IBM System z Software Top Gun


Class description

This high-energy class focuses in IBM's solutions and middleware for the System z platform.  Students will learn how to deliver the business value of System z  software - and how that value is a differentiator in the marketplace.  Students will also develop skills to identify, quantify and drive new workloads on System z for its main Capabilities: IT Optimization (hardware platform readiness), Cloud solutions, Dev/Ops and Enterprise Modernization, Application Infrastructure and Connectivity, Business Process Management, Mobile solutions, Data Management and Information Governance, Data Warehousing and Business Analytics, Security solutions and Software Licensing and Pricing.

Students will learn to lead their customers from a legacy-centric environment to an environment that leverages the SWG Capabilities (mentioned above) that are now available on System z.  Each student will be expected to submit an active Sales Opportunity, prior to the class.  During class, students will apply their knowledge to identify Opportunities and cross-sells and to develop a Win Plan for their own opportunity.

This is a graded class (Pass/Fail), and it has mandatory prerequisites.  On Day One of the class, there will be a Pre-Test that includes material from the prerequisites; your score on this test will be part of your final grade.  For this reason, you should start your prerequisite work as early as possible.



System z Software Top Gun is a 4.5 day class.



System z Software Sales Reps (zSCLs), Software Sales Reps, Inside Sales, Client Reps, Software Client Architects, Technical Sales, Business Partners.





This class has mandatory prerequisites.  The most time consuming of these is "z101, The Value and Differentiation of System z"  which can take 10 hours.  On Day One of the class, there will be a test that includes material from the prerequisites; your score on this test will be part of your final grade (Pass/Fail).  For this reason, we are giving you notice of the need to start your prerequisite work as early as possible.


  1. Sales Opportunity.  You must identify a System z software sales opportunity to work on during the class.  For your Sales Opportunity, please complete Sections 1, 2 and 3 ("Opportunity information; What options do we explore with the client; What solution do we propose") of the DOC below.  You will be asked to send your Sales Opportunity DOC to the Class Manager, two weeks prior to class, and bring soft copy of the DOC with you.  During class, we will modify and enhance your Sales Opportunity.  You will work with a team member and go home with a completed Win Plan.  Please let me know if you want to be teamed with someone in particular.




    You do not need to be the Opportunity owner, but you do need to be involved in the Opportunity and it must be a real customer.  This Opportunity should not be one that is closed, or is about to close.  In fact, opportunities in the early part of the sales cycle will work much better in our class than those which are almost closed. The Sales Opportunity Workshop team presentations on Friday serve to “tie it all together” and are graded.


  2. Listen to System z White Board videos

    1. Scott Harris provides an overview of all the White Boards.  The URL also provides access to enablement material to support the System z White Board series.  The link is for IBMers only (Partners get a "pass" on this one) System z White Board Offerings (8:56).

    2. Jeff Mersereau delivers the White Board to a fictional customer.  The Link for IBMers is Value of System z White Board (26:59). The link for Partners is here.

  3. Complete the z101, “The Value and Differentiation of System z” eLearning course.  This class is downloaded to your laptop and run from there.  It will take experienced sellers 8-10 hours, but new seller should plan for more (10-15 hours).  The course is modular, so you don’t have to take it all at once.  
    The course is modular, so you don’t have to take it all at once.


  4. Complete the “Introduction to Software Contracts” eLearning course.


  5. Read the Software Pricing Reference Guide PDF
    IBM System z Software Pricing Reference Guide


  6.  If you have NOT completed the "Software Licensing Overview" part of SWG Selling Essentials, please do so.!/wiki/Wf4306a2428a0_434c_98f3_d5d2dc929c23

Typical Agenda

Day Topic
Day 1 - Monday

Pre Test

Hardware Platform Readiness

IT Optimization with z/VM and Linux

White Board - Value of zEnterprise EC12

White Board assignments and practice

Day 2 - Tuesday

Quiz # 1 and Review Exercises for Day 1

Application Infrastructure, BPM and Mobile solutions

White Board role play

Software Licensing and Pricing

Day 3 - Wednesday

Quiz # 2 and Review Exercises for  Day 2

Data Management and Information Governance

Business Analytics solutions

Dev/Ops solutions

Enterprise Modernization

Day 4 - Thursday

Quiz # 3 and Review Exercises for Day 3

Cloud Solutions

Optimize IT and Business Infrastructure

Security solutions

Objection Handling as preparation for Post Test

Post Test

Opportunity Workshop - teams develop their presentations

Day 5 - Friday

Opportunity Workshop - team presentations

Executive Perspectives

Awards and Closing Comments

Adjourn at 12:45



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Related links

Top Gun Quarterly Newsletter