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Hundreds of Business Application Software Providers Flock to IBM's Partner Programs

Growth Continues in Industry and SMB Markets

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SOMERS, NY - 20 Jul 2004: IBM today announced that business application software providers worldwide are flocking to IBM's partner programs for vertical industries and small and medium business (SMB). The PartnerWorld Industry Networks, ISV Advantage for Industries, and ISV Advantage for SMB initiatives provide independent software vendors (ISVs) with the technical, marketing and sales resources and support to jointly capture industry-specific and SMB market opportunities worldwide.

More than 900 ISVs across 43 countries have joined PartnerWorld Industry Networks, a major initiative that is helping an expanding ecosystem of industry focused partners to more effectively work with IBM marketing and sales organizations to deliver customized solutions to customers. Covering the banking, financial markets, healthcare, life sciences, retail, telecommunications and recently announced government and insurance industries, PartnerWorld Industry Networks will continue to expand to support additional verticals, with prioritization based on ISV input.

New marketing and sales benefits
Each Industry Network serves as a single source of focused business insight, networking and collaboration, enablement blueprints and technical resource, and sales and marketing support benefits.

IBM is providing new marketing and sales kits to help PartnerWorld Industry Networks ISVs quickly and easily locate the information they need to market and sell their IBM solutions. The kits are comprised of a series of useful Web links, organized by subject matter, that help ISVs access product level sales and marketing information across all IBM brands:

Most companies tell IBM they aren't looking for "off the shelf" technology. They want to buy business solutions that are built and customized to meet their specific industry needs. As part of IBM's $1 billion investment in ISV programs this year, the PartnerWorld Industry Networks and ISV Advantage initiatives have attracted hundreds of ISVs from IBM's base of over 60,000 software partners committed to providing customers across all industries and geographies with open solutions designed to address their business challenges.

ISV Advantage Initiative Fuels Partner Success in the Industries and SMB
An extension of PartnerWorld Industry Networks, the ISV Advantage for Industries initiative is for select ISVs who are influential in the vertical markets they serve and dedicated to delivering industry solutions on IBM's open infrastructure. ISV Advantage provides a growth path for select ISVs who are committed to a rising share of sales on IBM technologies within an industry, offering developers a rich array of technical, marketing and sales resources.

ISVs spanning multiple industries worldwide have already committed to IBM as a partner of choice through ISV Advantage for Industries, including: ProfitLogic, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company who provides retail solutions; Atlanta-based Zvolve, a provider of real-time intelligent routing solutions to telecommunication carriers and large enterprises; Madrid, Spain-based ISBAN, who provides a broad range of solutions in the retail banking sector; and SPL Worldgroup, a San Francisco-based provider of customer care and billing software for the energy and utilities industry.

Since its launch last spring, the ISV Advantage for SMB initiative has generated more than a thousand customer wins by participating ISVs, including:

Through the initiative, IBM provides select ISVs with technical, marketing and sales support to speed the development and deployment of solutions in the $300 billion SMB technology market. More than 200 ISVs have joined the IBM ISV Advantage Initiative, committing to go to market with IBM for a majority of their business. These, and hundreds of other developers, have migrated from proprietary technology to sell solutions built on IBM middleware, including "Express" middleware, a comprehensive portfolio of offerings designed and priced for the SMB market.

"Customers aren't interested in 'one size fits all' solutions," said Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV & Developer Relations. "Companies are demanding open solutions that are customized to help them solve their industry challenges -- whether it's meeting the ACORD insurance standards or complying with state government regulations. Through our vertical partner programs and industry middleware, IBM is dedicated to providing ISVs with an abundance of resources to address our joint customer needs."

ISVs can sign up for PartnerWorld Industry Networks and find more information about ISV Advantage at www.ibm.com/isv.

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