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Are You Ready to Become an IBM Specialty Business Partner?


Marketplace differentiation is a key competitive advantage. Rapidly evolving customer requirements for solutions that address cloud, analytics and big data have one immediate thing in common: the demand for highly skilled IBM Business Partner firms that can address customers’ specific business needs provides a significant business opportunity. And there is only one way to tap into it successfully.

Enter IBM Business Partner Specialties, which are designed to help increase revenue and improve customer value and visibility. Reaching this coveted level of IBM accreditation as an IBM Specialty Business Partner means becoming a trusted advisor of choice, with all the benefits that entails. For my first blog on Business Partner Voices, I wanted to let you know that if you haven’t visited the IBM Specialties website recently, now is the time to review our latest initiatives and benefit enhancements, as we’ve made a number of changes.

Introducing two new Specialties

New to IBM PartnerWorld in 2013 are the PureFlex and Flex System Specialty, and the Cloud Specialty Provider path. Both offer lucrative financial incentives to offset your investment to attain the Specialty, as well as rewards for financial success.

The PureFlex and Flex System Specialty is intended to include benefits such as financial incentives, field coverage and priority access to technical resources to help you market and sell IBM® PureFlex™ and IBM Flex System™ solutions. Attainment of the PureFlex and Flex System Specialty is designed to help Business Partners achieve:

  • Specialized capabilities: Skills and tools to deliver more value to clients
  • Enhanced collaboration: Support, recognition and differentiation in the marketplace
  • Profitable business growth: New opportunities for increasing revenue

The Cloud Computing Specialty path has been a key focus for IBM through multiple PartnerWorld offerings, including the Managed Service Provider (MSP) Initiative, and Ready for SmartCloud Services. The revised Cloud Computing Specialty is simplified, and is now consolidated into two paths:

  • Cloud Builders: Business Partners that help clients design, build, manage their cloud needs, typically integrating with existing infrastructure and public/hybrid/private clouds.
  • Cloud Providers: Business Partners that build and manage a hosted public cloud capability using both IBM Software and IBM Systems technologies and offerings. Managed service providers (MSPs) and cloud service providers (CSPs) are included in this path.

How do I become an advisor of choice?

Don’t wait for your competitors to edge ahead of you—find out if you have the skills and expertise to qualify by visiting the IBM Specialties website, where you can also review the complete set of IBM Specialty initiatives.

And if you’re curious about current IBM Specialty Business Partners, you can use the IBM Business Partner Locator to find out both who they are and which markets they cover. In closing, don’t forget to let me know what you think by using the Comments area below—your feedback is important to us!

Teri Austin

Teri Austin is the Specialty program director for IBM PartnerWorld. Teri has over 27 years experience in successfully selling, marketing, designing, developing and executing strategic programs.

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