IBM Opens SOA Know-How To Partners

Now IBM is changing that dynamic. On Tuesday the company said it will weave in offerings from IGS, Tivoli, Rational and the IBM Software Group to deliver best practices, support, software and go-to-market activities for ISV and systems integrator partners of all sizes.

"The goal is to make this consumable, with a step-by-step approach so that the smaller guys can benefit from what we've learned," said Sandy Carter, vice president of channels and marketing for WebSphere, who also oversees IBM's SOA Council. "We're bringing SOAs down to the very practical level of how to get started, in bite-size chunks, complete with economic returns to partners' businesses."

ISVs and systems integrators can tap into a variety of resources through IBM's new SOA initiative. For training and support, for instance, they can access interactive, online training sessions, send staff to Partner Workshops for in-depth training, and tap into the SOA Architect Hotline for project support. Partners also can download for trial key SOA-building software. These include WebSphere Business Integration Modeler, IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software, IBM Rational Functional Tester, IBM Rational Software Architecture and IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Composite Applications. Depending on the code, trials are good for 60 to 90 days.

Starting July 1, all ISV partners as well as those systems integrators playing in the public sector can tap into discounted as well as joint advertising efforts. They also can make use of IBM's demand-generation resources, such as direct response campaigns or additional sales help to close qualified deals. Carter said IBM will phase in its SOA-focused sales and marketing efforts for the rest of its systems integrator community.

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All partners will be able to make use of industry-focused road shows called WebSphere Live. In addition, systems integrators can participate in IBM's "Summit in a box." In this campaign IBM supplies the speakers while systems integrators deliver the audience.

"We hope the sales and marketing initiatives will help us gain more business opportunities," said Suresh Ganesan, director of technologies and chief enterprise architect for Cognizant, a global systems integrator based in Teaneck, N.J. "We will knock on doors together."

Cognizant is among 20 partners to sign up for IBM's SOA initiative. Others include Cisco Systems, Hitachi Consulting, Intacct and Primitive Logic. To join, partners must first join the PartnerWorld Industry Network program, publicly endorse IBM's SOA strategy, use WebSphere products in their implementations and agree to co-marketing with IBM.

"We can help ISVs adapt to new development models as well as absorb new acquisitions [through SOAs]," said Carter. "Systems integrators can get a return by increasing their business-driven projects. Our research shows that 66 percent of today's SOA projects are driven by customers' lines of business."