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Newsmaker #6 Dan Fortin, IBM Canada

Channel Strategy
Dan Fortin

Dan Fortin

IBM has been making serious investments in Canada in recent years, from research centres to data centres, and in May it brought back a familiar face – Dan Fortin – to lead Big Blue’s charge North of the border.

With IBM Canada president John Lutz departing for a position in academe with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, IBM brought Fortin back to IBM Canada as his successor. Fortin has held the job before – he ran IBM Canada for nearly five years until 2010, when it took a position with IBM corporate as general manager of global distribution sector.

Driving IBM’s technology strategy in 2013 and beyond were the four key growth areas it has asked partners to focus on: big data and analytics, cloud computing, mobility and social business. IBM is also asking partners to adjust their marketing and selling motions for a changing pattern of IT buying, with the spend shifting more and more from the CIO to other c-suite operational leaders, such as the chief marketing officer. IBM is also investing $1 billion in flash storage development; a market where it expects to lead with the channel.

Speaking of the go-to-market, IBM is also adopting a co-selling approach with top partners through its systems and technology group, to make partners the primary route-to-market for servers, storage and networking for the majority of IBM’s clients, especially in the mid-market.

Back in Canada, IBM launched IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise+, its new cloud service designed to host SAP applications and other core business operations.