A masterpiece in the making: The IBM Business Partner Ecosystem

The loss a few weeks ago of the treasures at the National Museum in Brazil is devastating. That sad event got me thinking about the creative process—how something transforms from an idea to a masterpiece in a museum.

I believe the IBM Business Partner Ecosystem is a masterpiece in the making. The splotches of color—our priority transformation projects—indicate where the canvas is transforming into something brilliant.

Below are several items for 2018 that IBM Business Partners asked us to work on: 10 strategic projects to build skills and capabilities across the ecosystem, simplify the total IBM experience and enhance programs to reward you for delivering value solutions.

  • A revitalized Business Partner Zone to streamline processes
  • A superior Partner Enablement platform for integrated sales and education
  • Improved partner margins and incentives
  • Channel delegated pricing to reduce the number of special bids
  • A Partner to Partner Connect initiative to match partners looking for supplemental capabilities
  • An end-to-end partner experience based on a self-service framework
  • Extended benefits through a simplified embed program
  • Flexible and personalized partner benefits
  • Improved delivery and support for SaaS to fuel partner growth and opportunities
  • Expansion of third-party marketplaces for digital shopping in multi-vendor environments

We use NPS scores as a guide to deliver a best-in-class program, but here are a few examples of transformation from 3Q:

  • In Latin America, the onboarding process has been reduced from 10 days to 1 day—new IBM Business Partners will have a shorter time to revenue.
  • In Brazil, approval is in progress for a revised Pay for Value-Bid program with net margins. Previously, there were many possible combinations. Now, partners will have predictable and consistent published margins for hardware.
  • The pilot for Partner to Partner Connect has launched to help partners quickly supplement their capabilities and offerings.
  • ePricer has expanded to all ASEAN Business Partners, dramatically improving the pricing and ordering process—a partner can obtain a pre-approved buy price (Quick Price or Value Seller) in less than one minute.
  • The cloud and systems skills gateway learning path pilot has launched, which continues our commitment to partner enablement.
  • A new SaaS deal registration and incentive has also launched, in which Business Partners get rewarded for milestones and for driving long-term adoption of SaaS offerings.

Our shared vision—the completed painting—is one where the growth of your business is accelerated with resources and value from IBM. That you find in IBM all you need and want to support your success.

The masterpiece is still in the making and you are the arbiter of our progress. I hope to get your direct input during my time in the field in the coming months. Also, feel free to reach out to me through the IBM Business Partner Advisory Board, email, phone (914-765-6020) or even LinkedIn.

Fast start to a strong end

The IBM team continues our transformation in the last quarter of 2018 while focusing on an immediate imperative: to help you close business. For example, IBM teams are asked to use warm lead passing to increase the win rate of leads. Also, a collaboration team is in place to resolve issues that may impede your success.

Here are some tips you can also use to accelerate 4th quarter sales:

Thank you for everything in the 3rd quarter and good selling in the 4th quarter; contact me if you need to close business at the end of the year.

Carola Cazenave
Vice President, IBM Global Business Partner Ecosystem, Strategy and Programs
How you can help Brazil’s Museu Nacional