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Partner Experience Worldwide

Progress update: Inside the enhanced PartnerWorld Program

I’m pleased to share that on April 11, CRN gave us its coveted 5-Star rating and it’s official: IBM is a 5-Star winner for our PartnerWorld program in 2016 CRN’s Partner Program Guide! The 5-Star Partner Program recognizes an elite subset of the Partner Program Guide’s vendors who offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs, and we intend to continue to lead in this space. This industry recognition is just one reason why we’re transforming the program to better reward your achievements.

It’s been three months since Marc Dupaquier announced the changes to the PartnerWorld program to go live January 1, 2017. I’m pleased to share that our transformation is in high gear to ready the program to accelerate your growth in the new, high-value solution areas your clients care about most. Here are the three main requirements of the new PartnerWorld program:

  • Competencies (skills with the resources to deliver solutions)
  • Client satisfaction and references
  • Sales success (revenue)

From our perspective, the focus on developing deep skills (or competencies) is vitally important in helping you compete and win in the digital era, as well as in the emerging cognitive business space. We also believe that it is critically important to reward you for delighting your clients as demonstrated through a client satisfaction survey and references. Accomplishing these requirements are key indicators of your achievement and growth in the program. Finally, we also track your sales success (revenue) as an indicator of the value you’re delivering to your clients.

Ready, set, go.
Getting ready for the enhanced PartnerWorld program is simple: if you continue to build your skills across the 10 PartnerWorld competency categories we announced in February, you’ll be well-positioned to take maximum advantage of the program when it goes into effect January 1, 2017. We’ve also heard from many of you who are curious about what else you can do right now, in addition to continuing your focus on building skills and capabilities. Here are the top action items:

1. Complete the client satisfaction process. It is in place to help you gain further insight into your clients’ experiences. IBM will not be reviewing the results—only the behavior that demonstrates focus on client satisfaction. While this simple process was always available to you, it is now a requirement for Gold and Platinum levels, so take a few minutes to launch your survey of 11 simple questions—answered by 10 of your clients.

Click here: Survey for IBM Business Partner access only. For those of you who use another service, simply turn in your completed survey confirmation.

2. Submit a client reference that may be published. If you already have a client reference, please make sure you’ve indicated that it may be published. Published client references are a requirement for Gold and Platinum levels in the program. In the past, many individual initiatives required a client reference. In the new program, this is the only client reference requirement, thus reducing the work required from your side.

I encourage you to read more about the enhanced PartnerWorld program, and to get involved now! And as always, please let me know what you think by using the comments feature below.

Jamie Mendez (@JAMENDEZ11)

P.S. We also have a 9-minute video overview on PartnerWorld University (PWU) that you may find useful. You’ll have to sign in to watch it (and complete a brief profile if you haven’t visited PWU previously).


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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