IBM is transforming and so is the IBM partner community. What does the IBM PartnerWorld community look like in the not-so-distant future?
IBM is actively recruiting thousands of managed service providers (MSPs) outside its partner community. Its SoftLayer acquisition last year has added more than 21,000 new cloud clients with about 30 percent of those accounts driven through a new stable of channel partners. And as part of a ramp-up of the SoftLayer business, IBM said it's aggressively promoting a SoftLayer referral or reseller program to IBM partners. Michael Gerentine, vice president, IBM Global Business Partners, Marketing, said the partner transition has gone from hardware VARs that have moved to selling software and services, to selling infrastructure as a service, and eventually will go to a Software-as-a-Service model. "It's never going to be all or nothing. It will be a hybrid," Gerentine said.