10 Questions (and Answers) About the New IBM Partner Plus Program

IBM partners have six months to transition from PartnerWorld to the new program.

Jeffrey Schwartz

January 6, 2023

10 Slides

IBM partners now have less than six months to transition to the new IBM Partner Plus program from PartnerWorld. Kate Woolley, general manager of IBM’s ecosystem, announced the new program on Wednesday, a year after stepping into the new role.

During a briefing with analysts and media, Woolley explained why IBM is retiring PartnerWorld, Big Blue’s flagship partner program for more than 20 years. Woolley said IBM Partner Plus is the outgrowth of the company’s three top priorities: hybrid cloud and AI, which IBM sees as a $1 trillion market; transforming its go-to-market with more technical expertise; and having an open ecosystem.

IBM said that through the new partner portal launched last year, partners would have real-time visibility into the incentives they could receive. It includes an upgraded deal-registration engine and new co-marketing campaign support.


IBM’s Kate Woolley

“There is a very clear line of sight into how a partner’s business decisions impact the incentives they receive,” Woolley said. “Put plainly; we put our partners in the driver’s seat of their incentives. Our proficiency badges are tied to incentives. So, the more our partners learn, the more they can earn.”

During the transition period, IBM will recognize partners in different tiers: silver, gold and platinum, based on training and revenues.

Woolley fielded numerous questions during the recent briefing. See how she answered 10 of them in the slideshow above.

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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