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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s 10 Boldest Statements From Best Of Breed 2021

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna talked Red Hat integration plans, supply chain issues, partner opportunities, and took aim at VMWare during a Q&A onstage at the Best of Breed Conference 2021.

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On how the channel can invest with IBM

Hopefully, we’ll convince you that we’re dead serious about [the channel]. So, let’s just back up a little bit [and] let’s acknowledge that it has to be an economic equation for our partner and for us. And by the way, only the client really gets a victory. So, it has to be a win, win, win. Meaning it has to be a win for IBM, a win for the partner and a win for the client. So, to begin with that perspective, we’re not coming into it and saying, “hey, all the monies and all the profits are going to IBM.” It’s got to be mutual. Then you got to say, where is it to be able to find differentiation? We don’t do everything. With Red Hat in the portfolio, with Cloud Paks, and we’ve agreed not to compete with the channel, we’ve got a portfolio that’s impressive [for] the price. So that means there is money in it for all of us. So now, we talk how to help [partners] make money in addition to what we do on rebates, and market development funds and all that. I just wanted to put a big enough down payment, that people understand the seriousness and that it’s not a minor investment, or an “oh, by the way.”

To reach the vast majority of the market, it’s got to be through [partners]. The amount of innovation that’s needed on top of the products we built is so massive. As we begin to talk through the various pieces, I have to come down and say that I’d like to see that over the next four years, we double the business that we do with the channel. If you want to double what we do in four years, that’s going to be an 18 percent growth. That means less direct and more channel.

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