This week bought headline news for IBM as we enhanced our PartnerWorld program and the website that goes with it. Part of running a great Business Partner program is listening and learning. IBM is committed to doing that, and we've spent the last year talking to our Business Partners and getting feedback on the program. This week, we announced a number of changes that are designed to simplify the program and show off the skills of our valued Business Partners. We're proud of our Business Partner's skills and accomplishments and we want to let the world know about the skills and qualifications our partners have, Here's a brief summary of the news. To learn more, visit this page on IBM PartnerWorld.
New benefits include the following:
- IBM is extending executive relationship coverage as a benefit to a
broader community of Premier and Software Value Plus authorized Business
Partners. This benefit is in addition to other established
relationships such as the recently expanded Software Lab Advocate
program for Software Value Plus authorized Business Partners. The
relationship executive will support the Business Partner at their
headquarters with strategic initiatives with IBM.
- Expanded PartnerWorld Contact Services: Business Partners can take advantage of
additional phone, web and live chat services for support with
marketing, sales support, training, technical support and other areas.
This will help Business Partners to more easily identify and put into
use the broad array of PartnerWorld resources to gain skills and pursue
- Market Intelligence: Advanced,
Premier and Software Value Plus authorized Business Partners will have
access to a new suite of no-cost Market Insights research reports on
PartnerWorld from both IBM and external vendors. This benefit provides a
wide range of easily accessible market intelligence and
industry trend data to improve decision making and gain competitive
If you're doing marketing for your company, make sure you are leveraging these IBM Program Benefits.
Web content syndication
PartnerWorld's Web content syndication service is designed to help you
drive demand by syndicating high quality IBM provided content onto your
website at no cost, reducing in-house Web design and maintenance effort
and cost. Enhanced capabilities to be delivered in 2010 are planned to
include new lead capture functionality, downloadable assets, promotional
offers and "contact me now" features to drive more opportunities, plus
the ability to view and analyze traffic.
Marketed your solutions on the Internet using entry points that provide
the opportunity for guaranteed returns. This benefit provides a
streamlined process that you can use to plan, create, and implement an
Internet marketing campaign for demand generation. You can access
planning and project management expertise along with a wide array of
publications and Web content in your market, your country, and your
LotusLive™ provides a collection of integrated, online collaboration
solutions and social networking services for your business. Use
LotusLive solutions to meet online, share files, chat, manage projects,
and network with potential clients, anywhere and anytime. PartnerWorld
members are eligible for a no charge, one year Business Partner
demonstration account for LotusLive Engage or LotusLive Meetings.
With this benefit, IMPAQT, a leader in the search marketing industry,
will provide you with a detailed search engine marketing assessment to
help your corporate Web site rise to the top of search results and
increase your revenue opportunities. The assessment will also show how
you can strategically use paid placement to help direct qualified
audiences to your corporate Web site at a fraction of the cost of other
- IBM Business Partner Locator: The IBM
Business Partner Locator can help you find a partner in your area, or across the world. The a new tool lets you search quickly and easily to to identify skilled IBM Business Partners. The tool
replaces previously available locators with a single tool enhanced with new features including the ability to search by capabilities, expertise and Software Value Plus authorized Business Partners. The Locator also features a new interface utilizing Google maps mash up capability and a partner profile comparison solution. If you like Foursquare, then I think you'll like the maps plus the information incorporated into the new Locator. This literally let's you locate a Business Partner on a geographic map. See the picture above for an example of the map functionality.
- A new System x Specialty designed to help Business Partners expand their System x
sales, technical and solutions skills through a comprehensive set of
no-charge education, testing and learning resources. These skills and
related certification are proven differentiators within the x86 market
in which the System x platform continues to deliver unmatched
performance and cost advantages to companies of all sizes. The System x
Specialty prepares partners to pursue high value opportunities and
deliver powerful, secure and smart infrastructure solutions to their
clients. Achieving the System x Specialty qualifies partners for a wide
range of benefits including enhanced technical support, participation
in targeted sales programs, and industry recognition through the System x
Specialty mark. The new specialty complements the IBM Dynamic
Infrastructure Specialty and supports skills development to drive higher
revenue levels and margins.
PartnerWorld program criteria
"We think partners are really going to be delighted about this," said Ed Abrams, VP of Marketing , IBM Midmarket. "What we've done, based on partner feedback, is standardize on four areas: Skills, Revenue, Customer Satisfaction and References".
The new criteria recognizes more ways to earn points, have fewer rules and minimum requirements and are designed to provide a clear pathway to higher PartnerWorld program levels, increased benefits and specialties. The new criteria recognize more ways to
earn points, have fewer rules and minimum requirements and are designed
to provide a clear pathway to higher PartnerWorld program levels,
increased benefits and specialties.
- Skills: IBM has
introduced a new system of weighted skill points. In the new system,
partners earn points for certification and progressively higher points
for deeper skills attainment such as advanced and expert technical
certifications. These are the same certifications that are currently
used towards other attainments, for example, Software Value Plus
authorized. Skills points are also awarded for verified Business Partner
solutions leveraging any combination of IBM hardware, software, or
- Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction remains a
focus area and the customer satisfaction process for PartnerWorld points
- Client references: To further
recognize the importance of client success stories in the sales process,
IBM will now award PartnerWorld points for verified client references.
Make sure you are in the know about all the new updates. For more information, check out some of the press clippings from this week's news.