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IBM Evolves PartnerWorld to Enable Greater Agility and Innovation with IBM Cloud

May 5, 2020

ARMONK, N.Y., May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today at its Think Digital conference announced a reimagined Business Partner program that gives partners the flexibility to engage in one or more pathways to success. IBM PartnerWorld now includes clear pathways for IBM Business Partners that create applications, develop code, integrate their intellectual property (IP) or deliver services with the IBM Cloud.

The new evolution of PartnerWorld expands the program framework to three specialized tracks—Build, Service and Sell—each with tailored offers that are designed to help Business Partners unlock meaningful benefits faster. By adding the new Build and Service tracks alongside the existing Sell track, IBM aligns with the growing trend of partners shifting and expanding their models to better compete in a market driven by cloud adoption. With 58 percent of partner revenue now coming from their own IP,* partners are increasingly focused on integrating and delivering cloud-based solutions and services.

This includes helping clients with their hybrid multicloud strategies, as well. As IBM continues to enhance its Systems portfolio with IBM Cloud, including Red Hat and IBM Cloud Pak solutions, clients look to partners to help them improve IT agility and bridge mission critical applications on IBM Z, Power and Storage Systems.

"The world looks drastically different than it did just months ago, and our current business environment has only advanced the trend toward business model flexibility," said David La Rose, GM, IBM Partner Ecosystem. "During this time, our Business Partners continue to adopt cloud business models and strengthen their digital skills to serve clients, who are also facing new challenges. Our partners' success is dependent on their adaptability and ingenuity when it comes to helping clients overcome these challenges, now more than ever. We're counting on them to use IBM's open, hybrid cloud approach to help clients discover new ways to solve problems during these uncertain times."

Co-creating growth, innovation and value
IBM aims to capture the significant market opportunity around the shift to cloud and help partners develop new revenue streams as they create value for clients. Together, IBM and its Business Partners will focus on:

  • Driving profitable growth through a new incentive structure that rewards Business Partners for delivering client value in Cloud and Systems. This includes companies that invest in the development of bespoke solutions and IP, demonstrate deep skills and industry expertise and integrate critical IBM software and hardware offerings as part of their solutions.
  • Enabling innovation through Competencies that are aligned to the three PartnerWorld tracks, helping Business Partners deepen their technical expertise and achieve customer success across the industries and workloads that matter most to their businesses. IBM also launched a new Partner Support Desk that serves as a central location for personalized and proactive support via phone, email or chat, helping accelerate partners' success.
  • Delivering value via new IBM Partner Packages that bundle Cloud and Cognitive benefits so that partners can quickly learn, develop and test solutions on the IBM Cloud. In addition to helping Business Partners speed up development time and reduce time to market, IBM also has an extensive network of sellers, ecosystem partners and go-to-market resources that can help partners gain global visibility and monetize their solutions and services more quickly.

Reflecting market feedback
The program changes reflect the latest industry research and feedback from IBM Business Partners:

"At IDC, we believe the new PartnerWorld program framework gives partners the flexibility they need to succeed in the market rather than being relegated to a single partner type," said Steve White, Program VP of IDC. "These tracks are innovative, giving builders, sellers and service partners access to the benefits that matter most to them. The best part is, all partners can participate in these tracks, no matter where they're at in their program journey. In particular, the Partner Support Desk will be a huge help to partners navigating this new program, enabling them to maximize on everything PartnerWorld has to offer."

"At Flagship, we've focused on investing in our own IP over the last several years," said Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group. "With these changes to PartnerWorld, I'm pleased to see a greater focus on partners that build solutions and offerings on the IBM Cloud."

Enabling business partner agility
Today's announcement builds on IBM's ongoing efforts to support the partner ecosystem in today's challenging business climate. IBM is providing a number of offers and resources to help Business Partners grow, build new skills, embrace Cloud and AI and go to market in new ways, including:

  • Extending the PartnerWorld revalidation grace period
  • Expanding 0 percent financing offerings for new Power, Storage and Software licenses
  • Offering free Cloud and AI SaaS resources for 90 days
  • Reimbursing 100 percent of approved digital Co-Marketing activities**
  • Launching a free My Digital Marketing platform to help partners shift to digital marketing

The new PartnerWorld program and ecosystem initiatives enable partners to be agile as they pursue new opportunities, build solutions with IBM, and build valuable skills and expertise that will help them solve client challenges today and into the future.  

Increased investment in IBM public cloud
In addition to the new PartnerWorld framework, IBM recently launched the public cloud ecosystem initiative. With its security leadership and support for open source technologies, the IBM public cloud is designed to extend hybrid cloud capabilities for complex enterprise workloads. The initiative can support onboarding to the IBM financial services-ready public cloud where participating ISVs and SaaS providers will receive guidance through a prescriptive implementation and evidence process to deliver their offerings. Infosys, Movius, Ribbon Communications, Sysdig and Tech Mahindra have joined the IBM public cloud ecosystem initiative, with more partners signing on each month to help clients transform with IBM public cloud and Cloud Paks.

IBM began rolling out the new PartnerWorld program May 5 at IBM's virtual PartnerWorld at Think conference. For details, visit the IBM Business Partners blog at

About IBM PartnerWorld: 

The IBM PartnerWorld program empowers IBM Business Partners with the skills, benefits and offers they need to deliver value that matters most for their clients. With three tracks—Build, Service and Sell—the program gives partners the flexibility to engage in one or more pathways to success. With a low barrier to entry and transparency of cost, it also provides unmatched value in the market; there are no fees to become a member, join a PartnerWorld track or earn Competencies. To accelerate innovation, partners can select an optional IBM Partner Package, which bundles benefits for learning, development and testing. To join, visit

IBM nurtures an ecosystem of global Business Partners that operate in more than 170 countries. Businesses choose to work with IBM to access the broadest technology portfolio in the industry, tap into the most secure cloud for business, connect with a sought-after network of clients and partners and grow their businesses with IBM PartnerWorld. 

About IBM Think Digital
At Think Digital 2020, IBM will discuss the state of business and the role of critical technologies, such as AI and Cloud, as clients accelerate recovery and digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19. 

Visit for the full schedule and livestream agenda, and to watch all of the programming—including IBM CEO Arvind Krishna's keynote, "The New Essential Technologies for Business,'' on May 5 at 11:15 am ET and 7:15 pm ET

Follow the conference on Twitter at #think2020 and @ibmlive. For more information, visit the IBM Think 2020 Newsroom:

*Infrastructure Channels Leadership Council Content: The New Value Exchange, IDC, Doc # US45029220, Jan 2020
**Reimbursement of 100% of eligible digital expenses is available for selected PartnerWorld Co-Marketing Offerings. Qualification criteria and additional terms apply.

Betsy DeMik
IBM Media Relations
(214) 500-1132



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