IBM Intros New PartnerWorld Competencies, Training, Benefits

IBM announced a new competency framework, skills development, and expanded its Cloud Engagement Fund.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

May 11, 2021

3 Min Read
Computer Training
"The one thing that we have learned over the years is in regard to hiring and culture.  We have learned how to hire for the right reasons and not necessarily for technical talent.  I would rather have a tier 1 tech come on board that we have to train and is eager to learn more so than a seasoned tech that is not going to fit into our culture.  We have learned how to be patient with our hiring and take the time to fully flesh out the candidates form a culture perspective first." —Aaron Tuomala, CEO, Method TechnologiesShutterstock

IBM THINK — IBM today announced new competencies, skills training and other benefits for partners in its PartnerWorld Program.

It’s part of its $1 billion investment to help partners capture a $1 trillion hybrid cloud market opportunity.


IBM’s David La Rose

David La Rose, GM, IBM Partner Ecosystem, and Evaristus Mainsah, GM, IBM Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem, announced the news in a blog. The announcement comes as IBM Think 2021 kicks off on Tuesday.

The new competency framework will enable partners to demonstrate expertise, technical validation and sales success, it said. These will be in areas such as hybrid cloud infrastructure, automation, and security.

IBM data show that partners who earn one or more competencies drive on average 25 times the IBM revenue of partners who have not achieved a competency.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

New benefits include co-creation client centers, proof-of-concept incentives to fuel co-innovation, and messaging acceleration workshops. These are to help partner organizations develop custom, buyer-centric messaging plans. Over the course of an eight-hour workshop, partners work to develop core messaging on all sales and marketing materials. The aim is to help maximize opportunity generation for their defined market.


IBM’s Evaristus Mainsah

The new skills are aligned to the competency framework and job roles, along with technology to bring IBM training into partners’ own learning management systems. This is to help build credibility for partners in the market.

PartnerWorld Program

IBM said it has been honing its corporate strategy over the least year around hybrid cloud and AI.

“We have evolved our relationship with the ecosystem to enable more opportunities for our partners to deliver shared value to customers,” the company said.

At IBM Think last year, IBM unveiled new Build and Service tracks, which included Partner Packages. These contained resources to help partners learn, develop, test and create proofs of concept. Since then, more than 4,000 partners have signed on to use the packages.

IBM noted that the importance of its partner ecosystem is growing. It said the PartnerWorld program connects partners to the technical, marketing and selling resources they need. Through this, they can co-create, drive more wins, enter new markets and accelerate revenue.

It quotes analyst firm IDC.

“The further evolution of PartnerWorld in 2021 builds upon the reimagination in 2020,” it said. “[This] provides more depth for partners to differentiate across the three tracks of build, service and sell.”

IBM also said the Cloud Engagement Fund (CEF) helps partners migrate customer workloads to hybrid cloud environments. It achieves this though investment in technical resources and cloud credits for partners. Today, it is expanding the availability of the funds to all partners, whether they build on, service or resell IBM technology.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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