SAS makes friends in right places

SAS makes friends in right places

Trust isn’t often a word bandied between vendors and partners, yet one thriving relationship is proof it can exist in today’s hard-nosed business world.

Auckland-based Systems Advisory Services (SAS) has won a deal with Intercity to supply IBM Unix and Intel systems as well as implementation, hosting and management. To secure the deal required SAS to work closely with IBM.

Phil Martin, SAS general manager, says the tendering was a very competitive process.

“To be a credible partner you need to invest in knowledge and skills and then be prepared to work with IBM to craft a strategy,” he says. “It’s all about trust, which is hard to win and very easy to lose, but it has to come from both sides.”

Michele Adams, IBM’s channel manager, says her company has heavily invested in its partner channel and the relationship with SAS is a great example of how the ecosystem can work.

“Vendor plus partner plus customer is a very powerful tool. IBM’s channel programmes are quite diverse and reflect the way it goes to market,” she says.

Adams says this channel investment is the biggest change she’s seen in her time at IBM.

“It’s not purely a product drive either. IBM is bringing on people who will manage regional programmes.”

Additionally, says Adams, a growing number of partners are keen to go offshore and IBM works to help them along the way.

“These partners want to leverage off IBM. We can provide a stepping stone to the international market and do it quickly.”

Martin says IBM has assisted SAS in selling its Quickstep product offshore.

“Business is picking up although Quickstep will never be a huge money spinner for SAS.”

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