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CRN: You've been on the job about six months and, of course, Ginni Rometty took over her job just shortly before that. Are there things that she has been doing directly, channel-wise, to help you do what you're working on these days? What role has she been playing?
Hennessy: She is a big fan of the channel and of the business partner community. That's why she spent time with them at the PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, and I think she's very excited about the partners' opportunity to help us drive our growth plays. So at PartnerWorld, she really challenged the partners to develop their skills and capabilities, develop their solutions to bring these high-growth areas to their clients: business analytics, cloud, smarter planet, smarter commerce, smarter cities. She's been very supportive of the initiatives we've had and the investments we've been making. And, I think you'll see that play out over the next few months and years.
CRN: Was there anything that surprised you, going into this role?
Hennessy: It's not so much of a surprise, but I was really encouraged by how quickly the partner community is embracing the transformation to these higher-value spaces and how much they're interested in us enhancing our offerings and incentives along those lines, helping them get into these higher-value spaces. So, you'll see us continue to enhance our skills and our programs and our incentives in support of the direction that the partners want to go, around solutions, around industry expertise, and I think that's really very exciting. And, I look forward to working very closely with our partners around the world on that.
It was funny. At PartnerWorld, you may recall one of the speakers was Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans. And, he really was wonderful in terms of inspiring the partners and all of us in the room, because he said they made a decision early on after the disaster of Katrina to rebuild New Orleans to where it could be, not just focus on New Orleans as it was. And that kind of aspiration, I think, is what our partners have and what we have for our partners in terms of moving them to truly high-value spaces. That's a journey that we're on and will help the partners with, investing significantly to help them get there.