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A good time to select IBM.

Apr 19, 2021 11:28:50 AM Neil Cornish Tech Data, IBM, Ecosystem, PartnerWorld

The IBM 2021 organisation for the UK has now been announced. “So what” I hear you say.


Having seen many IBM re-organisations over the years, this one is a far cry from LASER, CANR and Southern, (answers on a postcard please).


Traditionally, re-organisations at IBM saw emphasis move between Industries and Geographic Regions on a regular basis and the channel was pulled along each time. Now the channel is front and centre of the IBM strategy, albeit it’s now called the Ecosystem. With the spin-off of their managed services business into the recently named Kendryl, IBM is positioning itself once more as a technology company as opposed to being the world’s largest IT services business.


Their intention is to make it easier for IBM to partner with the vast array of Ecosystem players where their managed services offerings might have competed previously. It also allows Kendryl to create its own partnerships with a wider range of suppliers, including IBM who will no longer be selling to themselves.


So, what is the new IBM Vision? To be the world’s leading Hybrid Cloud and AI company.


And the Ecosystem is now a central part of the strategy with three PartnerWorld tracks announced for partners to engage with.


1. The Build Track aligns to benefits that support partners building IP and delivering innovative solutions.

2. PartnerWorld Service Track aligns to specific benefits that support partners providing value-add services.

3. Sell Track provides access to the most comprehensive product portfolio in the business and benefits that grow based on your achievements.


To find out more about each of these and at the same time achieve an IBM badge, try the Ecosystems Sales Foundation course: Course Overview: Course overview (ibm.com)


At Tech Data we have certainly seen an influx of new businesses wishing to partner with us and IBM. Although these include some traditional value-added resellers, we are seeing more Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and technology innovators applying. These businesses add value to the wider ecosystem, with new partner to partner relationships being created. This may be a new route to market for one partner and a new solution offering for another. And where IBM technology is embedded as part of the solution, IBM will provide a range of marketing, support and incentive programmes.


Here in the UK, Tech Data has become a global reference for how the IBM ESA programme can add value to partner solutions. The Embedded Solution Agreement is a significant part of the new Build Track, enabling partners to develop their solution with IBM technology embedded. The commercial model is very attractive to those partners who have a development and support capability, whereby integrating different IBM software offerings broaden the solutions the partner can offer.


There is a good explanation of ESA and how it works within the course mentioned above, but if you would like to discuss the options available and how your company could participate in the Build Track, please get in contact.


As IBM continues to develop their Ecosystem model, delivering against the Hybrid Cloud and AI vision, there will be an increasing role for partners. This is potentially the biggest opportunity for the channel since Lou Gerstner embraced the partner community back in the early 1990s. So, if you have been considering adding a new vendor to your offerings now is a good time to select IBM.


The Tech Data IBM team look forward to working with you.


Neil Cornish

Written by Neil Cornish

Neil Cornish is Business Development Manager at Tech Data UK


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