Tag Archives: Partners

Honest advice from a successful IBM partner!

Earlier this week I hosted one of our ISV Leadership Forum events at our IBM Innovation Center in Silicon Valley.  As part of the event we covered how partners can best leverage all of IBM investments in Smarter Cities, Smarter Analytics and Cloud Computing. Special thanks to all our partners who attended! As often occurs, the highlight of the event was when we had a partner share their experiences and advice in these areas for other’s to learn from.

This week we were thrilled to have Meghan Keough, VP of Marketing and Product Management at SignalDemand join us. If you don’t know SignalDemand — check them out, they have a very cool solution that leverages big data and predictive analytics to provide insights and optimization for commodity based value chains. Said simply – they help clients drive higher profit margins through better pricing, supply and volume decisions.

When Meghan spoke and was asked what advice she would give to other partners who want to work with IBM – she gave three tips:

  1.  Adopt IBM Software where it makes sense for your business as an ISV. IBM has a ton of solutions that you can embed or leverage in your own company’s software solution, and you should take advantage of what IBM has to offer.
  2. Get working on joint sales right away and bring some deals to the table. The quickest way to get the partnership going is to bring some deals to IBM and put some joint wins on the board. In doing so, IBM quickly engaged and began bringing SignalDemand into key opportunities that IBM was uncovering.
  3. Be patient and keep working across IBM — once you get the gearbox working it’s a huge engine. Megan pointed out that IBM goes to market in three ways – by industry, by product/solution, and by “big plays.” Getting connected to leaders and sellers in all these areas helps drive success — and you have to keep working it given how large IBM is in the market. While it might take awhile, it pays off once you get the engine running!

I always love great advice from a partner that is honest and direct. Thanks Meghan for helping our partners learn how to be even more successful!

The BIG opportunities — and the IBM Recipe Book for Success

Despite all the hype about the big opportunities that exist in the IT marketplace – and the debate about how BIG the big data opportunity is, or how quickly the mobile revolution will overtake us, or how the cloud transformation will cause all sorts of problems to rain down on IT systems (see Steve Wozniak’s comments), or how cities need to become Smarter Cities to better handle the massive urbanization that is taking place around the globe, everyone agrees these are big opportunities for IBM and our partners to help clients transform their business.

As you would expect, IBM needs a broad range of partners to help us deliver solutions and services to clients in all of these areas – and we’re very focused on make it simple and clear to partners where the best opportunities are — and how partners can work with us in each of these areas.  We have thousands of client wins in these areas and most of them involve partners as part of the client value equation.

This week I’ll be at our Silicon Valley Innovation Center talk about these BIG opportunities and laying out the partnering receipe book for success.  I’ll be hosting our ISV Leadership Forum that is open to partners and software vendors from all across the Valley and I look forward to seeing many new partners at the event!   It’s a great opportunity for you to come and learn from other partners who have found great success in teaming with IBM!

If you want to attend — here’s the info and registration page.

I hope to see you there!

Congratulations to our new IBM Tivoli Champions!

Earlier this week Steve Mills and I had the privilege of naming twenty new IBM Champions for IBM’s Tivoli solutions on the Expo Broadcast stage at our IBM Pulse event.   If you ever wanted to be around the best of the best technologists, then you need to hang out with some of these folks!

IBM Champions are innovative thought leaders in the technical community — they have a track record of success in both implementing solutions and helping others replicate their best practices, and they are well known leaders among their peers across the industry.   Some are full-time IT professionals, others are business leaders, developers, or educators who influences and mentors others to help them make best use of IBM software, solutions, and services.

As you can see from the list of the 20 new Champions below – they hail from all parts of the globe:

Gerald Beasley USA – MN Westgroup
Harald Biedermann Austria OVB Österreichische Bundesbahnen
Brenda Collins USA – MN Medtronic
Andrew Cunningham UK British American Tobacco
Celeste Grone USA – OH Ohio Health
Tom Hughes UK Butterfly Software Limited
Ronda Kiser-Oakes USA – VA Wellpoint
David Murray USA – SC Premier Systems Management Solutions, LLC
Nathan Owens USA – MI Blue Medora LLC
Julie Rampello USA – OH Projetech
Sergei Rodionov Russia Axibase
Cheryl Ruckel USA – OH CDW
José Carlos Stipp Brazil NaskiGi SGTI Ltda.
Frank Tate USA – WV Gulf Breeze Software
Paolo Tortiglione Italy Connet Consulting
Michael Urwin Australia Kalibrate
Jason Verly USA – MN Davisco Foods
Jos Verschuuren Netherlands Atos
Yves Vlamijnck France Icaro Technologies
Paul Webb UK International Power – GDF Suez

As IBM Champions they are available to you for advice, networking, speaking engagements, or even just comparing notes on how best to implement your current project!   This group joins their fellow IBM Champions from all of IBM’s solution areas – and bring our total number to just 400 IBM Champions around the world!  You can find the full list that is searchable here – so make sure you reach out to them and get connected!

THINK Forum on Leadership – My Reflections on Key Themes

Last week I had the privilege of joining with 500 other top leaders from around the globe to spend two full days thinking about the future of leadership.  The THINK Forum event was run by IBM as part of our Centennial Year and brought together leaders from government, business, academia and science  to discuss and debate how leadership will be different in the years ahead.  As you can imagine, it was a fascinating discussion!  Imagine hearing about the future of leadership from everyone ranging from Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMC, the King of Jordan King Abdullah Al Hussein, the President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III, Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Joichi Ito the Director of the MIT Media Lab, to Rijan Mittal Vice Chairmam of Bharti Enterprises.

In reflecting on all of their comments and the discussion themes that emerged – I think there were three key themes that I found particularly interesting  that came out across all the speaker and panelists.

1) Leadership requires instilling a deep & distinct set of purpose and clarity of objectives.  This is more important than ever with next generation of leaders and employee who want to align their efforts to a higher purpose.  Those leaders who can align communicate with extreme clarity about the objectives, and link those objectives to a greater, meaningful mission for the company and it’s stakeholders will be best able to drive higher levels of motivation and performance.

2)  Optimism is the greatest act of rebellion.   More so that ever today given the gloom and doom that has is prevailing across countries, markets and institutions, those leaders who reject the status quo, and reject the difficulty of the situation by providing an optimistic path forward will be the most successful.   Our teammates, colleagues, employees and partners naturally gravitate to the leaders who provide an optimistic path forward out of the doom and gloom.  Many of the speakers point to cases in business, politics, science, and other industries where breakthroughs were achieved.  One of the speakers used this “Optimism is the greatest act of rebellion” phrase – but I cannot remember who – so forgive me for not attributing it properly!

3) Authoritarian models of leadership are a thing of the past.  Tomorrow’s leaders have to be more collaborative and be the very best be at influencing others to drive action and consensus.  This requires deep, fundamental listening to stakeholders and constituents, the ability to find common ground to move solutions forward, and the servant leadership model that asserts leaders are simply stewards of resources and have a profound responsibility to stakeholders to achieve the right outcomes with humility and respect.

It was a real privilege to be at such a gathering of leaders.   You can see many of their comments in video format at this site – be sure to check it out

IBM Software Now All Priced For the Cloud!

Today at our Impact event in Las Vegas, we’re excited to announce two new great opportunities for partners to take advantage of as they capitlize on the demand for cloud computing solutions.

To help start-up companies and IBM Business Partners more easily build their own cloud applications and infrastructures with IBM technology, today we announced:

  1. New monthly rental pricing of IBM software for any ISV delivering their Software as a Service application with IBM middleware.  This allows ISVs to deliver their SaaS applications with IBM software and scale up or down the software licenses needed monthly, complementing the flexible manner these ISVs bill clients for their SaaS applications.
  2. New financing programs specifically designed for IBM Business Partners building cloud computing technical environments.  With low cost to 0% financing and deferred payments up to 6 months on IBM technology and services, the company will offer qualifying partners the opportunity to avoid large up-front costs as they start their cloud businesses.

One of the coolest features of the new pricing models is that you can commit total usage across a range of 20 key products and true up at the end of each month in total.  This is one of the key areas our partners told us would really help – so we can all get out of trying to forecast usage at each product area and instead focus on driving new business.

You can get all the details at ibm.com/cloud.   Full press release here.

The new offerings come on the heels of IBM’s newly announced enterprise cloud service delivery platform, the IBM SmartCloud, announced last week!  And of course they build on the IBM Cloud Computing Specialty program for partners and the new Cloud Computing Community we announced in late February which will enable IBM to develop the IT industry’s broadest ecosystem of companies providing a wide range of cloud computing services and technologies.
And in case anyone wonders if we are embracing Cloud – just a reminder that our recent 2011 Investor meeting, we laid out the company’s 2015 roadmap on the continued transformation of IBM with focus on higher value capabilities.  Our CFO, Mark Loughridge stated that IBM projects $7 billion in Cloud  revenue by 2015.

Yup – $7 billion.

Special thanks to our IBM Business Partners TOTVS, GROUP Solutions Group, CloudOne, Availity, along with many other early  adopters of our pilot pricing program, for helping us refine the monthly software rental pricing models.

Channel Happy Hour!

I just recently had a great discussion with Mike Vizard and Brett Martin, two long-time industry veterans, who host the Channel Happy Hour!  We had a very engaging discussion for almost an hour that covered everything from Smarter Planet to analystics, to cloud computing, service management and SOA, partner strategies, Smarter Commerce, key skills for IT professionals for the next decade, and even a bit of advice on restraurants!

Be sure to check it out on their site and download the podcast from itunes – and let us know what you think!

IBM & Sky IT deliver SmarterRetail solution for Bernard Chaus giving consolidated view of what’s selling and why

Imagine if you could spot marketplace trends and understand customer preferences as they were happening?
Bernard Chaus Inc. significantly boosts sales, reduces costs and gains business agility with real-time visibility into sales.

What was the situation?
Despite being a seasoned leader in the fashion industry, Bernard Chaus had little knowledge of which, where and how much of its products had sold until four to five weeks into a season. By then, it was almost too late to take corrective action. Without more timely and accurate insight into sales, management struggled to react quickly and make informed decisions. As a result, the company was often forced to absorb mark-downs, forfeit prime real estate on selling floors and lose sales.

What makes it smarter?
In the fast-paced fashion industry, companies that know exactly which of their products have sold gain insight into marketplace trends and customer preferences—a true competitive advantage. Bernard Chaus not only gained real-time visibility into its sales but also saved 20 percent to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses with its new business intelligence (BI) solution. Now the company has a current, accurate and comprehensive view into which products have sold by date, chain, store, size, brand, color, demographic and geography. Management can react more quickly to trends, capitalize on market opportunities and make better decisions about production and inventory, leading to improved operations and decreased costs.

By using SKYPAD, a unique Cloud Computing solution from Sky IT Group and IBM,  Bernard Chaus, Inc. has achieved the impossible – the ability to track which clothing items are selling – and which are not – at the retailer level on a day-to-day basis. This unique insight is achieved by merging information from retail outlets around the world augmented by Chaus Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data. Chaus can quickly make predictive decisions to help customers drive sales, cut markdowns and realize cost savings.

What were the real business results?

  • Dramatically improved sell-through (actual items sold), saving up to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses
  • Improved ability to react more quickly to sales trends, customer preferences and marketplace opportunities
  • Increased efficiencies and collaboration across the sales, design, merchandising and production departments with a single, integrated view of data

See the full story here

What if you could spot marketplace trends and understand customer preferences as they were happening?
Bernard Chaus Inc. significantly boosts sales, reduces costs and gains business agility with real-time visibility into sales. 

What was the situation?
Despite being a seasoned leader in the fashion industry, Bernard Chaus had little knowledge of which, where and how much of its products had sold until four to five weeks into a season. By then, it was almost too late to take corrective action. Without more timely and accurate insight into sales, management struggled to react quickly and make informed decisions. As a result, the company was often forced to absorb mark-downs, forfeit prime real estate on selling floors and lose sales.

What makes it smarter?
In the fast-paced fashion industry, companies that know exactly which of their products have sold gain insight into marketplace trends and customer preferences—a true competitive advantage. Bernard Chaus not only gained real-time visibility into its sales but also saved 20 percent to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses with its new business intelligence (BI) solution. Now the company has a current, accurate and comprehensive view into which products have sold by date, chain, store, size, brand, color, demographic and geography. Management can react more quickly to trends, capitalize on market opportunities and make better decisions about production and inventory, leading to improved operations and decreased costs.

What were the real business results?
Dramatically improved sell-through (actual items sold), saving up to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses
Improved ability to react more quickly to sales trends, customer preferences and marketplace opportunities
Increased efficiencies and collaboration across the sales, design, merchandising and production departments with a single, integrated view of data

See the full story here:
http://www-01.ibm.com/software/success/cssdb.nsf/CS/SCHA-8EY3L6?OpenDocument&Site=corp&cty=en_us