IBM’s overhaul to its PartnerWorld program back in May last year brought in two new tracks — Build and Services. Nine months later, Big Blue’s reaffirming its commitment to its channel partners, with a particular focus on Build partners.
This is according to David La Rose, general manager of IBM’s partner ecosystem and former managing director of IBM A/NZ, who said that the changes to its PartnerWorld program were a precursor to not only supporting its existing partner ecosystem, but also attracting what he called a “different” type of partner.
“These Build partners, you can look at them as systems integrators, you can look at them as classical independent software vendors — ensuring that they see that they're an important part of the ecosystem that we're trying to build,” he said to ARN.
“As a result of that, they're looking for a different type of engagement.”
One of those Build partner engagements comes in the form of the refocus of its Hybrid Cloud Build Team earlier this month — a team of approximately 300 to 400 to provide partner support for migration and modernisation of the vendor’s products, services and other offerings across open hybrid cloud environments.
That team will be accessible by the vendor’s partners in Australia and New Zealand across its entire partner ecosystem, according to La Rose.
“They're accessible to all the entire capabilities that we've that we've got, there is no, 'we're gonna have 25 people in Australia and three in New Zealand and 17 in Singapore,' — this is a global enterprise, and they'll pull down the resources as they need them," he said.
The group itself, however, is not new, with Alison Freeman, director of partner ecosystems, IBM A/NZ, claiming that the team has been previously made available to clients and partners. Now, there’s a 100 per cent focus on Big Blue’s partner ecosystem.
Regardless, the team has already identified some key, unspecified, partners, and is already in conversations with them, according to Ben Peterson, Hybrid Cloud Build Team Leader, IBM Ecosystems A/NZ.
Following on from last year’s changes, IBM’s PartnerWorld program is expected to be updated once again during its IBM Think Summit, and while La Rose was tight-lipped about what those changes might look like, he claimed the vendor would be “doing some really exciting things”.
“What I have said to our partners, is the one thing that we won't be changing is their incentive stack, so they've got a very consistent and predictable earning roadmap with IBM for 2021,” he added.
IBM’s hybrid cloud focus is something that shouldn’t be surprising to partners, with cloud being one out of two of the vendor’s business segments recording growth for its full year results for 2020 — recording revenue growth of 19 per cent, to US$25.1 billion.
Indeed, the vendor’s focus on hybrid cloud has been made known by the company over the last year, with CEO Arvind Krishna claiming back in May that hybrid cloud was one of the dominant forces driving digital transformation, as well as pledging to fight the 'strategic battle' of the journey to hybrid cloud in a LinkedIn post in April.