IBM Promotes Global Expansion for Business Partners Through Online Collaboration and Networking
Today at its PartnerWorld 2007 Conference, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced initiatives to help its Business Partners engage in deeper collaboration and broader ecosystem teaming through the formation of value nets that lead to increased business opportunities across the world. Using the new IBM PartnerWorld Value Net Connections program, IBM Business Partners now have quick access to a framework of tools and resources designed to allow them to identify complementary partners and go to market with industry-tailored solutions, particularly for the mid-market. IBM is also announcing two cutting-edge initiatives to help organizations and IT professionals participate, communicate and connect through online collaborative networks: IBM Lotus Connections for Partners and IBM developerWorks community spaces.
In a fast-growing IT mid-market —estimated at $230 billion worldwide in 2007—IT solutions represent the single largest opportunity, almost 70 percent of the mid-market total. As mid-market clients experience global integration and seek to expand their business to other markets, they increasingly demand innovative IT solutions whose delivery requires unique skill, expertise and market reach. IBM Business Partners play a key part in delivering technology solutions to mid-market clients, driving over half of IBM’s sales in the small and medium business marketplace.
“Today’s mid-market IT solutions providers are increasingly teaming together in ‘ecosystems’ to better develop products that can meet the speed and sophistication required by their customers,” said Ravi Marwaha, general manager of IBM Global Business Partners. “IBM’s new PartnerWorld Value Net Connections, Lotus Connections for Partners and IBM developerWorks community spaces will enable these IBM Business Partners to take advantage of a new level of online collaboration and networking to optimize the time-to-market, innovation and cost efficiency of their joint solutions.”
IBM PartnerWorld Value Net Connections provides quick and easy access to a comprehensive framework of resources and tools that allow partners to easily build effective value nets. Value nets are teams of two or more Business Partner firms that collaborate to create repeatable solutions that can be tailored to meet customer needs. Because they are repeatable, value net solution sales reduce costs for IBM Business Partners, accelerate time-to-market, and increase their rate of success. To date, more than 3,300 IBM Business Partners participate in Value Net activities and have created over 350 repeatable customer solutions. More information on these solutions is available at www.ibm.com/partnerworld/valuenet.
Lotus Connections represents the industry’s first platform for enterprise social software. Lotus Connections for Partners provides a secure, online platform designed exclusively for Business Partners to share information and work together by sharing profile information that describes their business; finding subject matter experts; exchanging online information through social bookmarking; engaging in collaborative business planning; and joining communities of interest. Lotus Connections for Partners is now available through the IBM Value Nets Connections Program to IBM Lotus Partners and other IBM Business Partners who are interested in experiencing the exciting new technology that allows them to engage in the nascent and dynamic market of social software for business. Lotus Connections for Partners can be accessed at www.ibm.com/lotus/connections/partners.
Business Partners and developers can also tap into a new Web venue called IBM developerWorks community spaces. This unique business channel will provide an open platform for developers to build communities around a broad range of technology topics and business trends, including Software as a Service. By tapping into developerWorks Spaces, users will gain access to a global network of developer brainpower and educational sources as well as gain the opportunity to participate in online forums, collaborate on joint business opportunities, and build new applications, at no charge. IBM developerWorks Spaces is available at http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/spaces.
IBM has also expanded its PartnerWorld Industry Networks program, focused on promoting collaboration among industry-specific Business Partners and facilitate the Value Nets. Furthermore, IBM’s PartnerWorld Industry Networks now provides connections to “horizontal” industry specialists and offers accreditation for specific solution sets. Over 39,000 ISV Business Partner firms participate in IBM PartnerWorld Industry Networks, in 160 countries.
“In addition to focusing on dynamic collaboration platforms that allow IBM Business Partners to expand their business, IBM is also investing on simplifying many tools, processes and programs for its Business Partners. We have a sustained commitment to make it easy for our Business Partners to drive the innovation that clients require,” said Marwaha.
Simplification enhancements include the Global Partner Portal, an initiative aimed at providing Business Partners with a single place to engage IBM in the sales process, from opportunity identification to fulfillment and incentive payment — and the steps in between. In addition, IBM is deploying a new marketing program with a special focus on client need and growth markets. It offers a streamlined approach to co-marketing, education and support.
IBM’s PartnerWorld Conference
IBM’s PartnerWorld conference is designed to share IBM strategy, solutions and programs in innovative ways. This year, over 5,500 attendees will gather for business management topics that help to drive results and enhanced networking opportunities to build and strengthen relationships. For more information on the 2007 IBM PartnerWorld Conference, please visit http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/2007.
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