IBM Brings Flexibility and Simplicity to Integrated PartnerWorld Program

Changes Made to Better Enable IBM Business Partners to Play a Critical Role in the On Demand Era

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WHITE PLAINS, NY - 26 Apr 2004: To further enable its network of 90,000 Business Partners to capture the new business opportunities of the on demand era, IBM today unveiled a single, simplified PartnerWorld program that provides streamlined access to the full breadth of IBM's offerings and benefits.

Once comprised of four individual programs or "tracks" for Systems and Services, Software, Personal Systems, and Developers, each with its own membership criteria, data infrastructure and menu of benefits, PartnerWorld will now have a common set of clearly defined membership criteria, comprehensive benefits and an integrated data infrastructure. For the thousands of IBM Business Partners that are currently in multiple PartnerWorld tracks, the new program will make it easier to do business with IBM, as the support IBM provides to Business Partners will be aligned to industry-recognized business models, including consultants, systems integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs) and resellers.

"IBM's new PartnerWorld program is a differentiator in the market," said Kirk Zaranti, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Solution Technology, Inc., an Indianapolis-based IT solutions provider. "The changes IBM is making to PartnerWorld will greatly simplify our interaction with IBM and provide increased recognition and benefits to companies like ours that have made the investments to achieve Premier membership level."

Additional enhancements being made to PartnerWorld include:

"Our Business Partners have asked for simplicity, flexibility, and streamlined access to benefits, which is what we have delivered with the new PartnerWorld program," said Michael Borman, General Manager of IBM Global Business Partners. "Underpinning this transformation is our commitment to help Business Partners improve their growth and profit potential through their relationship with IBM. The new PartnerWorld makes it easier for Business Partners to offer the complete IBM portfolio and build the solutions clients need to become on demand businesses."

IBM will implement the new PartnerWorld program in two phases. Consultants, integrators, and both hardware and software resellers will experience the benefits of a single program in Phase One, starting in the third quarter. Phase Two rolls out in the fourth quarter and integrates the support for ISVs. In the interim, ISVs will continue to receive the benefits of PartnerWorld for Developers as they do today.

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