IBM said the Cloud Computing Specialty would support five types of solution provider: Cloud application providers that deliver Software-as-a-Service business applications through a subscription model; cloud builders that design, build and manage cloud systems for customers, including integrating cloud systems with other IT systems; cloud infrastructure providers that provide public cloud infrastructure or Platform-as-a-Service systems; cloud service solution providers that resell multiple public cloud services along with training and integration services; and cloud technology providers that offer tools, technologies and services such as billing, metering and monitoring for customers using cloud computing.
While those are all very different types of partners, the goal is to bring them all under one program, a move that will help them work with each other as well as with IBM, said Jim Corgel, general manager of ISV and developer relations for IBM.
IBM is also creating the IBM Cloud Computing Authorization designation for software resellers under the IBM Software Value Plus program. Partners who pass two cloud computing certification tests, provide a cloud offering based on IBM technologies, and provide references for successful customer implementations will be authorized to sell a broad range of IBM cloud computing products and services, have priority in receiving cloud computing sales leads, and be invited to attend joint planning sessions with IBM sales teams.
On the analytics side, IBM debuted IBM Cognos Express Planner, a new version of the Cognos Express midmarket business intelligence software specifically designed for financial planning tasks.
IBM is also offering partner access to its advanced analytics technology and providing more assistance within its 38 global Innovation Centers to help partners design, build and market new analytical solutions.