Ahead of IBM’s annual Think conference this week, IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna took questions from a select group of journalists on his company’s investments in artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud, quantum computing and its partner ecosystem.
In response to CRN’s questions about IBM’s partners, Krishna said that MSPs, resellers and other partners have multiple opportunities to make money with the Armonk, N.Y.-based tech giant.
“They all make a lot of money by helping our clients deploy these technologies—and by these technologies, it is Red Hat, it is automation, it is AI, it is cybersecurity, it is even mainframe and power and storage in some cases,” Krishna told CRN. “And going into clients and giving our clients value with our technologies is something they should all know we want them to do. And we are happy to work with them. We are happy to train them. We are happy to co-invest and co-market with them.”
Krishna continued: “I call it a ‘win-win-win.’ It should be a win for our partner. And there is a win for the client. And consequently there’s a win for IBM.”
IBM Think 2022 marked the return of an in-person element to the annual conference, held this year with a limited attendance in Boston. IBM also published conference content online as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
IBM subsidiary Red Hat also held its annual Summit in Boston at a separate venue from IBM.
Along with touting IBM’s opportunity for partners, Krishna said that partners shouldn’t worry about IBM growing its capabilities to service clients—such as with the acquisition of Microsoft Azure partner Neudesic—and its still-strong consulting arm even after the spin-off of managed infrastructure business Kyndryl.
While there are a few hundred large-scale clients IBM will service, that leaves hundreds of thousands of businesses for MSPs and resellers.
“We, best case. are going to have a market share of a few small single digits in this market,” Krishna told CRN. “So we should think that there’s a few hundred clients that IBM may go to. And even within those clients, we have a small footprint. We are aimed at those massive SAP implementations, at the large maybe Azure implementations.”
He continued: “But when we get to our MSP colleagues, that’s completely complementary. We don’t really do much in that space. When we think about most of the VARs and VADs, we don’t do anything in those spaces.”
Here is more of what Krishna had to say ahead of the Think conference.