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IBM making changes to customer software purchasing

Big Blue is making changes to product groups that may impact partner relationships

IBM software customers may be forced to change suppliers after Big Blue decided to revamp its portfolio into two categories.

In a letter to customers, sighted by Computerworld Australia, IBM software group channels vice-president, Sandy Carter, said the change “will impact your business and the way you purchase some IBM Software through IBM Business Partners”.

The new strategy will kick off on January 25 with two categories being used across the entire portfolio: Open and Authorised products.

In the letter, Carter said Open products are those that can be acquired through any IBM business partner. Authorised products can only be purchased through authorised partners.

IBM would not outline which products would be placed in which category, despite requests for more information, and would not say what measures will be in place to assist customers.

The changes mean customers may have to seek different suppliers if their existing ones are not part of the authorised partner group.

“These changes will apply to both new license sales, as well as to your annual subscription and support renewals,” Carter wrote in the letter.

“The new Business Partner requirements will take effect January 25, 2010 (start date may vary slightly by region). There is no impact to any business partner transactions in 2009. However, after January 25, 2010 you will only be able to purchase Authorised products from authorised IBM Business Partners.”