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The top three secrets of successful IBM Business Partners
Partnership offers benefits that can help organizations achieve new levels of success—such as gaining access to a broader portfolio of solutions and finding a wealth of training opportunities and expertise. But what differentiates the most successful IBM Business Partners? And how can you make the most of your partnership with IBM to boost your success?
You may be wondering how something so complex can be boiled down into three easy secrets and why you should spend three minutes of your time on this article. I’d tell you, but it doesn’t look like I need to catch your attention because you’re already here!
You probably want to sell more to your customers, strengthen your customer base and acquire new ones. And you likely want to find ways to get the most from your IT infrastructure investments and business partnerships. This is why you want to know how to better leverage your partnership with IBM!
Now you can stop holding your breath; here’s the first secret.
1 – Successful Business Partners know industry trends, and they know their own skills gaps as well as their competitors’ skills gaps.
In my role as Business Partner Technical Enablement Leader, I meet with a variety of Business Partners from Central and Eastern Europe to discuss their skills and development plans. This includes IBM brand leaders, technical directors and business owners. And I keep asking our leading Business Partners the following question:
How have you achieved this level of success selling IBM technologies, services and solutions?
In many cases, they respond with something like this:
Before starting any business solution, we form a vision. Vision brings us an understanding of how to get there and the ability to drive sales success. Looking to existing clients gives us perspective about their current and future needs, and looking at other companies within our industry helps us to see where we go next. It’s vital to observe the successes and failures of competitors along the way.
Then we gather an understanding of how to work toward that vision by identifying which architectures, concepts and frameworks to use. We proceed a layer deeper and define underlying products, services and solutions from our vendors.
Next, we invest in skill enablement to build our expertise and drive additional revenue in critical areas.
It’s important to mention that IBM skill development programs such as BP education vouchers, as well as being proactive about skill development, help us adjust our view and bet on the right technology.
As you can see, the most successful Business Partners are paying close attention to what’s happening in and around them—in their industry, with their competitors and so on. They think strategically to align this to their own vision and develop their skills accordingly.
2 – Successful Business Partners continuously try new things and acquire new skills.
In the modern world, technology is changing rapidly. That’s why leading organizations need to be on the edge, agile and always trying new approaches, architectures and technologies.
Every time a Business Partner takes advantage of a training opportunity, it reflects a desire to invest the valuable time of its technical staff in specific technology areas where it wants to generate more revenue and develop new business with IBM.
Successful Business Partners who took this step in the past (while others stood still waiting for more clarity) reached the destination point first.
Finally, the third secret.
3 – Successful Business Partners engage IBM experts on first-of-a-kind solutions and impress clients with high-quality implementations.
The majority of successful Business Partners are getting IBM demo machines, going to the IBM Centers of Competency, and trying new stuff at IBM Systems Technical Universities and local technical events. They involve IBM Systems Lab Services on proofs of concept and the pre-sales stage of new technology projects in order to build their competence and trust in IBM technology. During first-of-a-kind implementations, Business Partners involve IBM subject-matter experts to perform a smooth implementation so they can deliver projects on time to satisfy their customers.
Then they multiply such success stories and become self-sufficient in opportunity identification, sales and services delivery.
As you can see, every one of these three “secrets” involves skills—identifying skills gaps, acquiring new skills, and leveraging those skills and the partnership for implementations. Skill enablement is the real secret of Business Partner success!
Now it’s your turn to grow with IBM. IBM Systems Lab Services works with Business Partners around the globe on skill building and solution implementations. We’re eager to help partners multiply their success in the next-generation technology ecosystem. Engage with Lab Services today to help ensure the success of your next project.
Business Partner Technical Enablement Leader, IBM Systems Lab Services Europe
Learn about our work with longtime partner Krikunov & Partners Business Systems (KPBS) to build skills and win the market in this video from IBM TechU: