IBM’s three wishes for the channel

WLAS VEGAS – IBM brought out the magic lamp and the genie in the form of Sandy Carter, IBM GM, Ecosystem Development and Social Business Evangelist, at the 2015 Partnerworld Leadership Conference.

Carter, who is also a noted author of the book Get Bold: Creating a Bold Social Business, offered the more than 620 solution providers in the audience three wishes.

The are:
1. Build your skills;
2. Drive demand together; and
3. Grow business outcomes.

“This is the year of the cloud and the secret sauce is the channel,” she said.

Wish No. 1

According to Carter, high octane skills create value with clients and IBM is working on developing the best cloud ecosystem. This ecosystem will be founded on three core cloud concepts: hybrid cloud, integration for enteperise, mobile and security.

In addition, training on the IBM portfolio in SoftLayer, BlueMix and hybrid cloud. And, IBM will also provide courses on how to sell and business development.

“We live in a digital world and know you need classes that are just-in-time,” Carter added. Big Blue is offering to the channel digital class at This site also has an answer section. Approximately, five million developers go online for this education and to get help and assistance, Carter said.

Wish No. 2

Carter said that IBM has discovered solution providers want to drive demand in the local market. IBM currently have 43 innovation centres that did 1,800 joint sessions in 2014 with customers and potential new customers. IBM has also opened two BlueMix garages in San Francisco and London.

Carter described these facilities as open spaces to drive demand. Big Blue has also made efforts to being in the community and have started an ecosystem in New York called that will include entrepreneurs and investors. IBM also hosted 1,800 hackathons in 2014 in local communities.

Other area in demand generation are co-marketing programs, the Cloud One Ecosystem Group, the IBM Cloud Marketplace, and the SoftLayer Trademark Program.

Carter also introduced the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Start-ups.  This program offers up to $120,000 in cloud credits to eligible for start-ups who have been in business five years or less.

“This helps drive demand with David and Goliath dinners that bring in entrepreneurs as a networking and meet-up event,” Carter said.

Wish No. 3

The third and finally wish is all about the money. “Show me the money,” Carter said to the audience.

Channel partner revenue and profitability is a goal of Carter and her team for 2015.

She cited one study from SoftLayer channel partners who grew two times the revenue and two-and-half times the profit with cloud.

However, she acknowledged that some partners still have to figure out how to participate in the cloud.

Carter suggested to write apps that are on top of the cloud. Resell the hundreds of cloud services available today, and refer customers using the SoftLayer Referral Program.

“The secret sauce is IBM global financing because the channel can make an offer that the customer can afford,” she said.

IBM now has a Rapid Financing app that provides solution providers quotes, credit approvals and contracts. Over its time, the app has done more than $250 million in transactions.

“From the bottom of my heart I want to work with you on building skills, drive demand for the go to market side and finally create joint business outcomes,” Carter said.

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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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