IBM Ups Rewards to Midmarket Partners

The revised Charter details six “guiding principles” that form the framework of IBM’s relationship to the channel, including statements affirming the importance of channel partners to the company’s business, defining the relationship as a “collaboration of equals,” supporting partners’ pursuit of success, providing the best and most productive working environment, taking advantage of new market opportunities, and adhering to high ethical standards.

McChristian said that the Charter’s primary business principles remain the same with the central changes related to the vendor’s Smarter Planet initiative, IBM’s play to position itself at the heart of a new, cloud-based IT world.

“These economic times play well to the timing of the release of a new charter,” McChristian said. “This isn’t just a marketing piece, it’s a commitment with our partners for mutual success. We want our partners to work with IBM as we go after the tremendous new growth opportunities the market presents.”

Through its earlier Smarter Planet and Dynamic Infrastructure initiatives, and now the Charter, the vendor appears engaged in a wholesale effort to prepare its partners to sell a vast array of emerging technologies and services to take advantage of some $3 trillion in worldwide stimulus funding. IBM has repeatedly outlined the opportunity available to its channel, pointing to the more than $30 billion allocated for IT-related efforts in President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package.

One IBM partner that worked with the vendor to diagram the Dynamic Infrastructure program praised the vendor for its joint efforts with the channel and for reworking the Charter to reflect current economic conditions.

“The Charter shows that there’s real emphasis being placed on the channel,” said Bob Verola, Vicom Computer Services chief executive. “IBM brought us in to help with the design of the Dynamic Infrastructure program for the channel,” he said. “We were on the advisory council and our technical people worked with them to build the assessment tools and qualifications for the program,” he said. “It made a big difference to us.”

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