Three tips for getting the most from your IBM business partnership

Partnership offers benefits that can help organizations achieve new levels of success—like gaining access to a broader portfolio of solutions and finding a wealth of training opportunities and expertise. But how can you make the most of your partnership with IBM?

You probably want to sell more to your customers, strengthen your customer base and acquire new ones. And you likely want to find ways to get the most from your IT infrastructure investments and business partnerships. If you’re trying to understand how to better leverage your partnership with IBM, here are three secrets to making the most of it:

1. Pay attention to industry trends and recognize skills gaps

In my work, I’ve met with a variety of Business Partners in my region to discuss their skills and development plans, and I often ask leading partners the following question: “How have you achieved this level of success selling IBM technologies, services and solutions?”

In many cases, they respond with something like this:

“Before starting any business solution, we form a vision. We look at our existing clients to understand their current and future needs, and we look at other companies within our industry to help us see where to go next. It’s vital to observe the successes and failures of competitors along the way and pay attention to how the industry is changing.

“Then we gather an understanding of how to work toward that vision by identifying which architectures, concepts and frameworks to use — and then, going a layer deeper to define the underlying products, services and solutions from our vendors.

“Next, we invest in skills enablement to build our expertise and drive additional revenue in critical areas.”

As you can see, successful Business Partners are paying close attention to what’s happening around them — in their industry, with their competitors and so on. They think strategically to align this to their own vision and develop their skills accordingly.

2. Try new things continuously and acquire new capabilities

In the modern world, technology is changing rapidly, and that’s why leading organizations need to be on the cutting edge, stay agile and show a willingness to try new approaches, architectures and technologies.

Every time an IBM Business Partner takes advantage of a training opportunity, it reflects a desire to invest its technical staff’s valuable time in areas where it wants to generate more revenue and develop new business with IBM.

3. Engage with IBM experts

Working closely with IBM experts can help Business Partners become self-sufficient in opportunity identification, sales and services delivery. Partners who are taking full advantage of their partnership acquire IBM demo machines, go to the IBM Centers of Competency and try new things at IBM Systems Technical Universities and local technical events. They involve IBM Systems Lab Services on proofs of concept and the pre-sales stage of new technology projects in order to build their competence and trust in IBM technology. During first-of-a-kind implementations, these Business Partners involve IBM subject matter experts to ensure they succeed in impressing clients with high-quality implementations.

Now it’s your turn

As you can see, every one of these three “secrets” involves skills — identifying skills gaps, acquiring new skills, leveraging those skills and the partnership for successful implementations. Ongoing skills enablement is the real secret of success!

IBM skill development programs such as BP education vouchers, as well as proactive skills training in your company, can help you bet on the right technology. In addition, IBM Systems Lab Services works with Business Partners around the globe on skill building and solution implementations. We’re eager to help our Business Partners multiply their success in the next-generation technology ecosystem — and we’re always developing new tools and techniques to do just that.

As just one example, IBM Systems Lab Services offers a Consultative Selling and Growth Opportunity Workshop focused on strengthening consultative selling skills for IBM Systems solutions and offerings. Through the workshop, Business Partners, sales and pre-sales staff receive unique capabilities to help them start the consultative selling discussion, propose unique solutions and promote previously completed use cases – all with the positive impact of revenue growth and market share gain.

To discover what partnership opportunities are available to support the success of your next project, explore IBM Systems Lab Services.

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