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CRN: On the PureSystems, you had more than 500 partners lined up before the launch. Are those primarily existing hardware partners, new partners, or are they software partners adding hardware to their product lineups?
Hennessy: I'll give you three different categories. The first is our traditional hardware partners [who] have clearly embraced it. It is very unique in the marketplace for a number of reasons. It was integrated by design, as opposed to assembled. The second is the flexibility. Because these partners know their clients have very heterogeneous environments -- it's not one size fits all for their clients. So the fact we've given them flexibility on the different elements of the system from compute to operating system to hypervisor to internal versus external storage, that's a huge benefit to them.
So, the existing partners have clearly embraced it. And, we've gotten very good feedback on the system, and also in terms of getting proof-of-concepts in place -- we've already started to take orders -- so the feedback has been good from those existing partners.
And then the third category, I would say, are the MSPs. They have a wonderful opportunity to host their solutions on this cloud-ready environment, and it's very cost-effective, very quick in terms of deployment. So their scale, their scope goes up significantly, and the value proposition that they have to end-user clients goes up significantly.
CRN: How about recruitment? You've got a lot of uncertainty and reorganization within HP right now, for example. What are you offering in terms of competitive programs to attract some of the solution providers who are working with competitors?
Hennessy: One of the things that I've known for some time, but was reinforced as I went and met with all these partners, is they are very interested in consistency and predictability. So, we're not going to make fundamental, left-turn, right-turn shifts here. We're going to be consistent in terms of the programs that we have because the feedback we're getting from the partners is very positive. And secondly, we want to make sure they feel as though we're predictable, and they can understand the direction that we're going.
But at the same time, we're going to continue to accelerate the work that we're doing around helping the partners get into these new spaces that I articulated, the new markets, the new solutions and the new offerings that we have. The integrated offerings that we have now with the PureSystems are very unique in the marketplace. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, and that's very attractive, very valuable. And then, in terms of the programmatic approach, we are enhancing margins for competitive opportunities. We are providing more technical resources to our partners to help from an architecture standpoint and a solution development standpoint. We are doing more enablement for our partners.
It's funny; you mentioned the iPad app when you came in today. We just introduced [early May] an iPad app for our partners that provides enablement, it provides references, it provides proposal development capabilities. It has video embedded in it. And, it's only been available for a couple of weeks, and about 8,000 partners in 27 countries had downloaded it.
So, I think there is a lot of good momentum here and a lot of compelling reasons for partners who have not done business with IBM to do so now. And, there's no place we've seen that more dramatically than in the MSPs.