IBM (NYSE: IBM) recently at the PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, declared planned enhancements to its PartnerWorld program to assist IBM Business Partners spur growth, customer satisfaction and revenue in the Cognitive Era.

The newly redesigned PartnerWorld program includes over 40 Competencies to assist Business Partners build greater expertise in high growth areas, like cloud, cognitive and security. IBM also declared key programs to assist partners accelerate growth with embedded solutions, new IBM entry-point products, a simplified reselling process and improved software incentives.

“As digital and cloud solutions continue to transform industries, the time is now for our partners to deliver cognitive solutions with deep vertical expertise built on the IBM Cloud platform and made available in an omni-channel environment,” said Marc Dupaquier, General Manager, IBM Global Business Partners. “We’ve expanded and redesigned the PartnerWorld program to guide Business Partners of all types and models in developing capabilities aligned to our cognitive solutions and cloud platform strategy to deliver high client value.”

Delivering value to Business Partners through Competency-based recognition

Redesigned for the cognitive era, the PartnerWorld program facilitates IBM partners of all types to build high-value capabilities, increases their speed to market and assists them create new revenue streams. The Competency-based program has seen incredible momentum since its January 1 launch, with thousands of Business Partners embracing the simplified and integrated approach to growth, recognition and benefits.

In Q2, IBM’s Competency portfolio will grow to over 40 Competencies. In security, IBM will offer a Competency in Information, Risk and Protection to protect customers’ critical information, and for IBM Cloud, IBM will launch two new Competencies: one in Cloud Video to assist customers stream, capture, manage and deliver video and another in High Speed Transfer to bring breakthrough cost savings and efficiency gains to customers who need to move large volumes of data over public and private IP networks. Watson Internet of Things will offer Continuous Engineering to assist with engineering innovative products and systems in the face of complexity. The company will also add a new Competency in IBM Global Financing to assist partners main-stream “Financing” as a core capability they can use to differentiate themselves.

“As a business and technology solutions provider, we have collaborated with IBM for 22 years, implementing and integrating IBM market-leading solutions for our customers,” said Jim Torney, Essextec President and CEO. “Essextec is now focused on three planned growth areas: ¬†cloud, cognitive, and cybersecurity. The improved PartnerWorld program recognizes the importance of these future technologies for our clients by supporting, guiding, and rewarding us as we create and deliver innovative solutions that tackle each of our client’s toughest problems.”

Accelerating partner momentum in 2017 with four new planned programs

In addition to streamlining its partner focus around new Competencies, IBM has made enhancements in following four areas to accelerate growth in the ecosystem:

  • Embedded solutions offering: IBM has launched an Embedded Solutions Agreement that makes it easier for IBM Business Partners to integrate their expertise and offerings with IBM technologies and services to create distinct, commercially available, partner-branded solutions and market them to their down-stream customers. With this new Embedded solutions model, Business Partners can now leverage IBM technology and expertise at an attractive price to improve their profitability and client value while accelerating their time to market and sales cycle.
  • Nurturing ISVs: IBM now offers a Ready for IBM Cloud validation, in addition to other benefits designed to encourage ISVs to build and monetize their cloud solutions on the Bluemix platform.
  • Simplified reselling: In Q2, IBM will launch an IBM Express Start offering to streamline the process for new Business Partners to be authorized to resell IBM entry-point products, counting Software Open Distribution, IBM XaaS-Entry, PowerLinux and low-end storage products. Business Partners will be able to join PartnerWorld, receive pricing and resell these offerings faster than ever before with IBM Express Start.
  • Improved Software incentives: Starting in April, IBM is enhancing its Business Partner software incentive offerings to provide the highest rewards for the highest value focusing on IBM’s Commercial segment, new client opportunities, solutions, and autonomous selling. With these new incentive offerings, IBM is providing improved line of sight, predictability, and reduced operational overhead based on our Business Partner’s feedback worldwide.

Introducing IBM PartnerWorld Advisor built with Watson technology

To assist Business Partners quickly find information related to the PartnerWorld program structure, Competencies, program levels, incentives contracts and more, the company has developed IBM PartnerWorld Advisor, a new voice and text activated Watson-based support tool on the PartnerWorld portal. Building PartnerWorld support with Watson technology is another example of IBM’s focus on simplification and is geared toward providing Business Partners with all the resources they need to do business with IBM. This new capability is being featured at the 2017 PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas February 13-16, 2017.

The new PartnerWorld program redesign assists partners deliver higher client value in the Cognitive Era. Since IBM launched the redesigned program, more than 5,000 firms have reached Silver, 2,500 have reached Gold, and over 75 have achieved the highest level, Platinum, proving that IBM Business Partners have the deep skills to assist clients with their digital transformation needs. IBM is committed to creating the highest value partner ecosystem in the industry and is off to a great start with the momentum around the newly redesigned PartnerWorld program.


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