Exterior view of IBM sign at IBM Canada Head Office on May 16, 2018 in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
Image: JHVEPhoto/Adobe Stock

With an eye on helping its business partners accelerate time to market, IBM announced the IBM Partner Plus program, which offers “unprecedented access to IBM resources, incentives and tailored support,” according to the company.

The program is designed to fuel growth for new and existing partners, including resellers, hyperscalers, technology providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators, by putting them in control of their earning potential, said IBM.

What is IBM’s Partner Plus program?

IBM Partner Plus is a core part of the company’s hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence strategy and aims to empower partners to help clients automate, secure and modernize their businesses. The program offers partners silver, gold and platinum tiers, providing different levels of specialized financial, go-to-market support and education benefits. In the new program, partners will receive badges to measure skills, and validated solutions will demonstrate expertise.

IBM said the enhanced IBM Partner Portal consolidates and tracks all expertise, revenue and deals globally, offering partners clear visibility into their progression through the program.

“IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, general manager of IBM Ecosystem. “We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients.”

Bo Gebbie, president of IBM partner Evolving Solutions, said the new program offers employees access to skills and opportunities, so they can help more clients use the IBM tech portfolio to modernize their operations.

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“What excites me most about IBM Partner Plus is its simplicity,” Gebbie told TechRepublic. “Alignment between IBM and partner education ensures that our employees and IBMers are showing up to clients with the same skills and talking the same language about technology that can help modernize their business.”

The new program will help Evolving Solutions more easily collaborate, approach new clients, better predict their incentives and grow their business, Gebbie added.

IBM Partner Plus is the result of the company’s investment in elevating the role of partners and accelerating partner-led sales by enabling the ecosystem to become a preferred route to market, offering clients an optimal mix of technology, services and consulting expertise, the company said.

To drive continued growth, IBM will increase its capacity to support partners by doubling the number of partner-facing brand and technical specialists to help them prospect and win additional client business.

IBM Partner Plus brings all partner types and programs together — whether they sell, build on or with, and/or provide services for IBM technology — into one integrated ecosystem.

For example, to help broaden the market opportunity and create new revenue streams for its ecosystem, IBM recently enabled partners in North America to resell IBM products through other cloud marketplaces. This allows independent software vendors to embed IBM software from partner marketplaces into their own offerings. All partner sales through the marketplace accumulate toward their progression in IBM Partner Plus, the company said.

For new partners, IBM is launching the IBM New Partner Accelerator, which provides onboarding, training and other benefits during the first six months in the program to help accelerate their path to profitability.

IBM Partner Plus: Even more enhanced support and benefits

Partners can grow skills, develop solutions and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, security and cloud on an open hybrid cloud platform by leveraging technical experts from IBM. The company will also assist partners in the development of minimal viable products, proofs of concept and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate growth.

And as partner businesses grow with IBM, they can unlock additional benefits designed to help them expand their capabilities and find new clients, the company said.

IBM’s PartnerWorld has transitioned to the new IBM Partner Plus program, and the new incentive program will take effect on April 1. Registered PartnerWorld members will maintain their current tier through July 1, 2023, IBM said.

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