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IBM boosts SoftLayer incentives for partners

CloudInfrastructureManaged Services

In an effort to stimulate adoption of SoftLayer, IBM is offering more profit incentives, marketing resources and training support to help its partners boost their sales of SoftLayer cloud products and services.

IBM bought SoftLayer, a cloud infrastructure and hosting company, last year for $2.1 billion as part of a plan to expand its footprint in the cloud computing space. The company is investing another $1.2 billion to grow SoftLayer’s capacity.

The latest development comes at a time when Big Blue is facing diminishing revenue from legacy products and at the same time is struggling to push its cloud offerings. The company is already selling its X86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion. It is a deal that will allow IBM to focus on systems and software that provide higher strategic value such as cognitive computing, big data and cloud computing. IBM partners who decide to stick around with the company can be transitioned to the SoftLayer ecosystem.

As part of the enhancement, IBM is:

•Offering improved margin opportunities with richer earned-volume discounts for SoftLayer business partners without requiring a prior commitment.
•Creating a new SoftLayer Services & Solution Provider program, which streamlines theSoftLayer hosting reseller and strategic partners program to improve clarity of eligibility requirement and benefits of the program.
•Launching a co-marketing initiative as part of PartnerWorld to help SoftLayer business partners that join the program build their brands, generate demand for their services and grow their marketing skills. Partners who join PartnerWorld and existing IBM Business Partners who join the SoftLayer partner program will have access to campaign design and creation tools as well as customizable campaign templates to minimize upfront work and deliver consistent messaging.
•Expanding the technical training courses for both SoftLayer and IBM business partners to build skills that meet clients’ plans to use outside resources for delivering high-value cloud solutions.

The free two-day courses introduce SoftLayer solutions through hands-on activities delivered by Global Knowledge, one of IBM’s global training providers. Classes are held in 21 locations including markets where IBM is expanding its global network of cloud hubs, in addition to several other key markets around the world, including Japan, India, China, England and several locations across the United States.

IBM is also investing $1 billion to develop a Platform-as-a-Service offering codenamed BlueMix which will be based on IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture and Cloud Foundry.