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IBM brings a lot to the cloud computing table, based on what role partners adopt, Heegaard said. Partners, for example, can resell IBM-hosted cloud services, such as the LotusLive Web conferencing and collaboration applications or the vendor's Information Protection Service backup and recovery offering.
Partners can use IBM tools such as Tivoli Service Automation Manager, Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager and Tivoli Monitoring to deliver cloud services. They can provide information retention services using IBM's Information Archive system, integrate cloud and on-premise applications using IBM's Cast Iron system, and use IBM security products to protect a customer's cloud computing assets.
IBM also provides a range of cloud computing enablement and training services through its partner portal, including technical sales training and certification, whitepapers, market data and other assets.
IBM has been conducting cloud computing workshops with its business partners during the last 18 months, and Heegaard said many are initially adopting a consultative approach given that cloud computing is so new. But partners expect cloud computing services to generate average gross profits of 30 percent, 12 points higher than on traditional IT services, and average net profits of 14 percent, 7 to 10 points higher than on typical IT infrastructure sales, Heegaard said.
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