IBM Helps Business Partners Deepen Skills and Deliver High Value Solutions with New PartnerWorld Program Benefits

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ARMONK, N.Y., - 19 May 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new and expanded capabilities to help IBM Business Partners deepen their skills to deliver high-value solutions for clients, while enhancing profitability and creating opportunities for growth.  

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New channel investments include senior-level IBM relationship services, market intelligence resources, expanded social media and search tools, and a specialty to help Business Partners deliver solutions based on IBM System x technology. These benefits are delivered at no cost through a simplified IBM PartnerWorld program that features new ways for partners to advance in the program.

"Just as our partners are making an investment in IBM, we continue to invest in our Business Partners through skills development, streamlined processes and new opportunities to collaborate as we work together to create solutions for our clients," said Rich Hume, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners & Mid-Market. "We continue to deliver on our promise to simplify the way we do business with our Business Partners and help them improve profitability and accelerate growth."

These are the latest moves in IBM's long-standing commitment to provide education and incentives that help Business Partners deliver increased value to clients through enhanced capabilities and solutions expertise. This is particularly important as clients seek greater industry insights and a consultative, solutions-led approach to solving their toughest business challenges.  The importance of greater insight can be found in IBM's Global CEO Study which reveals how leading companies are using new approaches to manage complexity and find opportunities for growth. In fact, more than 60% of CEOs surveyed cite industry transformation and the information explosion as the most significant factors facing their organizations over the next 5 years.

New skill-building opportunities and benefits through IBM PartnerWorld  

Achieving the System x Specialty qualifies partners for a wide range of benefits including enhanced technical support, participation in targeted sales programs, and industry recognition through the System x Specialty mark to be delivered later this year and into 2011.

"These enhancements will simplify our path to gaining the kind of skills and specialties that will deliver high value expertise to the client in a joint effort to build a Smarter Planet," said Daniel Fortin, General Manager of Relavance. "This ultimately helps customers benefit from the in-depth knowledge of a business partner such as ourselves who has committed the time to develop the skills and expertise of our staff. The customer can be assured of our competency in being able to plan, deploy and service IBM technologies and our solutions."

New, simplified PartnerWorld program criteria.  

IBM is introducing simplified requirements for advancement through the PartnerWorld levels built around four criteria: Skills, Revenue, Customer Satisfaction and References. The new criteria recognize more ways to advance through the program, have fewer rules and minimum requirements and are designed to provide a clear path to higher PartnerWorld program levels, increased benefits and specialties.

In addition, IBM has simplified the visual design and enhanced the user experience on the main PartnerWorld portal covering sales, marketing and technical support pages. New features include additional live chat support, easier navigation, enhanced search capability and expanded social networking capabilities including industry focused networking groups and a Virtual Summit feature for staging online events with clients.  

PartnerWorld program changes will be deployed in phases beginning in July 2010, including the new points system for PartnerWorld level attainment. For more information about these changes to IBM's PartnerWorld program, visit:

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