IBM Software Group Names Two New Channel Execs

Reuben Ray has been replaced as vice president of worldwide channel sales by Neil Isford, who rejoins IBM from Dell, where he held the position of vice president of Dell's professional services/consulting services organization. In his earlier stint at IBM, Isford served as vice president of e-business and business innovation services for IBM Global Services.

Ray has been reassigned from the sales end of the spectrum after just 18 months to a new post as vice president of channels transformation for IBM Software Group. The job is more strategic in nature, focusing on designing and implementing partner-oriented programs, creating best practices for the channel and, internally, wringing efficiencies within IBM Software Group itself, according to IBM. Ray will still report to James McDade, as will Isford.

McDade, a 21-year IBM veteran, is nonetheless relatively new to his role as vice president of worldwide SMB, channels and telesales for the software group, a post he assumed in July. In September, McDade and members of his team met with VARBusiness editors in Somers, N.Y., to discuss strategy going forward. McDade emphasized his group's focus on the overall on-demand mission at IBM and the importance he places on selling multiproduct solutions through partners and on maintaining the spirit and integrity of the SMB-focused Express products.

At the time of McDade's appointment, IBM reassigned Mark Ouellette, then vice president of worldwide SMB sales, to a new role as vice president of worldwide sales operations for the software group. Ouellette's SMB post remained unoccupied until recently, when IBM tapped Jeff Krider for the job. Krider is another former IBMer who rejoins Big Blue after a stint at Accenture, where he was director of worldwide global offerings for global services.

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While lauded for its consistency by partners, IBM has been busy moving the chess pieces around on the executive side this year, both on the channel side and within the ranks of high-level product chiefs as well. In addition to the moves with the SMB channel group, IBM made the ultimate partner switcheroo this summer when it replaced Mike Borman, the well-regarded general manager of IBM global business partners, with Donn Atkins, then a head of the software sales team. Borman has been tapped to run the company's ailing iSeries division.