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Infrastructure Partner Experience Transformation Worldwide

A New Way to Learn: Innovative enablement program for IBM Collaboration Solutions Business Partners

Business Partners are under more pressure to be successful these days than ever before. Your customers’ desire to simplify their IT environment by moving to the cloud, an increasingly mobile workforce and the need to show better and better value from their solutions all make life as a Business Partner more difficult.

Along with these challenges, Business Partners also need to differentiate themselves through solutions, skills, offerings and reputation. The market for IT services is becoming more competitive as customers behave more like consumers and large capital sum expenditures become more subscription-based.

Business Partners are often the ones who come up with the most innovative solutions to customer problems, and usually have the deepest technical knowledge and insight into working with a technology and making it fit perfectly for their customer’s situation. Business Partners, however, are typically the most challenged when it comes to resources that enable them to perform these tasks.


Recognizing this, IBM Collaboration Solutions has developed an innovative enablement program called New Way to Learn to provide you with the strategic and tactical skills you need to deliver business results. New Way to Learn is a complete 360-degree enablement program covering all aspects of sales and technical skills, and is intended for all members of a Business Partner’s organization.

New Way to Learn is already having a huge impact on the skills of our partners

Our program addresses sales topics such as creating an IBM Collaboration Solutions product roadmap and strategy, building a value proposition and understanding how line-of-business customers buy. We want to make sure everyone in a Business Partner’s organization understands IBM’s strategy, knows how to apply this to their customer’s requirements and gains insight into the kind of pressures and demands faced by customers across a business.

On the technical side, we are equipping partners with the skills they need to work in private and public cloud solutions, and to migrate between them. We are providing core skills from installation, configuration and customization through writing code, working with products like IBM® Bluemix® and, of course, introducing cognitive computing into a Business Partner’s solution.

New Way to Learn is a huge success; last year our pilot program in Europe had 70 Business Partners taking part. As a result, nearly 100 additional certifications were gained by these Business Partners, demonstrating their skills, raising their profiles and helping to differentiate them in the marketplace. This year, New Way to Learn has gone worldwide. We have nearly 250 Business Partners, amounting to almost 1,000 participants attending our online webinars and downloading the recordings.

This enablement comes at a time when IBM is reorganizing its Business Partner recognition levels to better reflect the needs of customers and partners. Increasingly, the focus is on skills and abilities rather than just how many licenses a Business Partner has sold. So Business Partners of all sizes will have a greater opportunity to shine by demonstrating their innovation and skills—and New Way to Learn helps you gain these skills, free of charge, from your desktops and on demand.

If you are a Collaboration Solutions Business Partner, or are interested in becoming one, sign up today! It would be great to have you on board. You can also let me know what you think by using the comments feature below.

Alan Hamilton
Business Partner Technical Leader, Europe
IBM Collaboration Solutions

Alan Hamilton is the Business Partner Technical Leader for Europe for IBM Collaboration Solutions and a passionate advocate of all types of collaboration solutions. Starting his career as a Lotus Notes 3.0 developer, Alan is also the author of a very successful book on how to drive adoption of IBM Connections. A former IBM Champion and Business Partner, keen blogger, tweeter and speaker, Alan is also driving the New Way to Learn, Developer Competition and Cloud Activation programs.

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