IBM Sweetens Smarter Commerce for Channel Partners

Vendor offers financial incentives up to 50 percent, zero percent financing, MDF, sales assistance, dedicated support.

IBM Corp. said recently that it will offer channel partners selling its Smarter Commerce software financial incentives approaching half of the transaction value along with zero percent, 12-month, interest free, financing options and other inducements, hoping to elevate participation in a market segment it pegs at some $20 billion.

The vendor is trying to build a stronger network of channel partners to sell its Smarter Commerce portfolio, which includes offerings from its $2.5 billion acquisitions of Coremetrics, Sterling Commerce and Unica—as well as its Websphere products--aimed at helping businesses automate marketing, buying, selling and fulfillment processes.

Along with financial prodding through IBM’s Global Financing arm—granted to authorized Software Value Plus partners toting sales and technical certifications--channel partners will receive special training to acquire the necessary skills and technical expertise to tap into the market opportunity, IBM said.

The vendor said that initially it plans to target channel partners involved in the retail, telecommunications, banking and consumer products industries.

Software solution providers certified in those specific industries will gain access to an assigned relationship manager for day-to-day support, a pool of business development funds to underwrite costs associated with marketing and events, business development workshops and assessment tools to help channel partners gauge clients’ requirements, joint sales assistance and entrance to the vendor’s global innovation centers.

As part of the training, channel partners can use IBM’s Smarter Commerce University for virtual and face-to-face course materials, sales materials and review information, officials said.

"With Smarter Commerce, IBM is defining a new market opportunity for our global Business Partners that will enable them to increase their skills and expand their business in support of growing clients demands,” said Craig Hayman, IBM Industry Solutions general manager.

“IBM is extending Smarter Commerce to our ecosystem of partners with the broadest support of industry experts, technical experts and sales enablement support to help them drive higher-margin sales in this emerging market,” he said.

The vendor said that it plans to extend its financing package for Smarter Commerce channel partners to include hardware and services under a Global Partner Specialty program.

TAGS: software,IBM,channel partner,smarter commerce,Global Finance

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