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Helping our IBM Business Partners bring winning solutions to the table!

2017 is just around the corner, so we, as businesses, are starting to plan for next year. This always includes looking back and rethinking the way we have done business in the past while considering new opportunities that present themselves going forward. As a new IBM Business Partner or a firm looking to partner with IBM, you may be wondering how you can best leverage IBM solutions into your current cloud business model. As an existing IBM Business Partner, you might have experienced changes in your business model over the last year that are driving you to look at new ways to partner with IBM.

Whether you are a solution provider and/or integrator—and this includes many variations such as independent software vendors, system integrators, software vendors, developers and technology partners—you may want to look at an Embedded Solution Agreement (ESA). This transactional vehicle lets you combine an IBM stand-alone offering and your value-added software or service to create a commercially available solution with your unique branding. The ESA agreement could allow you to market and sell the offering as a total solution to end-customers anywhere in the world.

If you’re an IBM Business Partner with an ESA, you become the customer and take ownership of the end-to-end solution offering. As you make plans for 2017, now may be a good time to consider the benefits that come with an ESA Agreement:

  • Increased profit potential with lower license pricing and consistent pricing over life of the contract.
  • Customer relationship responsibility where the IBM Business Partner owns and manages the end-client relationship, including support.
  • Global reach permitting the IBM Business Partner to sell its solution (inclusive of IBM software) worldwide with a single ESA contract.
  • Flexibility of ESA contracts with options including purchase Commitment, Hosting, MSP, Earned Discount and the ability to add other software brands to your ESA agreement.

As a Canadian firm interested in further engaging in ESA discussions, please reach out to Cindy Leung ([email protected]), our Canadian ESA focal. Outside of Canada, please click here to find out your key contacts.

As you can imagine, ESA is just one of the many ways you can partner with IBM—and I truly do encourage you to explore the breadth of partnering opportunities available to you through IBM PartnerWorld. Discover where IBM and your firm can partner and bring winning solutions to the table for your customers!

I encourage you to provide your input in the comment section below.

Joe Sehl
IBM Canada, Director, Business Partners


Joe Sehl is the IBM Director for Canada Business Partners. Joe is an IBM Executive with 25+ years of experience working with clients on information technology solutions. Joe has enjoyed multiple assignments in IBM across many disciplines—finance, sales, business management, leadership, financing—which has enabled him to lead a multidisciplinary team focused on bringing valuable solutions to his clients. His latest assignment is leading the Business Partner team for Canada. His team’s focus will be to enable their client's success by combining IBM solutions with those of the Canadian Business Partners and demonstrating the incredible opportunity and value inherent in the intersection of secure cloud technology, mobile solutions and analytics.

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