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Generating Demand

Business Partner References: Reputation is Everything


Today, no one wants to take a chance on casting the fate of their business infrastructure to the great unknown. For this reason, social media is proving to me that reputation may be our most valuable asset. We all need to do what is necessary to ensure our networks know us and know our business. And as successful IBM Business Partners, I know you’ve worked extremely hard to cultivate and build that reputation. So isn’t it about time to start making your reputation work for you?

It goes without saying that in a competitive marketplace, you need expertise and a demonstrated track record of success to excel. But what some forget is that you also need an effective way to communicate these achievements to prospective clients. Remember the old “tree-falling-in-the-forest” metaphor? While one customer may consider you to be the greatest solution provider known to man, your next big client may not be aware of your full capabilities or specific industry knowledge. So you’ve got to show them. And that’s where we can help.

Business Partner Reference program

Even though many IBM Business Partners are starting to embrace social media as a way to build their reputations, there is still a clear need to have a comprehensive set of references to share. As part of the networking activity growing through social media, these references can succinctly display demonstrated experience in specific market segments, in much the same way you would use professional references to determine the right fit for an employee or vendor.

IBM PartnerWorld can work with Business Partners to develop and publish their success stories to address this market need and promote it through our channels. But for some reason you aren’t taking full advantage of this set of resources to develop your story, which can lead to a missed opportunity.

At present, we are particularly focused on helping Business Partners who are working with midmarket clients to cover the waterfront of geographies, industries, solutions and front-office pain points. There is a particular need among global midmarket clients to see how Business Partners are leveraging the IBM® Smarter Planet® strategy to put their clients at an advantage in their industries.

A Smarter Planet in action

A great example of what I’m talking about is what’s happening right now at Sun Life Stadium in Florida, home of the Miami Dolphins. As Mike Gerentine reported recently in Business Partner Voices, being able to draw from experience with the IBM Smarter Cities® initiative—under the Smarter Planet banner—led to a really interesting joint effort between IBM and the IBM Business Partner Flagship Solutions Group.

For reference purposes, being able to demonstrate this Business Partner expertise—and the fact that the principles of Smarter Cities applied equally well to operating a smarter stadium—was the key. Look for a follow-up blog from Mike soon on Business Partner Voices, as he is heading back to Florida this month to work on phase two of the implementation.

Tell us your story

There are thousands of enterprises all over the world looking for examples to follow and companies with proven experience that are willing to be a featured reference in IBM marketing materials, with sales teams, and more. Why not take advantage of our greater publishing reach?

We’re looking for the next few stories to share at Interconnect in Singapore and at our PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, as well as in many other client and Business Partner events and marketing materials. Simply fill out the Reference Submission form and tell us your story. Who knows where it could lead…?

And don’t forget to use the “Comments” area below to let me know what you think!

Jamie Mendez (@JAMENDEZ11)


Jamie Mendez has global responsibility for IBM PartnerWorld® and channel enablement initiatives. In her role, Jamie is responsible for leading a global team focused on supporting the PartnerWorld community of more than 120,000 Business Partners around the world. Over the years, Jamie has explored every aspect of the business—from setting up distribution programs to working as a field sales rep to managing a call center.

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