IBM Announces New Programs, Services and Incentives for SOA Business Partners

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ARMONK, NY - 12 Oct 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new marketing benefits, business services and incentives for its growing Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Business Partner community.

The IBM Service Oriented Architecture Partner Program, formalized in June 2005 with 50 Business Partner members, has grown to 2,500 members that take advantage of IBM software, services, tools and education to help their customers embrace SOA.

A new initiative, "Ready for SOA," provides incentives for members in the IBM Business Partner SOA Specialty program. These Business Partners have demonstrated full support of the IBM SOA Foundation -- IBM's set of standards-based software, best practices and patterns for deploying SOAs -- and have met the rigorous business and technical requirements for invitation to the specialty. In exchange, Business Partners in the SOA specialty receive technical enablement, support, and a skills-building roadmap to access the growing SOA market opportunity.

Other IBM-driven marketing opportunities for SOA specialty Business Partners include speaking opportunities, online marketing campaigns and additional resources to support SOA events. For example, several IBM SOA specialty Partners are hosting roundtable discussions with customers on SOA-related issues.

IBM is also offering several marketing incentives for Business Partners aligned with its strategy to help customers govern their software and systems development and comply with industry-specific regulations. IBM will help eligible Business Partners promote IBM's SOA Governance offering along with the Business Partner's value-added SOA offerings through a variety of co-marketing benefits. Among these benefits, Business Partners may create and place advertisements* that align with existing WebSphere and Rational software advertising campaigns to enable Business Partners to gain additional visibility in print and online media outlets. For a limited time, IBM will help eligible Business Partners promote their SOA governance and related IBM offerings in high-profile publications, eNewsletters or online banner ads at significantly discounted rates negotiated by IBM.

Taking advantage of Web 2.0 capabilities, IBM and SOA Business Partners are collaborating to create SOA Specialty Wikis in vertical industries and specialized focus areas. Podcasts will also be available to further educate the Business Partner and customer community on the business value of SOA.

IBM is also supporting Business Partners in the creation of new SOA Solution Galleries. These dedicated SOA centers will offer technical resources, demos, and marketing materials for customers on their journey to SOA.

Further enabling the Business Partner community, IBM has created 'cross-sell' kits for SOA. These kits contain all of the relevant information and roadmaps to enable Business Partners to expand their current product or service offerings to now include SOA. IBM will continue to provide the information and materials to develop kits tailored to the specific needs of the audience based on IBM's experience with more than 3,000 SOA customers. Additionally, to help Business Partners articulate the required technical, financial, and human investments in an SOA project as well as the return on investment, IBM has created the Rapid Value Assessment Tool. Since February, IBM has trained more than 50 Business Partners on the tool.

Ultramatics, an IBM Premier Business Partner, has taken advantage of IBM Business Partner resources to help create a customized SOA for Crowley Maritime, a major provider of maritime services, to streamline and reposition the company to meet the new challenges as it enters its second century of operations.

The resulting benefits for Crowley Maritime are summed up by Jerry Dresch, director of application services at Crowley. "The first step in our SOA strategy has led to a direct dollar savings of $15,000 per integration interface, which are now implemented as reusable services. As reuse of the SOA platform continues and these numbers hold true, we anticipate this savings on at least 15 new integration interfaces over the next 24 months. Not to mention the soft dollar implications on resource utilization, costs and efficiency as those resources can now focus their efforts on other fronts."

"With these new initiatives, IBM is not only helping Business Partners realize the potential of SOA for driving business -- we're helping them better understand how SOA helps customers align technology with business strategy," said Sandy Carter, vice president, SOA and WebSphere strategy, channels and marketing, IBM.

Business Partners Key to IBM SOA Strategy

IBM recently announced the WebSphere Business Services Fabric, a new technology platform based on pre-built, customizable SOA assets, semantic models and policies that supports a wide range of industry and semantic standards including ACORD, HIPAA and HL7. Six SOA Business Partners have already committed to developing industry-specific services that will be made available through the IBM SOA Business Catalog by the end of the year.

The SOA Business Catalog is a repository of IBM- and Business Partner-developed SOA software assets or IT 'services.' These combinations of software code, intellectual property and best practices are used to solve specific business problems. In fact, Business Partners contributed 62 percent of the 3,000 assets that are in the catalog. Only Business Partners which have achieved the SOA specialty may list their assets in the catalog.

Finally, IBM recently introduced Business Process Management (BPM) Methodology and BPM Competency Center services, which combine best practices and services expertise to accelerate BPM adoption. For Business Partners, these services provide an opportunity to share in-depth knowledge and strengthen current offerings in BPM through IBM and its network of 400 SOA Business Partners that specialize in BPM.

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1 * All advertising orders must be placed by December 15, 2006. All Premier and Advanced level Business Partners in IBM PartnerWorld who are participating in the PartnerWorld Industry Networks are eligible for this benefit. The incentive is available only in North America, Europe and the Middle East (offer not available in Asia Pacific or Caribbean North coutnries). Eligible IBM Business Partners can sign up to receive discounted advertising rates at: