IBM Launches Initiative for Business Partners to Grow Revenue in Mid-Market

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ARMONK, NY - 14 Jan 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced a new initiative designed to help business partners increase their revenue and grow customer relationships in the mid-market space. The IBM Business Partner Software Mid-Market Value Initiative offers incentives to business partners who plan to invest in driving mid-market revenue through demand generation activity and by progressing mid-market leads passed to them by IBM.

IBM continues to expand its presence in the marketplace and drive growth in the $253 billion mid-market, one of IBM's largest and fastest growing market opportunities. Business partners can take advantage of incentives and programs from IBM, leverage a rich collection of sales and marketing resources and have access to deep technical expertise to drive new business. IBM is committed to helping partners to grow profitably, leverage cross-sell opportunities and participate in ample opportunities so they can win in mid-market.

"IBM's expertise and mid-market strategy aligns very well with ours and this new initiative will help to balance our software and systems solutions for customers in this market," said Dan Lifshutz, CEO of Arraya Solutions. "Rounding out our solution offerings with software will drive a higher return on our investment in this growing segment and build momentum for us to capitalize on the tremendous market opportunity."

To be eligible for the IBM Business Partner Software Mid-Market Value Initiative, partners will meet criteria in areas including Membership, Sales Capability, and Marketing Capability. Once selected, they will have the opportunity to receive valuable benefits through the new initiative that will help them to more effectively run their business.

Among the criteria that must be met, business partners must be members of IBM PartnerWorld and be enrolled in at least one of IBM's Express Advantage social networking communities:

From a sales capability standpoint, business partners must participate in Value Advantage Plus (VAP) with at least one approved VAP Solution. VAP is an initiative that financially rewards business partners for integrating IBM middleware with their software solutions. The benefit is greater profit potential when partners sell IBM authorized software products together with their value-adding solutions.

Each business partner that participates will receive several benefits including:

"IBM sees the potential in the mid-market and continues to offer business partners opportunities to increase their profitability in mid-market by leveraging incentives and rebates that enable them to grow their profit margins," said Bob Finnecy, vice president, IBM Business Partner Software Sales. "This new initiative addresses the business needs of partners serving this fast growing market and provides support to those that are driving new and continued growth."

The initial rollout of the IBM Business Partner Software Mid-Market Value Initiative will be in 12 U.S. markets that represent a significant amount of mid-market revenue potential. Those markets include Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Denver, Portland, Chicago, Hartford, and St. Louis.

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