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IBM focuses on channel opportunities after Red Hat buyout

IBM focuses on channel opportunities after Red Hat buyout

IBM is pushing its Cloud Paks through a revitalised channel strategy

Sallie Purser (IBM NZ)

Sallie Purser (IBM NZ)

Credit: Supplied


"One of the things that has improved across 2019 and we are pushing heavily in 2020 is a platform called Seismic," Purser said.

"Partners have access to all the demos and sales collateral that IBM salespeople do."

Account planning for large and government accounts is under way for the year and IBM is incorporating partners as part of that regime so they are "totally aligned",  Purser said.

That also applies to winning business, with assistance also being offered to partners pitching on opportunities and tenders..

In government especially, thought is being put into how to engage through the channel and how that will work through procurement mechanisms such as the all-of-government Marketplace. 

"We still have a little bit of work to do around that and how we position through that," Purser said. "We need to be able to work with partners around and that position to go through them."

Another plus is the fact that IBM's new global channel ecosystem chief is former A/NZ managing director David La Rose.

"He really knows our market. He’s a driven person who is looking at where he wants partners to play globally, around hybrid cloud, Cloud Paks, shifting workloads, anbd helping partners help their clients."

IBM reckons 80 per cent of workloads have yet to be shifted. That’s complex and partners are key, Purser said.

In New Zealand, the channel and how to make partners part of what IBM does every day was one of three strategic pillars outlined by managing director Mike Smith. 

The other two were around winning large projects and about IBM's people.

Brainstorming sessions with employees are embedding the ethos of partnership and helping to transform the company locally, Purser said.

Partners range form global and local giants such as DXC, Tata, Datacom and NTT to regional systems integrators such as Certus through to managed services providers and specialist practices.

Partner recruitment is ongoing, with a particular emphasis on skills that IBM does not have internally. In addition, Red Hat has some partners who are not IBM partners and vice versa.

IBM is also aiming to boost transparency of aspects of the channel relationship, such as on rebates and how these can be accessed by partners.

Purser said the structures around that were quite prescriptive and that was something IBM aimed to change this year.

For partners to really realise deeper rebate structures they need to be certified, particularly in software areas, she said.

"We’ve got a focus on continuing to build the trust we have with the channel, being transparent and sharing information so they can make informed decisions about where they want to work with us or where they want to do something else."


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