IBM Boosts Rebates To Encourage Higher-Value Channel Solutions

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IBM is offering financial incentives to encourage channel partners to sell systems that combine IBM hardware and software products, and for developing and selling solutions targeting such areas as cloud computing, security and business analytics.

Along with elevating the value of solutions sold by IBM channel partners, the new IBM Solution Accelerator incentives, announced Tuesday at IBM's PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in New Orleans, are also designed to get more partners to work with each other and with value-added distributors.

"This is important because we're all engaged in this transformation," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive of IBM software and systems, in a keynote speech. "We're all dealing with our customers continuing to move the bar up, as it were, towards realizing greater value from information technology.

IBM executives at the conference are making it clear that the company's own goals are tightly linked with those of its partners. "We cannot achieve our 2015 roadmap, our growth aspirations, without the help of our partners," said Mark Hennessy, general manager, global business partners and midmarket, in a meeting with reporters.

Hennessy was named IBM's new channel chief in early January, after Virginia "Ginni" Rometty took over as the company's CEO on Jan. 1.

Under the "Software and Systems Reward" component of the new program resellers can earn rebates of 5 percent on eligible hardware systems and 15 percent on eligible software when they sell those products together to a single customer. Those rebates are incremental to any other margins and rebates the partner may be eligible for.

Partners can earn an additional 10 percent rebate under the "Business Solutions Rewards" element of the program for selling software packages targeted toward IBM's key initiatives, including business analytics, security, cloud computing, risk management, business social networks and what IBM calls "smarter cities" -- the instrumentation of everything from traffic management systems to power grids.

IBM already has qualified some 60 software packages for the Business Solutions Reward effort, Mills said, with more to come.

Next: Boosting Partner, VAD Cooperation

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