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IBM Invests $300 Million to Help Business Partners Provide IT Services and Consulting for Mid-Sized Businesses

Major Expansion of Company-Wide SMB Initiative

LAS VEGAS, NV - 01 Mar 2005: IBM PartnerWorld -- IBM today announced it will invest $300 million in new services, programs, consulting and education to help Business Partners increase revenue opportunities in the small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) technology services marketplace. The initiative delivers important enhancements to IBM's company-wide commitment to SMB clients and the Business Partners who serve them.

SMB is one of the largest and fastest growing opportunities in the IT industry. IBM has a long standing commitment to the SMB marketplace with its SMB sales organization delivering more then 20 percent of IBM's revenues. IT analyst group IDC projects that SMBs will spend $360 billion on IT in 2005.

"Analysts are saying SMB services are one of the hottest growth areas in the industry, and at the same time it is a highly competitive and localized marketplace," said Jim Corgel, General Manager, Small and Mid-Sized Business, IBM Global Services. "IBM is making a significant investment to expand its SMB technology and consulting services focus and collaborate with Business Partners around the world to create solutions that help SMBs improve their business performance."

IBM announced that dedicated professionals from IBM Business Consulting Services (BCS) will team with regional systems integrators (RSIs) in the U.S. and Europe to offer SMB clients deep industry insight for their toughest business challenges.

Other highlights of the new services, programs and education for Business Partners include:

BUSINESS PARTNER-LED PORTFOLIO OF SERVICES

IBM Express Managed Services
Called IBM Express Managed Services, the offerings are part of a new IBM business model to address SMB client needs via services for infrastructure management, application management and business transformation outsourcing, sold by IBM Business Partners.

IBM mySAP All-In-One Solutions
Resellers will now be able to sell preconfigured mySAP All In One solutions for SMBs that solve key client problems through a combination of technology, business consulting expertise and services. Leveraging preconfigured components, these offerings are targeted for SMBs that don't have the revenue, time or resources to build a full-scale enterprise application platform. Resellers will have the option of receiving enhanced sales fees or deploying the solution.

BUSINESS PARTNER COLLABORATION

Collaboration With Regional Systems Integrators
This initiative leverages the combined strengths of RSIs and IBM to sell and deliver innovative services to the SMB marketplace. Through localized teaming, RSIs have access to IBM's sales force, can benefit from IBM marketing support, and can leverage IBM's systems integration and industry expertise. RSIs provide market reach and local presence, complementary solution and industry expertise, as well as competitive rate structures. IBM and RSIs collaborate to share sales pipelines and jointly sell, staff and lead client engagements. Pilot efforts underway in the U.S. and Europe will be expanded in 2005.

Sales Agent Program For Hosting
This pilot program enables partners in the U.S. to resell IBM hosting services to SMB clients. Resellers are designated as agents by IBM based on geographic location and area of expertise. Resellers are compensated for IBM's full portfolio of hosting services.

Sales Agent Program For Strategic Outsourcing
This new program allows Business Partners to resell IBM strategic outsourcing services to SMB clients. Business Partners are responsible for identifying and validating outsourcing services clients and sharing sales opportunities, which are qualified by IBM. Business Partners work with IBM on client negotiations. The services will be delivered by IBM.

EDUCATION AND ENABLEMENT

Hosting Services Sales Professional Certification
IBM is now offering education and sales certification training for select IT services. The certification validates that a Business Partner has the knowledge and skills necessary to sell IBM services. Among the first certification programs is Hosting Services Sales Professional Certification.

Financial Management Workshop
IBM is expanding its Financial Management Workshop to include RSI partners. Over the past year, nearly 700 resellers have benefited from the two-day course, that helps Business Partners decide which services to build and offer on their own, and which services to sell in partnership with IBM.

Contact(s) information

Scott Sykes
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-4644
sykessc@us.ibm.com

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