Pictured: IBM Vice President, Shaun Jones Business Partner feedback session at today's Innovate conference.
There were no canned Powerpoint slides, or multi-page handouts today at Innovate when IBM Vice President Shaun Jones, WW Business Partner, Midmarket and RLM Marketing
, held a Business Partner Roundtable at the IBM Innovate conference. The session was simple and honest, which is Shaun's style. One Business Partner noted, "This is the type of session I enjoy, and look forward to participating in." Shaun kicked off the session in a jaunty style by asking the Business Partners to introduce themselves and then tell the group who they favored to win the upcoming World Cup match. Since Shaun is an Englishman, it became a running joke for Business Partners to say if they were seeking co-marketing funds, then they thought England would win the World Cup. This friendly banter set the tone for a lively and informal discussion.
More serious topics included Business Partner feedback on the new re-design of the PartnerWorld website, SVI, access to the Software Catalog, Software ValueNet and the availability of co-marketing funds
. Another hot topic for Business Partners is the variety of IBM sponsored Business Partner communications. The discussion centered around whether Business Partners receive too much information, or too little information from IBM. Shaun reminded the group that by filling out and updating their PartnerWorld profile
, they can continue to choose the frequency and amount of communications they receive. Business Partners can also determine who in their company should receive certain communications
. If you are at Innovate, and you have questions about your PartnerWorld Profile, be sure to stop by the Business Partner Cafe in the Conference Center, in Atlantic Hall A at the Dolphin Hotel, or click here
to access and update your Profile.
Pictured: IBM Vice President, Shaun Jones Business Partner speaks with Business Partners informally after his session.
Another hot topic at the session was the Business Partner's need for competitive information. While supplying competitive information and market research will be an ongoing process, some information is available to Business Partners now via the PartnerWorld website. Click here
to access some of the current resources. In-depth market planning and resources
are available on PartnerWorld. Be sure to bookmark these pages, so you know where to find the information in the future.
While some issues like navigating the thousands of pages on IBM.com, will require continual observation and checking for Business Partners ease of use, Shaun closed the session with one very important observation on the role of joint-marketing between IBM and its Business Partners. He noted," The best marketing is when we work together. So be sure and talk to your local IBM representatives. Find out when or where you can work with them on an event, a calling campaign or a promotion in your region. Time and again, we have seen that most effective campaigns are those when we are working closely with our Business Partners." After the session, Shaun took business cards and stressed that he is seeking ongoing, candid feedback from Business Partners. Some problems can be easily solved while others will take more time, but communication is the key. If you didn't have a chance to meet with Shaun today at Innovate, be sure to stop by the Business Partner Cafe during the remainder of the conference. You can also follow Shaun on Twitter @IBMPartnerPlan
or leave a comment here on this blog post for Shaun.
Pictured: IBM Vice President, Shaun Jones with Business Partners from Clear Blade and Mercury Consulting at today's Innovate conference.