IBM partners will drive a lot of new business this year with the impending release of Lotus Notes 8 and increased integration between Domino, Sametime, Quickr and Connections, according to worldwide channels and SMB marketing director Tim Kounadis.
He also says IBM’s work on unified communications with telephony and video firms such as Cisco, Avaya, Radvision and Avistar gives partners an opportunity to provide services and value added consultancy, not just to sell products.
“Most important is the release of Notes 8 later this year and innovative products that are really brand new. It gives partners a reason to call customers and talk to them.”
Kounadis says partners have also been developing plug-ins and mashups to capitalise on the new technology. These include a US company which has developed a system of queueing help desk issues.
The product releases seek to capitalise on Web 2.0-based social networking tools, and Kounadis says these can increase productivity among small and medium size businesses.
“A lot of small companies don’t have offices. They work out of homes and airports. They want to know how to find people and chat with them.
“Small and medium businesses are also concerned about costs so want to integrate VoIP and chat for ease of implementation. They don’t have the big IT departments or the expertise.”