A 20-STRONG delegation from around 16 of IBM’s resellers and distributors in New Zealand is expected to attend the company’s annual PartnerWorld conference in Las Vegas this month.
This is the minimum number of people from New Zealand that IBM New Zealand channels manager Michele Adams hopes to see attend the global event from February 27 to March 2.
Adams says the conference is an excellent opportunity for local IBM partners to obtain a high-level view of what the IT giant has planned for its channel and products in the coming year.
With up to 6,000 delegates expected to attend, this year’s event will be of particular interest as one of the major topics of discussion is likely to be IBM’s sale of its PC business to China’s Lenovo Group.
“We do not receive details of sessions before the time, but there will probably be an update on Lenovo and announcements on any changes to partner relationships,” says Adams.
During the event top-level IBM executives will give an overview of the company’s global strategy with its partners and business for the coming year, followed by addresses by other key speakers, which in the past have included high-profile figures like Robert Redford.
The second half of each day will be devoted to break-out sessions covering va-rious topics from new products to changes to IBM’s partner programme.
On offer will also be a Solutions Centre, where IBM demonstrates new products and where its partners can show off their own offerings.
“This is probably one of the biggest benefits for partners as they can see new products that they would not have seen in New Zealand before. Last year Tech Pacific saw IBM’s range of printing consumables for other brands and subsequently secured their distribution rights for New Zealand,” says Adams.
Attending PartnerWorld is not just about sessions and speeches, adds Adams, it is also an opportunity for New Zealand partners to meet their counterparts from other countries and to get to know each other a bit better.
“We are hosting a number of social functions for the New Zealand partners, so there will be opportunities for networ-king and for relationships to form between partners,” Adams says. Attendance by New Zealand partners has increased significantly in recent years, she adds.
“Three years ago, we only had seven people, but last year we had 20 representing 16 of our partners. This is a reflection of the commitment and resources IBM has devoted to its channel in recent years.”
Previous attendees have included representatives from Tech Pacific, IT Wholesale, Datastor, Axon, Gen-i, Datacom and VAD.
PartnerWorld will be followed locally by two PartnerMeet sessions to be held in Auckland and Wellington on April 5 and 6 respectively, where messages from the global event will be given a local flavouring.