IBM broadens industry networks for ISVs

IBM on Monday broadened out its PartnerWorld Industry Networks program, which provides developers with a collection of technical and marketing resources for vertical markets, to now include government and insurance.

With state and local agencies alone expected to spend a little more than US$46 (AU$65) billion on IT products and services this year, IBM officials believe their redoubled efforts going after the government market is well timed. They point out that the needs of hundreds of government departments around the world that will need solutions tailored to their regulations are growing.

Similarly, the insurance industry also has a wide range of requirements for applications for a variety of different lines of business and different practices for each federal and local jurisdiction, IBM officials said.

"The government and insurance sectors represent a huge opportunity for ISVs to capture new revenue opportunities," said Buell Duncan, general manager for IBM's ISV and Developer Relations. "We think the Government and Insurance Industry Networks (program) will give ISVs the resources and expertise to deliver customized solutions that will comply with their respective industry regulations," he said.

The new government and insurance networks supply developers with business insight, networking, and collaboration services, enablement blueprints and technical resources. IBM's technical and support staffs work in concert with developers on solutions that will meet the individual requirements of their respective markets.

As one example, developers can apply to use IBM's Institute for e-Government and other industry briefing centers featuring IBM speakers to help close a deal with a joint customer. Developers can also market their solutions to IBM and other business partner sales teams through Big Blue's insurance and government industry partner directories and solution catalogs, a company spokesman said.

Along with the new government and insurance programs, IBM also announced on Monday two technical enablement benefits available to all of its PartnerWorld Industry Networks. The first is the availability of free On Demand architecture consultations where IBM experts will conduct architecture reviews with developers over the phone. They will also offer direction on porting to specific IBM-based technologies.

The second program gives access to IBM Innovation Centers where they can take advantage of on-site and remote access to design, benchmarking, and porting services at any of the company's 25 centers around the world. The first 100 to sign up can use the services free of charge, company officials said.

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