IBM Debuts New Enterprise Data Center Specialty for Business Partners

Growth Opportunity to Offer Business Partners up to $100,000 in Business Development Funds
(PresseBox) (ARMONK, NY, ) IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new initiative to help Business Partners develop and deepen solution competencies and skills to leverage New Enterprise Data Center transformation opportunities. In addition to sales, marketing and technical guidance, Business Partners can also qualify to receive as much as 100 thousand dollars in business development funds.

IBM's New Enterprise Data Center strategy is an evolutionary model designed to help businesses transform their IT infrastructures to become more energy efficient and responsive to business needs. The new program will enable Business Partners to develop and deepen their solution selling skills in three specific areas: virtualization/consolidation, energy efficiency and business resiliency. Through a broad range of education, certifications and assessment tools Business Partners can more effectively develop deeper skills and capabilities, and drive higher margin sales in these growing markets.

IBM developed the new program based on input from IBM Business Partner councils from around the world who also believe that this is the way that the industry is moving. The result is the industries most comprehensive program that spans the IBM hardware, software and services lines and supports customers development strategies from inception to execution that recognizes Business Partners who invest in and sell the full IBM portfolio to address clients' IT transformation needs.

IT analysts estimate that the majority of the Global 1000 organizations will have to significantly modify their data centers in the next five years. Already, they are short of space, short of energy, and lack the power and cooling necessary for handling the next generation of high-density server and storage gear. What's also alarming is that in the 2008 IBM Global CEO study, more than 80% of CEOs surveyed stated they anticipate significant change in the marketplace in the next three years, yet the gap in their confidence on their ability to support, even embrace these changes has more than tripled.

As client needs shift to more challenging and higher value IT problems, IBM is arming its Business Partners with the opportunity to expand their skills and increase their growth by delivering offerings based on customer demands.

For example, specialty accredited Business Partners will have the ability to measure the energy consumption of a data center before and after a project, providing clients with information to help them claim subsequent energy efficiency credits. Partners will have the skills to reduce the complexity and increase the efficiency of the client's IT environment. They will be able to help clients reduce power consumption by 40% and floor space occupancy by 60% for the same workload through advanced virtualization techniques.

Business Partners that participate in the New Enterprise Data Center Specialty can also take advantage of:
- The Business Development Fund -- An upfront payment for qualifying Business Partners which can be used to invest not only in marketing but in business development activities, marketing intelligence, investment and certification training and even personnel salaries, that will result in New Enterprise Data Center solutions opportunities and revenue.
- IBM Lab Services -- Partners can take advantage of mentoring services from IBM researchers on new technologies, first implementation services and technical requirements. IBM Lab Services will be offered in North America, Western Europe, China and India.
- IBM NEDC Toolkit -- Partners will be able to use IBM assessment tools, to better understand the client's issues and opportunities for improvement to their infrastructure, to make if more resilient, and more efficient.
- Increased Sales Support -- For Partners at the highest specialty achievement category, the opportunity to utilize the IBM Deal Hub resource to assist them in coordinating, facilitating and manage pre-sales activities across various IBM channel aligned resources, including pricing, regardless of the size of the opportunity.

Business Partners that achieve accreditation will receive a specialty mark certifying that they have acquired the skills and experience in one or more of the New Enterprise Data Center solution areas and is recognized by IBM as an expert. In addition, they are awarded US$25,000 to US$100,000 in business development funds and gain access to a broad portfolio of education, marketing, and sales benefits that support their go-to-market activities.

The new Specialty consists of two achievement categories -- Specialty and Specialty Elite. Specialty is designed to provide a growth path for Business Partners who wish to expand their IBM New Enterprise Data Center capabilities. Partners who wish to make a deeper investment in IBM New Enterprise Data Center skills can qualify for Specialty Elite.

"The New Enterprise Data Center Specialty, part of IBM's company-wide new enterprise data center strategy, underscores our ongoing commitment to deliver programs that help our partners expand their business and profitability," said Rich Hume, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. "No other vendor has an offering for its Business Partners as complete. This offering includes assessment tools that helps them identify and deliver these solutions in a consistent way."

IBM Business Partners that have previewed the Specialty and gave an enthusiastic response to the education, marketing, sales and support benefits.

"IBM's New Enterprise Data Center Specialty program will help define how businesses, solution providers and IBM will shape the future of the technology industry," said Eric Borcherding, vice president of CIBER Enterprise Solutions' Technology Solutions Practice. "This new program further demonstrates IBM's commitment to provide a higher level of skills and cooperation with its partners to generate success. At CIBER, we believe this program will enable us to work directly with our clients to develop a comprehensive strategy to effectively reduce power/cooling, improve security and resiliency, reduce IT costs and build a flexible foundation for the future."

The New Enterprise Data Center

IBM's New Enterprise Data Center strategy is an evolutionary model designed to help businesses transform their IT infrastructures to become more efficient, service-oriented and responsive to business needs. Organizations that employ this approach can be better positioned to adopt and integrate new technologies, such as Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing, in order to deliver dynamic and seamless access to IT services and resources. The New Enterprise Data Center model integrates five elements or solution areas: highly virtualized resources; efficient, green and optimized infrastructures and facilities; business-driven services management; business resiliency and security; and information infrastructure.


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