IBM Partner Program: The Synergistic Ecosystem that’s Propelling IT Companies’ Growth

3 min

– Article in partnership with IBM –

Being part of IBM’s partner program means having access to industry-leading Hybrid Cloud and AI technology, world-class support, specialized pathways, training and resources, and IBM’s customer network. Let me tell you about my experience and the benefits I have gained from it.

The first approach with IBM

In 1993, I walked into IBM’s headquarters, in Naples, with a couple of CD-ROMs and a simple goal. I wanted to use the RISC System/6000, the company’s first Unix machine, to test the source code of my business management application, which was written in COBOL. Although the machine was conceived of as a workstation for graphics applications with the X Window system (X11), I had been tasked with porting our software to assess its applications and suitability for business environments.

On my first attempt, I was unable to complete the process because a third-party component had to be adapted to the new environment. But once everything was in place, I ran some source compiling and was amazed by how fast the RISC/6000 system could crunch through the code. Immediately, I understood that it was a machine to invest in, and I did just that.

The partnership

The reason I’m sharing this with you all these years later is that this formative moment sums up my entire experience as an IBM business partner in the 90s. At the time, I was a partner in a business management software development company that operated in a vertical sector: industrial engineering, production planning, and control. Where it was a niche sector, we were already specialists and had our share of successes, but were only able to do our real market launch thanks to our partnership with IBM.

Allow me to explain. Beyond the technical training we received, I benefitted from marketing strategies. Back then, social media didn’t exist and customer touchpoints in the IT industry were through in-person events and telemarketing. Essentially, IBM brought its marketing power to bear, and, together, we organized presentations of our application for potential customers.

The partnership with IBM brought us many new customers. As it turned out, the joint software+server value proposition, combined with the option for customers to spread out their payments, proved very popular. On top of this, being able to access the national community put us in touch with other IBM partners in distant geographical areas, and this allowed us to further expand our commercial network. We integrated our software with that of our partners and co-marketed together with IBM. In hindsight, it was a show, a must-see.

For us, this constituted a significant growth and retraining journey, and today I think it is even more so for IT operators who – depending on their profile and business model – can take the opportunity to be pampered by Mamma IBM and concentrate on the meaningful aspects of their solution or services.

Being part of the IBM community

Joining IBM’s business community is a strategic step, one that goes far beyond commercial opportunities. It involves shaping the future with colleagues who share your vision and values. Since IBM constantly invests in research and development to ensure the availability of cutting-edge technologies, it frees the mind from having to understand the latest technologies and jargon, or perpetually survey the market.

Whether you want to integrate Artificial Intelligence or blockchain into your software solution, carry out a system integration project, or generate sales, in the IBM community you have access to knowledge that is centralized by IBM and distributed by their partners. For IT companies that want to excel and stand out, but also qualify for the program’s badge levels, collective knowledge and synergistic participation are incredible growth elements.


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Conclusions

Although technology and marketing strategies have certainly changed over the years, I cannot help but notice the same inviting opportunities or feel the same urges that I felt 30 years ago. To be honest, I got excited while I was studying the material IBM sent me to write this article. It gave me the opportunity to dive into the past with an awareness of the present.

I hope that by sharing my experiences I can inspire other IT companies to embrace a partner that knows how to enhance their unique skills and promote growth through the collective knowledge of the IBM business community.

  • Original article previously published here
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