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IBM Ecosystem Extends Initiatives in the U.S. Federal Market

By Katharyn White | IBM Ecosystem, U.S. Federal
June 15, 2022

When you hear us say, 'let's create,’ it’s an invitation from us to all of you. Let's come together. Let’s try to solve the business challenges. Let's embrace digital transformation. –...

When you hear us say, 'let's create,’ it’s an invitation from us to all of you. Let's come together. Let’s try to solve the business challenges. Let's embrace digital transformation. – Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM


I think this quote from our CEO during IBM’s annual Think conference nicely summarizes the IBM Ecosystem’s strategic approach. Let’s co-create solutions to address federal government challenges with open hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI). For example, IBM’s data fabric approach leverages AI to connect the right data, at the right time, to the right people, whether it’s located on-premises or in the cloud. And with IBM Watson, federal government agencies are working to build and deploy trustworthy AI at scale.

In my blog three months ago, we announced a commitment to grow the IBM Ecosystem in support of the U.S. federal government. Our approach is anchored in the beliefs that:

  • Challenges facing the federal government today, such as cybersecurity, supply chain and sustainability are systemic in nature and can’t be addressed by one company alone.
  • The individual point-based solutions that companies large and small in the technology and services industry have been pursuing aren’t sufficient.
  • The associated Executive Orders intrinsically acknowledge the complexity of the challenges and make the case for change.

Since that mid-March announcement, a theme has emerged that validates and fuels our work – help us, help you, help federal government agencies. We’ve started to make this a reality by advancing goals such as making it easier for partners to do business with IBM in the federal market and simplifying the way partners access IBM resources. We’re seeing steady progress with technology and skills-based initiatives focused on our systems integrator (SI) and small business partners. Additionally, the priority issue focus areas we identified at the onset – cybersecurity, supply chain resiliency and sustainability and citizen services – have proven to be increasingly relevant, and along with each issue’s corresponding Executive Order, will continue to serve as our roadmap. Expanded collaborations with ecosystem partners like Amazon Web Services (AWS), plus new IBM Ecosystem enabled IT modernization efforts with federal government agencies are adding to our momentum and laying the foundation for what’s to come. Other progress includes:

Increasing technical investment to support IBM’s ecosystem of partners in the federal market.

  • Rolled out SI partner targeted technical enablement series with an initial focus on cybersecurity.  
  • Paired SI partners with IBM Distinguished Engineers, experts on our AI and hybrid cloud offerings, with the goal of pulling together combined solutions to address federal government challenges.
  • Engaged IBM’s client engineering teams to co-create proof of concepts with our ecosystem partners in the federal market, leveraging IBM solutions such as IBM Cloud Pak for Data to help proactively define the value of our integrated security solutions.

Providing support and facilitating skills development to help our partners pursue federal opportunities.

  • Launched cybersecurity and sustainability learning journeys through IBM SkillsBuild, a customized learning path with enhanced resources for IBM ecosystem partners in the federal market who are seeking additional enablement. Once a curriculum is completed, the ‘skill’ is displayed and searchable by anyone as part of an organization’s profile in IBM’s Business Partner Directory (BPD).
  • Continued partnership with George Mason University Center for Government Contracting to provide small businesses with access to tools and resources that help them navigate the federal government contracting process more effectively.

Continuing to grow a diverse and inclusive IBM partner ecosystem.

  • A new collaboration with the Creating Economic Opportunities subgroup of IBM’s Black Executive Council is expanding our identification of and engagement with minority IBM Ecosystem partners in the federal market, accelerating access, mentoring and financial enablement opportunities to help them grow.

Listening to partner feedback to create solutions together. 

  • Formed issues-based working groups comprised of representatives from IBM’s partner ecosystem, aimed at identifying and developing meaningful use cases for Executive Order directives, for example zero trust reference architecture.

As companies are coming together in the commercial market, we are doing the same in the federal market. Join us to co-create meaningful solutions to federal government challenges!

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