IBM CEO Arvind Krishna Says Partners Should Raise Prices, Weighs In On Broadcom-VMware Deal
Wade Tyler Millward
‘From our conversations with clients, I would tell you that nobody loves it [a price increase], but they all understand. Because most of our clients are doing the same out to their clients,’ says IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.
Is IBM changing how it works with partners?
The number of clients that we go to directly is now like 400. … If you go back two years ago, that was more like 5,000. … [And we would be] very open about it, we would say, ‘Those are meant for the channel, those are meant for the resellers, for the distributors.’
But the reality was that you [partners] would often complain, ‘Hey, wait a moment. There’s a big business there. But then you guys put them into the top 5,000 because somebody there wasn’t doing well.’ … Part two, how about market share?
So last four quarters, we said we’re going to grow in constant currency at mid-single digits, 4 [percent] to 6 percent. We actually exceeded that for the fourth quarter of last year, for the first quarter, for the second quarter. Third-quarter results are not yet out.
But we expect that we are going to maintain that. That means we are taking share … and the bulk of that is not in the top 400 [enterprises]. The bulk of that is in the long tail.
So I can look at that and say, clearly, that we are either increasing wallet share of clients or increasing the number of clients that are there.
By the way … I want to increase the number of clients also, not just wallet share. … That means that we need your help. We are not going to go there directly at all.
The third part, in terms of being partner-friendly, I’ll take a different kind of partner. So in January of 2020, our book of business—you can take Amazon, you can take Microsoft, it‘s very similar with them, combined, because often what many of you will do is put a solution together for a client—was not measurable, maybe a few tens of millions [of dollars].
Our annual run rate combined with them is now over $1 billion. And the pipeline is more than $3 billion to $5 billion. So that tells you that we are much more open. We’re much more friendly.
Who would have thought three years ago that IBM and Microsoft or IBM and Amazon would work together? But that is where it comes together through all of you. It doesn’t really come together because we say so.