IBM is giving its channel partners greater access to technical and industry experts in the company’s vaunted software research and development laboratories to help boost their familiarity with IBM’s products and strategy.
IBM said the new policy would help partners more quickly create business applications based on the company’s technology and services. The plan was unveiled Tuesday at the company’s Impact 2010 conference in Las Vegas.
IBM also said it is adding social networking resources to its PartnerWorld communities to help partners develop sales and marketing skills, is offering certifications for partner-developed cloud applications and services, and is providing new rebate incentives to partners for making value-added sales to government customers.
IBM has 70 software labs around the world. Under the new IBM Technical and Industry Advocates program, channel partners will be paired with an “advocate” who will help them develop long-term relationships with brand executives, industry experts, senior technical staff and master inventors within the labs.
Through those relationships, partners can get assistance on questions relating to software performance, migrations, upgrades, configurations and industry-specific architectures, according to IBM. And partners can better familiarize themselves with IBM’s software product lineup and software strategies -- especially as they relate to the company’s Smarter Planet initiative.
Tampa, Fla.-based Ultramatics, an IBM Premier business partner, has already tapped into the program’s resources to speed up the design and implementation of business transformation projects for banking, health-care and transportation industry customers. Those projects incorporate IBM business process management, service-oriented architecture, portal and collaboration software products, IBM said.
“The Advocates program has directly contributed to our customers’ successes, allowing Ultramatics to accelerate delivery on our commitments and ultimately on the promise of faster, more predictable implementations,” said Saru Seshadri, Ultramatics president and CEO, in a statement.
Online payment service provider PayPal, also an IBM partner, has worked with IBM’s Cloud Labs to extend its global open payments system, PayPal X, into IBM’s cloud computing environment.