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IBM Channel Chief: We’re Making Partner Engagement ‘As Easy As Possible’

Wade Tyler Millward

“No matter how our partners are focused or how they‘re going to market, we want our IBM technology to be going to market with them,” IBM channel chief Kate Woolley said.

Opening to partners training and enablement resources usually reserved for IBM’s own employees is an example of how the company is investing in partners and becoming easier to work with, channel chief Kate Woolley told CRN in an interview.

And while the IBM Consulting division continues its own investments with its ongoing purchase of services businesses, those investments pose no conflict to partners, said Woolley, general manager of the IBM ecosystem.

“As we think about IBM with IBM Consulting and IBM technology, we want our partners – no matter how our partners are focused or how they‘re going to market, we want our IBM technology to be going to market with them,” Woolley said.

[RELATED: IBM’s Cloud Acquisition Charge Continues With Dialexa]

On Tuesday, the Armonk, N.Y.-based technology giant started giving registered members of its PartnerWorld program access to the training, badges and enablement IBM sales employees get, along with a new learning hub for accessing materials.

Partners now have access to sales and technical badges showing industry expertise, according to a blog post Tuesday. Badges are shareable on LinkedIn and other professional social platforms. IBM sales representatives and partners will receive new content at the same time as it is made available.

“This is the next step in that journey in terms of making sure that all of our registered partners have access to all of the same training, all of the same enablement materials as IBMers,” Woolley told CRN. “That’s the big message that we want people to hear. And then also in line with continuing to make it easier to do business with IBM, this has all been done through a much improved digital experience in terms of how our partners are able to access and consume.”

CRN also asked Woolley about IBM’s recent acquisition spree of services businesses – including Dialexa in September, Neudesic in February and Bluetab Solutions and BoxBoat in July 2021.

Although IBM spun off its managed infrastructure practice into a separate, publicly traded company called Kyndryl, the remaining IBM Consulting wing remains a big part of IBM’s business. IBM reported consulting revenue of $4.8 billion in its latest quarterly earnings, up from $4.4 billion from the same period a year prior.

“I don‘t see conflict versus IBM consulting,” Woolley said. “I honestly don’t see that conflict. I think we want to be going to market with all of our partners regardless of what motion they‘re taking it through.”

Here’s what else Woolley had to say.

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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