Vendor expands channel program with new specialized tracks, cloud-based incentives
IBM is evolving its PartnerWorld channel program to make it easier for business partners to create applications and deliver services with the IBM Cloud by creating new specialized tracks and offering a range of incentives.
The Lowdown: The move, announced Tuesday during the vendor’s Think Digital virtual conference, comes as IBM continues to build out its cloud capabilities through such initiatives as its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat last year and the rollout of its IBM Cloud Paks, which are containerized software solutions designed to make it easier for businesses to move their applications and data to the cloud.
The Details: IBM is growing its specialized tracks by adding Build and Service to the existing Sell track. Each track comes with particular offers that will help partners more quickly benefit from their IBM Cloud efforts, dovetailing with their expansion of business models in a fast-growing cloud-centric business world.
Big Blue will reward partners that help drive client business to the IBM Cloud through a new incentive structure and will bring competencies to the three PartnerWorld tracks to enable partners to build up their expertise. In addition, new IBM Partner Packages will make it easier for partners to develop and test solutions on the IBM Cloud and accelerate time to market.
The expanded PartnerWorld program expands on IBM’s efforts to help the channel navigate a business climate challenged by the coronavirus pandemic. The vendor is rolling out new offers to partners, including:
> Extending the PartnerWorld revalidation grace period
> Expanding 0% financing for new Power, storage, and software licenses
> Offering free cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) resources for 90 days
> Reimbursing 100% of approved digital co-marketing activities
> Encouraging partners to embrace digital marketing through a free My Digital Marketing platform
The Impact: The global COVID-19 outbreak has convinced businesses to accelerate their digital transformation efforts, including their embrace of the cloud, which is an opportunity for vendors and their channel partners. Synergy Research Group analysts said that despite the pandemic, spending on cloud infrastructure services grew 37% year-over-year in the first quarter, reaching $29 billion. John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy, said in a statement last week that while the outbreak is creating some issues for cloud providers, “in uncertain times the public cloud is providing flexibility and a safe haven for enterprises that are struggling to maintain normal operations.”
The Buzz: “The world looks drastically different than it did just months ago, and our current business environment has only advanced the trend toward business model flexibility,” said David La Rose, general manager of the IBM Partner Ecosystem. “During this time, our business partners continue to adopt cloud business models and strengthen their digital skills to serve clients, who are also facing new challenges. Our partners’ success is dependent on their adaptability and ingenuity when it comes to helping clients overcome these challenges, now more than ever. We’re counting on them to use IBM’s open, hybrid cloud approach to help clients discover new ways to solve problems during these uncertain times.”
“At IDC, we believe the new PartnerWorld program framework gives partners the flexibility they need to succeed in the market rather than being relegated to a single partner type,” said Steve White, program vice president of IDC. “These tracks are innovative, giving builders, sellers, and service partners access to the benefits that matter most to them. The best part is, all partners can participate in these tracks, no matter where they’re at in their program journey. In particular, the Partner Support Desk will be a huge help to partners navigating this new program, enabling them to maximize everything PartnerWorld has to offer.”
“At Flagship, we’ve focused on investing in our own IP over the last several years,” said Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group. “With these changes to PartnerWorld, I’m pleased to see a greater focus on partners that build solutions and offerings on the IBM Cloud.”