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IBM Unveils New Business Continuity Specialty Accreditation for Select Mid-Market-Focused Business Partners


IBM (NYSE: IBM) is announcing a significant addition to its PartnerWorld Industry Networks accreditation program aimed at IBM Business Partners who focus on the mid-market and who demonstrate proficiency in delivering business continuity solutions. The new specialty allows accredited IBM Business Partners to have ready access to business continuity solution blueprints, technical training and live technical chat support, marketing and sales support and other tools and resources that are designed to enable them to sell and deliver these solutions quickly and profitably.

Business Continuity solutions are expected to be implemented by about half of all mid-sized businesses over the next two years, representing a multi-billion dollar market opportunity, according to a recent Gartner report.

A current survey by IBM of more than 1,200 mid-market businesses from around the world found that while 71% of mid-sized businesses felt business continuity was a top priority, only 49% are currently deploying solutions to ensure data safety and integrity. Most mid-market businesses cited a lack of technical expertise and long ramp-up and implementation times as the main barriers to deploying a business continuity solution.

“Unforeseen catastrophic events can cripple an unprepared business. In today’s environment, businesses cannot afford a disruption to their business or loss of business critical applications or data,” said Ron Kline, Director, Global SMB Marketing. “Mid-sized firms recognize this risk and are looking for help with business continuity planning to ensure their operations and critical data are well protected and insulated. IBM’s new Business Continuity specialty program allows our network of Business Partners to capitalize on this business opportunity while delivering to our clients the assurance that skilled Business Partners are addressing their business critical needs.”

IBM Business Partner specialties recognize a Business Partner’s unique competence and achievement in serving a specific customer or solution set. Currently, there are 15 defined Industry Specialties. IBM launched the cross-industry SOA, or Service Oriented Architecture, specialty almost a year ago and there are now over 125 Business Partners certified in the SOA Specialty. Many of the SOA specialty Business Partners are focused on harnessing the mid-market SOA opportunity. Business Partners are also actively participating in the Software as a Service specialty.

“The Business Continuity Specialty accreditation will help us to grow our services business,” said Anthony Bongiovanni, President, Micro Strategies Inc. “Not only does IBM have a large number of solutions we can leverage, IBM also has several excellent market planning and technical support programs and tools we are eager to take advantage of.”

The PartnerWorld Industry Networks Certification provides Business Partners with the resources they need to successfully collaborate with IBM and deliver proven solutions to mid-sized customers through:

-Marketing -- Assists Business Partners with lead generation services, discounted advertising, and the IBM Business Partner Application Showcase.
-Selling -- Helps foster collaboration with the IBM global sales force to close deals faster using IBM sales connections and hosted customer meetings.
-Technical -- Certified Business Partners gain access to IBM’s worldwide technical resources such as the IBM Virtual Innovation Center.
-Training -- Helps Business Partners build skills and gain certification with powerful interactive learning tools and a personalized user experience.
-Collaboration -- Allows Partners to connect with IBM industry experts and other IBM Business Partners to leverage their knowledge, skills and contacts.


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