IBM aims to end siloes with new One Channel Team

LAS VEGAS – IBM worldwide channel chief Marc Dupaquier has re-organized Big Blue’s channel organization to take advantage of market trends and business units.

IBM has even put a brand to this new organization: One Channel Team, consisting of 3,000 IBM employees that will be hard-lined up to Dupaquier.

At the heart of One Channel Team is Dupaquier’s approach to break down the many silos at IBM. “IBM has too many silos and we need to be nimble and market aligned,” he said.

Marc Dupaquier, IBM Channel Chief
Marc Dupaquier, IBM Worldwide Channel Chief

Currently, IBM has business units dedicated to Analytics, Watson, Security, Cloud, Services, Systems and Commerce.

“We are going to work together to get rid of these silos. The One IBM Channel Team will, for the first time, bring all IBMers dealing with the channel together – with one apprach to managing system aligned – to all businesss units.”

Dupaquier, the GM of IBM Global Business Partners, said One Channel Team is a big change at IBM and many solution providers believe it was long over due.

Dupaquier told CDN not to expect the current seven business units to shrink because of One Channel Team.

“You need these business units because you need to have specialization. And, Ginni (Rometty) has these units, not me. She did that to have an end-to-end view. We have consolidated to help these different flavours.”

The difference with One Channel Team is that the 3,000 or so IBM employees with a channel focus will be working together and have managed teams dedicated by subject such as cloud or security. These teams will work with channel partners to build up skills and help them create new business practices.

In the past, IBM would have seven channel chiefs for analytics brands. Under the One Channel Team approach there is one channel chief for all analytics products. The same type of consolidation happened in security where IBM had three channel chiefs inside security now down to one.

How it will work is when a channel partner decides to invest in security, as an example, IBM will provide a security expert along with a channel marketing professional to augment the solution provider’s resources.
In terms of geographic regions, One Channel Team will still have its own channel cheif. So there still will be an IBM Canada channel chief (Nancy Briglio).

Diane Krakora, president of San Francisco-based consultant PartnerPath, said One Channel Team is a great idea but more needs to happen if Dupaquier is going to make a dent in all of IBM’s silos.

“IBM is the most siloed organization I have ever seen. Just look at all of IBM’s solution centers. There is still a lot of work to be done,” she said.

Currently IBM has 17 solution centers of which only four (Arrow, Global Knowledge, LearnQuest and Tech Data) are not operated by Big Blue.

Krakora would still like to know the plan each business units has for channel programs and how they will  be rolled into One Channel Team.

“Many vendors have an umbrella partner program and then specialize from there in a shared services model across the technology portfolio. IBM has rolled up products into these business units and there are still all these programs for the channel,” she added.

Channel incentives will also change in One Channel Team. Dupaquier could only say that more is to come in this area.

One significant new margin incentive program called Partner Growth Incentive (PGI) for the IBM Power Systems and Storage portfolio was announced at the 2015 Partnerworld Leadership Conference.

The PGI program will see channel partners earn quarterly incentives that double along with a quarterly bonus for achieving specific skills and certifications.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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