IBM wants to get radical

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Diane-Krakora-headshotby Diane Krakora, CEO

At this year’s PartnerWorld Leadership Conference, IBM touted their commitment to radically simplifying the way they do business with partners. They are right in line with the rest of the vendor community.  The 100 vendors represented in our 2012 State of Partnering study ranked “ease of doing business” as their top priority for 2012.

The North America partner team in IBM has 5 initiatives they are implementing to make doing business with IBM easy and straight-forward.

  1. Pricing – everyones favorite topic. IBM is increasing visibility of the overall effect of special bid codes on approved discounts and providing more insight on complex bids.
  2. Incentives – the second favorite topic after pricing.  IBM has streamlined three key incentive programs :
    • Consolidated and eliminated a number of partners in the STG incentives – launching consistent incentives across multiple IBM brands
    • Reduced the complexity and administrative burden around the competitive incentives
    • Simplified Maintenance and Technical Support Services incentive framework that pays from “dollar one” with accelerating payments for year-to-year growth
  1. Deal Registration – always a love/hate relationship for solution providers
    • Streamlined and consolidated registration under a consistent framework for the same rules and tools for System x, Storage, Power and Services registration program (not software though… which is going to make it difficult for them to track and manage the new Solution Accelerator program)
  1. Skill Certification – which we find to be one of the main areas of complexity in most vendors program
    • Eliminated overlapping and inconsistent requirements and reduced the number of requirements for  some certifications
  1. Marketing Programs – one of the most under-utilized areas of any vendors programs
    • Reduced the administrative burden with the new Co-Marketing Center (an on-line marketing campaign tool)

And they have good reason to think these initiatives will pay off.  They highlight that last years’ ease-of-doing business initiatives saved each Business Partner an average of a week per month of administrative workload (7.75 days to be exact). How much more you could sell if you had a 5th quarter in every year?

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