ESA overview

What's an ESA?

An ESA allows you to leverage IBM’s cutting-edge technology with open standards and combine it with your Intellectual Property — your value add —  so you can deliver a total solution to your customers under your brand and your terms.

Qualification criteria

To qualify for an ESA, your solution needs to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be your branded solution being sold to your clients
  • Must provide client support for your solution
  • Must contain your IP, which is a significant value add to the IBM technology and results in a commercially available solution

Apply for an ESA

Step 1

Register as a Build PartnerWorld member

Create an IBMid, register for PartnerWorld and become a Build Track member. 

If you're already a partner, go directly to the Build Track to unlock your benefits.

Step 2

Apply for Embedded Solution Agreement

Once your PartnerWorld application is approved, you'll receive an approval email with a link to apply for the ESA. Follow these step-by-step instructions to complete the application.

Step 3

Accept the contract terms.

You will receive an email with a link to your contract right after you submit the application.

In most countries, you can accept the contract digitally via IBM eSignature — no need to print, sign or scan.

Step 4

Complete your Transaction Document (TD)

The flexibility of ESA is captured in an IBM TD which allows you to select and plan for configurations and payment options that fit your business model.

You'll need to work with your IBM Distributor or an IBM Seller to complete the TD. Once your TD has been completed and approved, your application will move from a pending status to full activation.

Benefits for Build Track Partners

IBM PartnerWorld members can access these resources to help build and sell your cloud solutions.

Partner success stories


Now operating under an Embedded Solution Agreement (ESA), Ideatolife migrated offerings to IBM Cloud to improve service, accelerate innovation and scale into new markets.


Leveraging an ESA, OLAPLINE launched a planning and analytics solution that lets users generate customized ad-hoc reports, dashboards and planning scenarios.

CBA Strategic IT

Working under an ESA,  CBA Strategic IT expanded AI capabilities that it built into its CAITO platform to provide its client instant visibility into a decade’s worth of research.

Do you need help defining your solution or have questions about ESA?