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IBM Announces New PartnerWorld For Software Benefits To Help Business Partners Successfully Capture The Mid-Market


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SOMERS, NY - 29 Aug 2001: IBM today announced new PartnerWorld* for Software benefits that are designed to help IBM Business Partners to aggressively and successfully win clients, deliver quality results and realize a more substantial return-on-investment (ROI) in the mid-market.

Consistent with its overall Business Partner strategy, IBM consulted with more than 600 Business Partners, then designed an enhanced set of benefits for 2002 that will recognize those Business Partners making the deepest commitments to IBM in the mid-market as well as treat contributing Business Partners like IBM treats its top customers today.

In 2002, Advanced and Premier level Business Partners will see new benefits such as an IBM sales contact, technical and sales mentoring as well as find that IBM has invested heavily to increase support for skills enablement.

IBM research confirms that the opportunity growth rate of the mid-market exceeds that of large enterprises, at an average of 13 percent annually, and in some industries as high as 17 to 20 percent. With more than 100 million small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, the mid-market accounts for almost half of all IT spending. Enhancements to PartnerWorld for Software are an important part of IBM's aggressive strategy to win the mid-market with the Business Partner community.

"We worked closely with our Business Partners to listen to their needs and develop a program that will enable them to meet the growing demand for e-business software and services in the mid-market," said Massimo Bonciani, vice president, IBM Software Distribution Channels Management. "IBM is going to help our Business Partners take advantage of this explosive business opportunity. In addition, our sales and technical mentoring goes beyond the mid-market to help our Business Partners win with any customer versus any competitor."

"Many vendors offer sales tools for the mid-market but no guidance in how to sell to small and mid-sized businesses," said Scott Scheidenhelm, sales manager at Springfield, Illinois-based Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc. "IBM isn't simply providing tools, it is actually going to market with my company."

PartnerWorld for Software 2002

Through PartnerWorld for Software, Advanced level Business Partners will receive a single point of contact at IBM to drive overall business development support including the creation of a business and marketing plan that ensures skills are developed and revenue targets are set and attained. In addition, Advanced Business Partners will have access to technical mentoring on solution design and development to help close significant deals while increasing product knowledge and skills. Advanced level Business Partners will also be able to take advantage of increased education and training reimbursement through IBM's one-of-a-kind "You Pass, We Pay" program.

In addition to all of the new 2002 benefits at the Advanced level, IBM's top contributor Business Partners at the Premier level will also receive a face-to-face IBM sales contact, sales mentoring, up to $50,000 in "We Pay" reimbursement offerings, critical implementation support, as well as more opportunities for technical mentoring.

"As a Premier member of PartnerWorld for Software, these new benefits will help us to develop an even closer relationship with IBM," said Mark Halwa, president of Calgary, Alberta-based Sandbox Systems, Inc. "Having one face-to-face sales contact, unlimited technical training through "You Pass, We Pay" and a simplified Passport Advantage program will ensure that our team is well-equipped to win new business against our competition."

Benefits provided as part of the Value Package for Software - which includes key offerings such as "You Pass, We Pay," technical support, and demo and evaluation software -- have been increased to provide a greater ROI for Business Partners. In addition, IBM is making the Passport Advantage software volume licensing program simpler to use for Business Partners with a reduction in product order numbers by 75 percent, an increase in the number of products included in the program and the inclusion of perpetual licensing with software maintenance, product upgrades and technical support.

Also as part of the changes for next year, Tivoli Business Partners will now become full members of PartnerWorld for Software, providing all software Business Partners with a single program across all IBM software brands and enabling existing Tivoli Business Partners to easily expand their skill set across IBM software to increase revenue opportunities.

"The new PartnerWorld for Software benefits are very significant," noted Chris Mierzwa, vice president of sales and marketing for Cerritos, California-based Think Tank Systems LLC. "These benefits are clearly aligned with IBM's aggressive move into the global mid-market space and its commitment to teaming with Business Partners in this high-growth segment."

IBM PartnerWorld for Software

IBM PartnerWorld for Software is a marketing and enablement program designed to create new revenue and marketing opportunities for IBM Business Partners, and provide customers with e-business solutions including products, services, technologies and marketing. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM PartnerWorld for Software is through the IBM PartnerWorld home page at www.ibm.com/partnerworld/software.

About IBM

With 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate, IBM is the world's largest information technology company, the leading IT services provider, and the leader in business intelligence solutions. The fastest way to get more information about IBM is through the IBM home page at www.ibm.com. For more information on IBM Start Now solutions, visit www.ibm.com/software/smb. Business partners should go to www.ibm.com/partnerworld/startnow.

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*Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

All other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.

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