IBM's Global Services division here announced a five-point strategy that reshapes the way it will work with its business partners in pursuing new opportunities to sell and deliver a range of technology services.
The program includes the basic principles for IBM working with its business partners in services engagements, along with a designated list of marketable IBM services, an approach for categorising IBM service opportunities, a process for determining how business partners can more effectively engage in these opportunities, and the establishment of a new business-partner relationship called Services Provider.
"Our relationship with business partners in the past has relied mainly on the selling of our products and services. But we recognise that many of our partners possess skills, competencies that allow them to do much more," said Joseph Ziade, director of distribution channels for IBM's Global Services, said at IBM's annual Business Partners Executive Conference.
Some of the principles behind how IBM will work with business partners to provide solutions state that the customer will always define what the opportunity is and which services will be acquired either through a business partner or IBM, or a combination of both.
Another principle states that IBM will encourage its business partners to sell IBM services at the time of the sale, although business partners will be free to sell their own branded services. IBM will, however, pursue the sale of IBM's core services including maintenance and remote-system software support.
A third initiative states that IBM will address service opportunities in response to customer requirements and will also pass leads on to qualified business partners in line with individual customer requirements.
The Services Provider partners will recognise business for their advanced services delivery for targeted services offerings. They will have access to selected IBM intellectual capital that will include proven methodologies, core competencies, and packaged solutions, according to IBM officials.
Service offerings will be available as Service Delivery Kits and will aid Service Providers in first developing and then delivering their own branded solutions. The first offering is the Services Delivery Kit - OV/400 to Lotus Domino. It will help partners to plan, design, and implement e-business messaging solutions that migrate the OV/400 application to Domino.