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CRN: Could you talk about how much you're investing in terms of building the mid-market, with training and enablement?
Hennessy: We've been investing $2 billion annually around all of our initiatives, whether it's enablement, technical skill development, boot camps for partners -- last year we hosted about 40 boot camps for business partners in all of the geographies around the cloud implementation. So all that money that's invested is about $2 billion on an annual scope.
Global financing put a billion dollars into financing through partners for the small and medium business market space. And, the uptake has been tremendous. In fact, since we put the program in place, the financing we've done in that space through the partners has been up about 33 percent.
I think the innovation centers [are] another good example. We wanted to make sure that partners, as they were trying to get to more of a solution focus, had a place to go to leverage our research and development teams, bring partners to do enablement, hands-on testing, etc. So, we put in place 40 innovation centers around the world in 33 different countries that are now available for partners. And, we did these road shows around PureSystems. Those were very popular.
CRN: How about IBM's efforts to get solution providers to partner with each other?
Hennessy: We're going to help facilitate that and reward it [with] the Solution Accelerator Initiative, where two different partners can cooperate to deliver the solution and both benefit in the margin enhancement, especially in some very specific solution areas around business analytics, security and cloud. It's also a great way for distributors to add value because they know their partner community very well. And, they can help bring partners together also to deliver these solutions with an industry focus or a solution focus or a geography focus or a customer-set focus.