Ecosystem Transformation Series Part I: Feedback is Fuel for the Ecosystem

We value your feedback. How often have you heard this phrase? This short statement is echoed across organizations large and small. In the IBM Partner Ecosystem, “We value your feedback is more than just a phrase. Those words serve as a catalyst to drive change and transformation, enhancing the customer experience and relationship. This year, the IBM Partner Ecosystem organization won a Silver Stevie® Award in the 2019 Stevie Awards for the Best Customer Feedback Strategy, based on the success of the IBM Business Partner Compass Net Promoter Score (NPS) program. Your feedback has been, and continues to be, a compass guiding our internal teams to innovate and transform our tools and processes. It fuels IBM to work harder and make it easier for you to do business and engage with your customers.

We launched NPS in May 2018 and recently celebrated our one-year anniversary. We’ve spent the past year poring over more than 10 thousand comments in your survey results, and a clear message emerged. IBM needed to make it easier for Business Partners to close deals, stay up to date with the rapidly changing technology, and remove barriers that made doing business complicated. With this information, we launched ecosystem transformation initiatives.

What we’re doing

At PartnerWorld at Think this past February, my message focused on the solutions that we were launching in direct response to your feedback.

You told us you needed a consistent learning experience based on your credential needs and goals. You also told us that you spent too much time searching for sales assets and kits as they were scattered in several different places, limiting the time you spent with your clients. IBM understands the more expertise you can bring to the client, the more likely you are to be selected as a trusted advisor in their digital strategy.

IBM Skills Gateway

We heard you and we changed. In February, we launched IBM Skills Gateway. Skills Gateway offers a single learning platform that combines sales and technical training to assist Business Partners in building critical skills aligned to the IBM Portfolio. More than 30,000 people have already used Skills Gateway to update their knowledge of cloud platform. In fact, partners can now earn the IBM Journey to Cloud Sales Essentials badge.

We are also rolling out Seismic@IBM. Seismic provides a single interface for personalized, intuitive and proactive sales content and materials. IBM Business Partners and sellers have access to the same content, so now you can spend less time searching and more time selling. We launched the early adopter program in March and the feedback so far has been extremely positive—many early adopters have recommended Seismic to a colleague. As we continue to roll out Seismic, we will also use it to store all enablement materials for the pending Red Hat acquisition. We will be sure to keep you posted when we have more Red Hat updates.

What’s next

These new tools and platforms are all because of your feedback. I encourage you to continue providing us with your insights. We are listening, and more is on the way! We have created transformation initiatives across the ecosystem and over the next several weeks, you’ll hear from ecosystem channel leaders with updates on these transformation priorities and how we are enhancing your Business Partner experience.

Simplification, Automation and Cost Reduction will allow you, as a Business Partner, to see greater rewards for the value you deliver. This includes Gaia for SaaS resellers and simply making it easier to become a Business Partner.

Seismic@IBM

Next Gen Strategies designed to increase your revenue generation and provide access to new customers and partners such as third-party marketplaces and embedded solutions.

Innovation that creates new ways for you to network and grow your business, such as Business Partner Connect with complementary capabilities to address client solution needs. Additionally, the launch of Value Package 2.0  has added enhanced features that are designed to accelerate your business growth. IBM Value Package subscribers get access to double the amount of IBM Cloud Credits at every PartnerWorld level, three-week engagements in a sandbox environment, a PartnerWorld Program 50 percent discount event voucher, subscription discounts and more.

I am thrilled to bring you these solutions and I highly encourage you to take full advantage of them. We have no intention of slowing down, and we will continue to provide you with updates on our transformation. Most importantly, continue to share your feedback and experience. The number of positive comments has increased nine percent in the past year and is a testament that what we are doing is working. The Partner Ecosystem team greatly appreciates your feedback and we look forward to you providing the fuel, that drives our organizational excellence.

Bookmark our new blog site and come back to continue reading our transformation series