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IBM Expands Routes to Growth for Partners

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2023 was a seminal year for the IBM Ecosystem. We saw the adoption of our AI and hybrid cloud technology surge as enterprises across industries sought to modernize processes, create new revenue streams and transform business models. More than ever before, our IBM partners were at the center of those transformations, playing a pivotal role in helping clients capitalize on the game-changing potential of AI and hybrid cloud. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce today we’re introducing a new Service track in Partner Plus to create even more opportunities for IBM partners to earn and grow their business.

I can’t recall another time in technology when partnership was more crucial than it is today. The increasing demand from clients to modernize and automate their business has reached staggering heights, and partners have become the tip of the spear in fulfilling this client need to accelerate AI and cloud adoption. It’s a key reason for the major strides we’ve taken this past year to equip our partners to achieve new levels of success. For example, in January, we launched a new program that offered partners the right mix of resources, education and support, and in May, we introduced watsonx, a trustworthy AI platform that is easy to embed in their solutions and those of their clients. This marriage of a robust partner program and cutting-edge technology has opened the door for all IBM partners, empowering them to service, sell, and build on IBM technology to deliver more value for their clients.

Introducing the new Service track

I firmly believe this trajectory will continue, and with the new Service track we are supporting partners in whichever way they choose to work with IBM and clients. Consultancies, Advisory Firms, Systems Integrators and Managed Service Providers are a vital part of the IBM Ecosystem that helps clients achieve their business goals with our technology. This enhancement to Partner Plus is designed to recognize the influence these partners have in driving adoption of IBM’s portfolio in the market and to help accelerate their success.

Beginning today, as Service partners progress through the three available tiers, they can unlock a number of powerful benefits including:

  • Deeper collaboration with IBM to support the success of service partners at the market level and assist in generating end-client demand.
  • Resources to accelerate the co-creation of service offerings and build advocacy for IBM Technology.
  • Closer alignment among IBM sellers and Service Partners, including shared KPIs, to better support how they are working with clients to help increase value and drive growth.
  • New specialized course offerings and badges created for service partners to deepen technical skills and help differentiate their expertise to the market.

The economics are clear - every dollar of hybrid cloud platform revenue has a multiplier effect of 6 – 8 dollars in services revenue, and today we are helping the IBM Ecosystem capture that potential by taking another step forward in our partner-first evolution. Now, regardless of business model, partners are empowered to tap into the new Service track to expand their paths to growth with IBM, in addition to reselling and building on IBM technology.

A year of Ecosystem momentum with Partner Plus

IBM Partner Plus has become a catalyst for collaboration and innovation. When we launched Partner Plus we set off on a mission to reimagine how we engage with our partners by simplifying their experience and becoming easier to work with. A year out, we’re well on our way, with the addition of thousands of new registered partners to our growing global ecosystem, and the creation of countless new opportunities with existing partners that include helping them deliver on the areas of greatest demand by clients.

We’ve seen incredible momentum among our partners winning with IBM technology, particularly watsonx, and embracing the education and skilling capabilities we made available at the end of 2022 – to the tune of 130,000 enrollments in one or more badges, resulting in nearly 60,000 completed badges. Recent milestones include launching a global network of AI innovators called the AI Alliance, and announcing partnerships with industry leaders like SAP and Dun & Bradstreet around joint work to leverage watsonx for enterprise AI use cases.

We are also working closely with many of our Service partners including Wipro, NTT Data, TCS, Tech Mahindra and others, to pilot watsonx technology with clients across different use cases, and we’re collaborating with partners as they establish watsonx Centers of Excellence to scale AI-powered client innovations. These successes are just a subset of what our partners are achieving, and it’s just the beginning as we continue to prioritize partners to jointly capture the AI market potential.

2024: the year of the partner

As exciting as 2023 was, the reality is that we only just scratched the surface of what our Ecosystem can deliver. Many enterprises are rushing to unlock the promise of technology like AI and Cloud, and we believe the IBM Ecosystem holds the key – through expertise, an expansive network and commitment to helping clients driven by a combination of Sell, Build and Service business models.

Adding a new Service track is just one example of how we will continue to deliver on our promise of becoming the “partner of choice” for new and longstanding partners alike. And, as ever, we will listen to our partners and collaborate to maximize their impact and success in 2024. I know I speak for IBMers worldwide when I say I’m confident the best is yet to come for the IBM Ecosystem.

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.

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