IBM: STG Sales Force Must Include Partners In All Deals

The IBM's Systems and Technology Group sales force is now required to work with an IBM partner in order to get paid when inking a deal with a customer, according to the post.

"By moving to a co-selling model, business partners become the primary route to market for servers, storage and networking for the majority of IBM's clients," wrote Carlquist.

[Related: IBM Channel Executive: Partners Must Embrace Change ]

"This is the biggest change in IBM's channel program in the past 15 years," said Jamie Gmach, CEO of Evolving Solutions, an IBM partner based in Minneapolis. "IBM now has a deep impetus to find the best partners to provide solutions for specific client opportunities."

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IBM also will act as the glue between multiple partners who are working with one customer, providing one solution that might include software, hardware and cloud services. In the past, Gmach said, partners and IBM were more prone to working in silos.

Gmach said the co-selling model can leverage partners' strengths and IBM's strengths more effectively. "In the past partners might back down from an opportunity for fear of offending another business partner who may be engaged in the same account," Gmach said. That's no longer the case with IBM helping partners and customers negotiate sales and piece together the large complex solutions.

By fostering tighter relationships between channel partners and IBM's Systems and Technology sales team, IBM is fulfilling an ongoing effort to "radically simplify" the way it does business with partners -- something it promised at 2012's PartnerWorld Leadership Conference.