digital APIs and plan to double the number of digital IBM offerings. And we continue to help partners on their journey to SaaS, with more than 400 as-a-service offerings, coupled with new demos, trials and incentives to accelerate growth. We have also launched SaaS deal registration and P360, where partners can have access to their clients’ analytics.


PartnerWorld at Think 2019


2) We are announcing new investments in your skills and enablement.

New Business Partner sales and technical journeys on the IBM Skills Gateway platform are designed to provide partners with the same learning experience as IBM clients and sellers to develop their IBM portfolio expertise and help them earn IBM credentials.

Seismic@IBM is a new sales enablement solution with sales kits, sales plays, presentations, use cases, and other assets from across the IBM portfolio in one place for IBM sellers and partners. Seismic is designed to enable shorter sales cycles and increased effectiveness.

Our highly successful Value Package support bundle is being expanded to Value Package 2.0, which will include the ability to double your IBM Cloud credits, a development sandbox environment, discount vouchers for select education events and additional subscription discounts.

We are also doubling the number of systems channel technical sellers supporting partners in the field.


PartnerWorld at Think 2019


3) We have developed new security and hybrid multicloud offerings to help you grow.

A new Managed Services Security Provider program (MSSP) will help you build Security practices and deliver solutions in either an embedded or reseller model. We also introduced a Know Your IBM Security Sales Incentive which provides reloadable IBM Rewards debit cards to partners who sell new Security licenses and SaaS.

We’ve enabled partners to build IBM Cloud Paks, enterprise-grade container software packages with guidance and step-by-step instructions for partners to quickly build with open standards that will enable hybrid and multicloud deployments. Built for Kubernetes on the IBM Cloud and IBM Cloud Private, IBM Cloud Paks are designed to accelerate time to production and improve readiness at lower cost than containers alone.

A new Cloud Digital Technical Engagement program for partners and clients gives you 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. Our new Seismic@IBM will include a link to this Cloud Digital Technical Engagement program so partners can easily access this important information while preparing for client engagements.

You’ll hear about these initiatives and more during PartnerWorld at Think and throughout 2019.

Partners, I hope you take away our deep commitment to you and ecosystem-wide focus on listening and responding to your feedback. Our IBM Partner Ecosystem team greatly appreciates your collaboration and ongoing participation in agile sessions to ensure that the initiatives we are launching today are exactly what the business needs. No matter how you go to market with IBM, we are squarely focused on your success.

John Teltsch
GM, IBM Partner Ecosystem