AI Takes Center Stage at IBM Partner Plus Day

IBM hyped up its artificial intelligence offerings during opening remarks on Partner Plus Day before IBM Think.

Christopher Hutton, Technology Reporter

May 20, 2024

2 Min Read
IBM's Kate Woolley at IBM 2024
IBM's Kate Woolley at IBM Partner Plus Day 2024, Boston, May 20.

IBM THINK/PARTNER PLUS DAY — Artificial intelligence was a leading focus of IBM’s leadership during opening remarks at Partner Plus Day, part of IBM Think 2024.

Partner Plus Day announcements featured a number of new products and initiatives that the vendor is pursuing in the immediate future. Kate Woolley, general manager of the IBM Partner Ecosystem, spoke to attendees at the Monday keynote, where she emphasized the power of artificial intelligence and IBM’s intent to collaborate with partners to bring the technology to fruition and to serve their needs. There was a particular focus on watsonx, the company's commercial generative AI and scientific data platform.

“The time for AI is now and the time for collaboration is now,” Woolley said. The IBM executive emphasized that the company would uphold a “partner-first” model to capture the potential of AI.

The company’s partners seemed confident in IBM’s technology, even going as far as to claim it was stronger than OpenAI and Anthropic, two popular LLM providers.

Several of IBM’s partners spoke of how they were using generative AI in conjunction with IBM’s technology and how it had an advantage.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about if you can provide that flexibility choice and control to customers,” Gaurav Parakh, director of service transformation at Wipro, told Channel Futures. “IBM’s AI options provide that.”

Related:IBM Plans MSP Program, Honors Partner Plus Award Winners

Parakh described IBM’s options as neutral and able to adapt to any data set that a client or partner might have.

Innovative Solutions' Travis Rehl

Other partner executives, such as Innovative Solutions VP of product and service delivery Travis Rehl, also noted how IBM’s generative AI tools came out years before OpenAI and Anthropic released their chatbots to the public.

“Amazon just released their first draft of their AI software, while IBM has been at it for 10 or more years,” Rehl said. "It shows how much more experience IBM has with this technology compared to its competitors."

"IBM is focused on aligning with the growing trend of partners shifting and expanding their business models to better compete in a market driven by AI adoption, compete and or partner better with leading hyperscalers, and help partners increase the speed of innovation, time to market, and develop new revenue streams as they create value for their clients," Anurag Agrawal, founder and chief global analyst, Techaisle, told Channel Futures.

IBM announced on Monday that it was planning to launch a Partner Plus program for MSPs in the third quarter of 2024. It also awarded several partners with Partner Plus awards in recognition of their skills and talents.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Hutton

Technology Reporter, Channel Futures

Christopher Hutton is a technology reporter at Channel Futures. He previously worked at the Washington Examiner, where he covered tech policy on the Hill. He currently covers MSPs and developing technologies. He has a Master's degree in sociology from Ball State University.

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