This is a forum for exploring the cloud-related programs that IBM is building for its partners. Our objective here is to have an ongoing, active dialogue about what IBM is delivering for partners and how we can continually increase our success together.
My name is Amy Anderson and I am the manager of the Emerging Technology team for IBM's ISV & Developer Relations organization. My team and I have been responsible for SaaS programs for the last several years, and as cloud computing takes off, we are expanding our scope to include a broader range of partners and cloud-related technologies. In 2011, we’ll be launching a new Partnerworld program for Cloud. Partnerworld programs are designed for partners to earn points for skills and successful product deliveries, and in exchange receive benefits from IBM.
There are several key objectives for our program. First, it is critically
important that we have one partner program for cloud computing. The last thing we want to do is to announce a disjointed set of offerings that confuse both our partners and clients and get in the way of our mutual success. A single program with multiple paths makes it much easier for partners to figure out where to start and how to fit in.
Second, cloud computing often changes the nature of how we
interact with our partners. For example,
ISVs and Systems Integrators might both deliver an asset as a cloud service, so
running separate programs for ISVs and RSIs would not be the most effective way
to on-board solutions to our cloud. The cloud program will focus on what partners want to do with cloud computing, and delivers benefits that meet those needs.
And finally, creating a single program for cloud computing lets us fully demonstrate IBM’s value proposition to our partners as well as our clients. As our partners have told us, the value of working with IBM on cloud computing is both the breadth and depth that IBM can bring to our clients. Partners in particular perceive that IBM has a much more complete ecosystem for cloud than our competitors, and this is a key reason for doing business with IBM. It is through a comprehensive program that IBM can deliver this ecosystem.
After some detailed analysis, we have established six paths for cloud. Each path is defined by what partners need from IBM for cloud, not by technologies or how we traditionally classify partners. For each of these paths, we’ll have a variety of partners who want to participate; some partners will participate in multiple paths.
- Application Providers. These are partners who want to deliver their application or asset as a cloud service. Most of our existing SaaS partners will participate in this path. Although our main objective is to get the applications onto IBM’s cloud offerings, we will continue to support partners who want to use IBM middleware on other vendor’s clouds.
- Technology Providers. These are partners who have tools or services that improve the experience of the IBM cloud. There is a wide variety of tools that fall into this category, anything from virus scanning to application enablement tools. Technology providers have a different set of needs from application providers, and our go to market strategies with these two partner types will be different.
- Infrastructure Providers. These are partners who want to build and manage a public cloud infrastructure. This could be anything from a PaaS provider to a partner who wants to build a public cloud using IBM componentry—anything from our middleware to Power systems to cloud-specific storage.
- Cloud Builders. These are partners who want to build private clouds on behalf of their clients. Typically, these are services-driven organizations who build highly customized environments for large enterprises.
- Services Resellers. These are partners who want to resell IBM cloud offerings. Today, the offerings available for resellers are focused on LotusLive and TivoliLive, but the range of offerings will no doubt expand in 2011.
- Cloud Aggregators. This path has a high potential for opening entirely new markets to IBM and its partners. Aggregators are organizations who want to bundle cloud services for their constituents, but they are not IT organizations and are not interested in building or managing clouds. They want to provide cloud services, but will need other organizations to provide support.