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Evolving strategy with Business Partners: An interview with Pierre Baviera, CEO of Presidion

IBM is committed to working with Business Partners to help them transition their business to take full advantage of the digital economy. The opportunities presented by analytics are manifold, and Presidion, an IBM Gold Business Partner based in Ireland and the UK, has undergone a massive transformation in recent years. Presidion CEO, Pierre Baviera, spoke to Business Partner Voices about how working in partnership with IBM has enabled the business to not only expand their traditional market but also expand into perhaps surprising new areas of opportunity.

Presidion began in 1994 as SPSS Ireland, a regional reseller of SPSS, dedicated to serving the Irish market. When IBM acquired SPSS in 2009, SPSS Ireland decided to become an IBM Business Partner.

Baviera takes up the story. “We became an IBM Business Partner to continue our strong relationship with SPSS but also to leverage IBM’s innovation and go-to-market power. IBM had a mature channel and we’d heard good things, so it made sense to us at the time.”

In the following years, the business expanded in both the UK and Ireland until, 21 years later, Presidion is the largest partner for IBM SPSS in the region. But the relationship today between Presidion and IBM goes much deeper.

“We have three main strands in relationship with IBM,” Baviera continues. “The first is where Presidion resells SPSS. The second is reselling the IBM software within our own analytics solutions (Predictive Maintenance, Inventory Insights and Wealth Management). And the third is in one specific area, where we have a majority share of the market for analytics in the UK and Ireland academic market.”

And it’s with Presidion’s own analytics solutions that their business transformation began.

“We have designed packaged solutions which are powered by IBM software, so we’re not just selling IBM SPSS but embedding a range of IBM software into solutions which enable customers to realise a highly compelling return on their analytics investments.”

IBM is, of course, a major international organisation with a vast array of offerings. While the diverse nature of IBM can pose challenges, that diversity is at the heart of Presidion’s current transformation.

Baviera continues. “We’re one of these Business Partners that do not fall uniquely within one part of the software portfolio—we’re engaged with multiple parts of IBM. In the past, part of our challenge has been to get people outside of our immediate IBM specialisation to work with us on where we want to be, not just where we are. That has changed, radically. Now, we have a single person dedicated to ensuring that we get the attention and support we need from every part of IBM, in order to create the best solutions and get them successfully into the market.”

That relationship is helping Presidion to move into new areas of opportunity. It sold its first wealth management analytics solution late in 2017.

“We’re talking to IBM’s wealth management practice at the moment,” continues Baviera. “We’re getting the support we need to bring all of IBM together behind our evolving strategy. It’s progressing well. We’ve got the analytics expertise and we’re working closely with IBM’s software and industry specialists to create an offering tailored for that market.”

The Internet of Things is connecting industries and that convergence means new opportunities for leveraging analytics. According to Baviera, “Data and its application is moving incredibly rapidly at the moment but we feel that in partnership with IBM, we’re in a really strong position.”

Andrew Davidson
Channel Communications, Europe

Andrew Davidson leads communications for IBM's One Channel business in Europe. With over 20 years experience in telling stories about technology innovation and the way it shapes our world, Andrew helps IBM and its Business Partners to share how they are working together to increase client value.

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