Welcome from the business enablement team! My name is Amy Anderson and I am the ISV Program Manager for IBM Smart Business. My team and I are here to help software vendors participate in this great new offering.
Our materials for ISVs are available through a Partnerworld portal that we call the Smart Business Roadmap. You will need your Partnerworld userid and password to access it at: http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/bbp From there, you will find over a dozen webcasts that explain various aspects of the Smart Business program. We start with a Strategy and Overview webcast, and from there delve into more detail on a variety of subjects covered in the overview.
In addition to the roadmap, you can contact us via email at bISV@us.ibm.com Use this email if you have questions about what you heard in the webcasts, or if you need more information about some aspect of the program.
We are looking forward to your participation in Smart Market. Creating a vibrant community of partners, customers, and prospects will certainly benefit us all, and your involvement is crucial to the vibrancy we envision. Thank you in advance, and feel free to let us know how the Smart Market works for you.
Hello and welcome to the IBM Smart Business Blog that is entirely devoted to the most important part of this initiative, our Business Partners. A successful Business Partner will integrate with the IBM Smart Business environment in many different areas, such as:
• Providing the Smart Market with a listing to describe and highlight your application to potential customers. • Utilizing the IBM Smart Business Developers’ Kit to provide a package with your application for the IBM Smart Cube. • Working with the IBM Concierge to define, communicate, and eventually fulfill a customer’s lead.
This is a public blog, and only announced material will be discussed here. A separate forum will be setup in the future that will require you to sign-in with your IBM PartnerWorld ID, where unannounced plans can be discussed. The authors of this blog are the IBM Business Partner Enablement Team, who are here to guide you to a successful Smart Business experience. The team is comprised of both technical and business leaders who can address questions and difficulties that may arise.
This blog should address issues that are on your mind. I would like to hear from you on topics that you would like to see an entry. If you have a specific topic that you would like addressed, please input a comment at the end of this entry and we will address in future posts.
As a reminder, the most important information for our Business Partners in the IBM Smart Business environment can be found at http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/bbp. At this website, there is a roadmap that describes the steps on how to become an Business Partner in the IBM Smart Business initiative.
I am looking forward to hearing the topics that you would like to see as future discussions. Please include comments at the end of this entry. To go back to the IBM Smart Market, please use the back button on your browser. We look forward to blogging with you in the future!
As a member of the WebSphere MQ development organization I hear about requests to enhance the product to satisfy new requirements. These requests vary from the addition of a new property, or attribute, to much larger functional enhancements. WebSphere MQ is usually part of a larger software solution. The inability of WebSphere MQ versions to coexist on Windows, UNIX, and Linux caused problems for customers when migrating from one version to another. This was especially pertinent if using a lot of applications on the same machine, or software products that only certify support for specific versions of WebSphere MQ. Arranging for many applications to have a concurrent outage can be difficult, and can also be disruptive to service level agreements.
This restriction has been lifted as of version 7.1. It is now possible to customize the location where WebSphere MQ is installed, and also to install multiple copies on the same machine, at the same, or different, version. Queue managers can be individually migrated and applications can connect to a queue manager irrespective of which installation it is associated with. This enhancement increases the options available to administrators and can reduce the downtime for a queue manager, during a migration, to the time it takes to stop and then restart it.
So when should you use multiple installations?
If you only have a single queue manager or application, or the impact of an outage during a migration is small, you might favour the simplicity of a single installation. If you have a complex setup, you need to minimise the duration of outages, you’d like to stage the migration of your queue managers and applications, or you wish to maximise flexibility, using multiple installations is something you should consider.
In a multiple installation environment there are additional considerations for administration and application connectivity. However, additional commands and other features have been added to simplify this as much as possible. These include being able to view the available installations, and see, or change, the installation each queue manager is associated with. Support has also been added so applications can load the required WebSphere MQ libraries automatically. This can help isolate applications from installation changes and allows concurrent connections to queue managers associated with different installations. There are a few restrictions, so although many applications will work without change, others may need to be updated before you can use them in such an environment. These considerations are discussed as part of this new capability in the new IBM Redbooks publication WebSphere MQ V7.1 and V7.5 Features and Enhancements.
As we come to the close of the decade, there are the usual articles across a wide range of media that try to sum up the “00s” and look toward the “tens.” Everything from the best YouTube videos of the decade to the most influential world leaders are being summarized for us.
Many of you think back fondly to 1999, and the deluge of customers who replaced homegrown code with packaged business applications in order to stave off the threat of a Y2K meltdown. No doubt, 1999 was a great year to be in IT sales. But how many of those customers are staying current with technology, and how have those applications evolved with changing technology and standards?
More importantly, how can and should these applications move into the next decade? The referenced article discusses how applications adopt to open standards, integration, and new delivery models. The article concludes that “the most sought-after attribute from business application providers over the coming decade will be value-oriented customer centricity.”
While the meaning of “value-oriented customer centricity” is fairly vague, it is quite clear that Smart Business applications deliver high value on a simplified and low cost platform. That's value-oriented. And because Smart Business makes it easy to integrate applications from a variety of partners, each solution is customer-centric.
As partners in the Smart Business solution, IBM and it's participating ISVs are uniquely positioned to enter the next decade with the business solutions that customers want. I look forward to our continued success together.
the availability of Marketing Funds for IBM Business Partners in 1Q
This is a program for all IBM partners and is not specific to Smart Business. We encourage you to take advantage of this program while we map out our marketing plans for 2010.
to jump start your 2010 pipeline with 50/50 matching funds from IBM
for demand generation campaigns that drive the sale of IBM
hardware and/or software via the sale of your products and/or
addition to up to $5k in matching funds, IBM will help you to both
design and execute your campaign. Your Marketing
Resource Manager will identify additional IBM offers you can leverage
to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign, and your Campaign
Manager will create a detailed project plan and support you in
whatever ways you need - from managing vendors all the way through to
lead entry and updating.
this offer, you may be eligible to claim 50% of your approved
campaign costs from IBM, up to an agreed maximum value. It is the
most flexible benefit ever for influencer partners from IBM
build the demand generation campaign you want to run
Select the solution or offering you want to promote along with
the sale of IBM software and/or hardware
Define the target audience
Choose the demand generation tactic
Use the agency of your choice
can be simple single-step engagements, or complex multi-step
activities – as long as they drive revenue for both you and IBM.
Advanced and Premier level participants of PartnerWorld or Business
Partners participating in a Specialty are eligible to apply. This
benefit cannot be combined with any other funds from IBM. Additional
terms and conditions apply.
Last week we launched IBM Smart Business in Italy at the SMAU conference in Milan. The week began with an employee event, and continued with one-on-one
meetings, press events, and a public announcement that garnered a lot of attention.
entire IBM team in Italy
has rallied around Smart Business and created an offering that brings together the best of
IBM with some of the strongest application
providers in the country. You can take a
closer look at what we’ve done by clicking here: www.ibm.com/smartmarket/it
the team chose to focus on very discrete segments of the manufacturing
industry. We then selected a handful of
application providers who specialize in these segments, and a set of resellers
who know how to sell into this space. The objective is to start with a very targeted offering and expand out over time. In the coming quarters, you will see
additional industries targeted, and additional application providers enabled.
At SMAU, IBM had a booth with a
Smarter Planet theme which included an area dedicated to Smart Business with
seven pedastals. Each vertical industry ISV had their own pedastal
along with ACG, Italy's key launch partner, and one that featured the Italy Smart Market
with a direct connection to Smart Cubes in the IBM Milan office.
Nicola Ciniero, General Manager, IBM Italy, hosted a unique
conference session which was also broadcast live to other IBM locations across Italy.
The format of this was a discussion moderated by Marco Montemagno, a well
known business IT journalist with SkyTV in Italy, to an audience of
approximately 900 attendees (not including the IBM offices).
The press conference was attended by more than 40
business, technology, SMB and vertical industry news media and has generated
many positive press
As you watch the videos, think about any additional videos
that we might produce together. If you have ideas for producing three- to
five-minute videos about some aspect of your product running as part of a Smart
Business solution, please send an email to bISV@us.ibm.com.We’d love to produce more videos that feature
our total solution in action.
As more of you turn leads into wins, we are keenly interested in turning those wins into great references. And those references look even better when they are published as IBM case studies.
We are eager to publish Smart Business references as quickly as possible. In addition, we have a program to publish Smarter Planet case studies. As mentioned in a previous post here,As mentioned in a previous post here, Smart Business is a critical part of IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy.
If you have a reference that you think we can use for either Smart Business or the broader Smarter Planet, please click on this link: http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/references Select Partnerworld Industry Networks as the Solution Focus area, then complete the form and submit.
If you have submitted client references before, you’ll be pleased to know that we have streamlined the process. The previous form had more than 50 questions; this one has about 20. We now estimate that we can get from submission to published reference in 10 to 15 days.
It is essential that the customer says more than, “yes I have it and installed it.” We are looking for ways that Smart Business has contributed positively to their business. Once your reference is published, it will be part of a customer reference database that tens of thousands of IBM sellers and business partners access daily.
We are looking forward to building a vast collection of Smart Business references that feature your solutions. For more information on the Business Partner Client Reference Program, contact Jennifer Kinsmann at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Smart Business, comment on this entry.
The Smart Cube Business Partner Technology Access Program (TAP) is in full swing for the x86 versions of the Smart Cube.Under this program, qualified partners can purchase a Smart Cube at a 40 percent discount.Currently, this program is only available in the United States and its territories
TAP offers selected PartnerWorld® members the ability to purchase Smart Cube servers and options at discounts off the IBM Smart Cube list price minus bid index price allowance for internal use, demonstration, or development purposes. Smart Cube Business Partners must submit rebate claims within 45-days of the invoice date in order to receive a rebate payment.
Eligible IBM products
923332USmart Cube server 7200
923356USmart Cube server 7401
Associated Smart Cube options
For more information on eligible options, refer to the Configuration and Options Guide //www-03.ibm.com/systems/xbc/cog/
To order your discounted Smart Cubes, there are two paths: one for Resellers, Solution Providers, and Systems Integrators with an IBM LOCID, and one for ISVs and other partners who do not have an IBM LOCID.
If you are an IBM Business Partner - Reseller, Solution Provider, or Systems Integrator, and have an IBM LOCID, Smart Cube qualifying products will be eligible to receive a rebate. Discount is based on list price at time of purchase. Smart Cube TAP rebate plus bid index allowance equals eligible percentage off list.The partner will submit an electronic claim form in order to receive the appropriate rebate. Complete the electronic Request Form at://prc3.tradeonemktg.com/tap/ClaimEntry.aspx
Smart Cube purchases will be validated via Smart Cube sales reporting provided by your Distributor.
IBM will issue a Smart Cube rebate check to the qualifying Smart Cube Business Partner within 6-8 weeks of receipt and approval of the Smart Cube Technology Access Request form. For questions regarding the Smart Cube Technology Access Program claim process please contact Program Headquarters at: 1-800-477-6756.
For those partners who are ISVs or do not have an IBM LOCID, you may use the appropriate forms included in this announcement. Once you complete the form, fax it to 1-800-477-6745, OR Scan and email to: Tapprogram@tradeonemktg.com along with your purchase invoice.
Questions pertaining to this offering should be directed to Tina Goodwine at email@example.com, Brian Kielty (alternate) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the 4th of July holiday, I had the opportunity to spend time at a cabin in northern Minnesota.It’s a fairly remote location—only one cellular phone company serves the area and TV service is available through either satellite or antenna.The nearest town is 15 miles away, and the immediate area around the lake is served by a resort that offers a restaurant and bar, general store, gas station, rental cabins, and RV hookups.Three generations of the same family have been running this resort since the 1950s.
While I was in the general store, a couple came in to ask about the availability of rental cabins, and they were told to go see the manager at the bar who would “look in the book.”Although there was a scanning device in the general store, many items were marked with price tags.
This is not to say that the resort owners are helplessly stuck in 1980s business practices.On the contrary, they are willing to invest in technology whenever it is financially feasible and logistically practical.Their business is reasonably profitable, and they are willing to invest in infrastructure that produces measurable results.But it is also fair to say that the cool factor of Web 2.0 is lost on them.They don’t need to invest in anything—inlcuding technology—just to keep up with the Joneses.On that lake, they are the Joneses.
And they are also the perfect customer for Smart Business.Using the applications available today, one Smart Cube could manage the books for their five discrete businesses, process credit card transactions, and automate reservations for their rental properties.Smart Business makes these applications more feasible for a small business owner because the customer receives more help and support from a single source, IBM.And the Smart Cube is flexible enough to adapt to the telecommunications infrastructure available in the area.
There are thousands of businesses out there just like one.In the past, these businesses just weren’t big enough to support the number of servers that would have been required, and they certainly couldn’t have absorbed the required onsite IT support.As we’re already seeing with customers like Dream Builders, Smart Business creates new opportunities for our combined solutions and provides real return on investment for small business owners like these.
Let’s work these opportunities together. The total solution is greater than the sum of the parts.
When we began building Smart Business, social networking was just taking off.Although the technology was nascent, we designed Smart Market to make heavy use of online communities because our research said that was a future direction.
While the explosive growth of sites like Facebook and Twitter have amazed even the most jaded IT observer, there is an ongoing question over who can be counted among this burgeoning throng of users.Everyone agrees that teens and young adults comprise the bulk of the early adopters.Some studies also indicate that seniors are outpacing the middle aged in their use of these tools.So where do small business owners fit into this picture?
According to the New York Times, small business owners are quickly moving to social networking tools, and for good reason.Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are always built on personal interactions and networking.Social networking sites—whether they are built for a broad audience or a specific niche—enable SMBs to do exactly that in the virtual world.These tools play into a small business owner’s strongest skills.
The Discover Small Business Watch, a monthly index of the economic confidence of the nation's 22 million businesses with 5 or fewer employees, reported in April, 2009 that 38% of small business owners are a member of an online community, which is up 22% since October, 2007.
In that same April report, only 37% of the respondents had web sites and 55% said that they spend 3 hours or less per week on social networking.So we can conclude that these respondents are not techno-geeks glomming onto the next big trend.These are mom-and-pop businesses who carefully budget both time and money.And they see value in social networking.
And that’s where IBM’s Smart Market comes into play.From the beginning, we designed the site to provide the level of interaction and the ease of use that small business owners are looking for.But we need your contributions.In order to create a vibrant community, we need our partners contributing their expertise and insights to the general forums, the product forums, and the blogs.Additionally, we need customer feedback on your products.Please encourage your existing customers to visit Smart Market and comment on their satisfaction with your solutions.
Feel free to respond to this blog with your experiences with online communities and social networking—let’s have a discussion!
Hopefully you have been enjoying all the positive press and analyst reactions that we received following our Smart Business US launch event, which started last week at the National Small Business Week in Washington DC.This event showcases the accomplishments of small business owners from around the country, and brings together key influencers who can now help spread the word about Smart Business.
National Small Business Week included a town hall webcast led by Karen Mills, Administrator, United States Small Business Administration.During the webcast, Mills referenced Smart Business and said, “I wish I had a solution like that when I owned a small business.”
The press, analysts, and online communities have been abuzz with positive feedback, as you can see in these quotes:
"IDC analyst Frank Gens said combining hardware, software and services in a product from a single vendor is likely to be attractive to small businesses in this environment."-- Dow Jones
“We chose IBM, Intuit because it doesn’t take an army of experts to implement, manage or build upon, helping lower the cost of doing business...In fact, we expect the solution to save us $30,000 a year in operating costs,” said Joel McDowell, co-owner, The Dream Builder Company. “We feel incredibly confident knowing that we have an industry-leading accounting solution backed by a single company: IBM.”-- The Financial
"Successful Business strategy in a down economy; IBM Smart Business at national small biz week 2009" -- Sanjai Marimadaiah, Twitter
The combination of software, hardware and remote services will appeal to SMBs concerned about integrating the pieces themselves....... The market is generally underserved and will represent an increasingly important opportunity for IBM and other vendors."-- Ray Boggs, IDC analyst [IDG News Service]
"SMBs can save $20,000 over three years relative to similar Microsoft Windows-based offerings from Dell and HP. Most of that savings derives from the labor associated with deployment, maintenance and system and software management." -- ZDNet
"....it looks like IBM's leveraging the best bits of Apple's iPhone/iTunes ecosystem and using it to build a small-business-in-a-box solution." -- Fast Company
And last week’s launch events are just the beginning.Over the next six weeks, you’ll see us drive demand for applications through electronic direct marketing to more than 60,000 prospects and a media campaign that will generate 8.5 million impressions,26,000 click through search content buys, and more than 500 downloads that are application focused.
IBM’s investment in Smart Business is real, and it is finally launching in the US.We look forward to our joint success together throughout the year.
Our IBM colleagues on the support team are working with actual customers on the setup of Smart Cubes.They put together this very short video that shows the four setup steps that we’ve been describing for so many months.
As some of you are already aware, this is just part of the overall installation process; this video focuses on the Smart Cube, rather than on your application.In order to have an application running on the Smart Cube, there are some pre-installation steps required to set up the appropriate license keys and customer IDs.
In addition, once the Smart Cube is set up—that is plugged in and connected to the network as shown in the video—your application is downloaded from the IBM repository.Although we don’t have a video set to happy music for this part of the process, we are pleased with how well it is working for our partners.We’ve run through several end-to-end tests with our partners, and the results are consistently positive.
As you will learn on May 19, customers and partners alike acknowledge the Smart Business delivers a markedly better IT experience, and it starts with the set up of the Smart Cube and installation of the application software.
The Smart Business marketing team is making great progress in both the United States and India.Because Smart Business represents a fundamentally different approach to marketing for IBM, we knew that we would need to pilot several tactics, learn from each, and respond with more effective approaches.The benefit of this iterative process is starting to pay off.
In India, we began by focusing on three industries in a single region.We realized that we needed a broader scope, so we have expanded the program to the entire country and to include more industries.We also tested several variations of the Smart Market web site, and have done analysis on user behavior in the site.We are now averaging 50 ISV leads a week, up from a mere trickle of leads generated from the first marketing tactic.
Even more importantly, sales are picking up in India!We have sold Smart Cubes on both the POWER and x86 platforms, and the applications support textile manufacturing, health care, and education.
In the US, our marketing efforts are just starting to ramp up.We ran a small telemarketing campaign in March and are evaluating the results of that campaign so that we can further refine the tactics.Also in March, we published an article in IBM’s online magazine for SMB, ForwardView.This magazine reaches 80,000 midmarket customer subscribers in the US.The article described Smart Business and featured Amanda Finch our ISV partner, from Journyx.
As we begin the second quarter of 2009, we are very encouraged by the progress we’re making, by the dedication and strong support of our partners, and by the response we’re getting in the marketplace.The next three months will no doubt be exciting and more successful for all of us.Thank you for your continued support of this program.