IBM Announces Cloud Computing Specialty for Channel Partners
IBM says 91 percent of IT professionals think cloud computing will overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire IT by 2015. With that figure in mind, IBM today launched the IBM Cloud Computing Specialty for channel partners. TalkinCloud FastChat Video captured perspectives on the specialty from Jim Corgel, general manager for ISV and developer relations at IBM.
The specialty, announced at the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla., covers five types of channel partners:
- Cloud Application Providers — deliver business applications via a subscription model through the cloud such as Software as a Service.
- Cloud Builders — design, build and manage clients’ cloud needs, typically integrating with existing infrastructure and public, private and hybrid clouds.
- Cloud Infrastructure Providers — provide a public cloud infrastructure or Platform as a Service on which application providers and companies can host their offerings.
- Cloud Services Solution Providers — resell multiple public cloud services and offer complementary services such as training and integration.
- Cloud Technology Providers — provide the tools, services, and technologies — such as cloud management, billing metering and monitoring — that help clients use the cloud more effectively.
As part of the effort, IBM states:
“Members can gain access to a wide range of IBM cloud computing marketing and sales enablement resources to help them build, market and sell cloud computing solutions. These include an assigned IBM relationship manager to provide day-to-day support, confidential updates on the IBM cloud strategy and roadmap, business development funds to invest in marketing and events, invitations to IBM business development workshops, assessment tools to develop customized client recommendations for cloud strategies, and expanded use of LotusLive to more fully demonstrate how partner offerings use IBM cloud technology.”
Meanwhile, IBM today also introduced the first IBM Cloud Computing Authorization designed specifically for IBM software resellers. According to IBM:
While the IBM Cloud Computing Specialty focuses on the development and promotion of top cloud partners, IBM says the new authorization is an extension of the IBM Software Value Plus program, specifically for software business partners that have built and demonstrated specialty skills, and then receive financial incentives as resellers of IBM’s software portfolio.
IBM business partners that meet the program requirements, such as passing two IBM cloud computing certification tests, providing a cloud offering that includes multiple IBM technologies, and demonstrating successful client implementations, are able to sell a broad range of IBM cloud computing offerings, receive priority cloud computing lead passing consideration, and opportunities to attend joint planning meetings with IBM sales teams.
Opportunities and Challenges
No doubt, IBM has a massive commitment to cloud computing. Steve Mills, Senior VP and Group Executive Software & Systems, says IBM now has eight SaaS offerings. And the new IBM cloud computing specialization efforts could give IBM partners a boost.
Still, it’s been interesting to watch IBM talk up cloud this week, especially since IBM wasn’t really mentioned during last week’s VMware Partner Exchange conference, most of which focused on the cloud.
Plenty of IT vendors are building similar cloud computing specializations. Cisco Systems, for instance, is expected to announce a range of go-to-market cloud partner programs later this month at Cisco Partner Summit 2011.