IBM Puts Smart to Work with Partners in the Garage
Five years in and the IBM Garage, based on a co-creation and co-working model for business transformation, this year kicked off a solidified global partner strategy that includes working with business partners of all sizes and types.
IBM has worked, for years, with several larger strategic business partners in the Garage in a flexible workforce fashion augmenting the skills that IBM has across the board. This strategy is to ensure that IBM is meeting the various customer expectations and requirements in putting together a business-driven outcome and solution.
“We have several partners now and we’re expanding as we need per customer requirements across our 16 physical locations,” Dot Vlasic, global head of the IBM Garage partner ecosystem, told Channel Futures.
But that’s not the only role for partners in the Garage. The flexible workforce strategy served as a springboard to bringing partners into other opportunities to work together with IBM.
Another piece of the partner strategy has to do with a strategic embedded solutions model.
“We work with business partners who take parts of the Garage or the entire Garage methodology, embed it into a current solution that they have, host that and resell that to the different clients,” said Vlasic.
This plays to IBM’s ISV portfolio and co-branding model. Partners are already bringing new customers into the Garage that IBM hasn’t worked with.
“This is one of the best things about working with business partners. We have the scale but they’re working closely with thousands of customers that IBM doesn’t have close relationships with, or in some cases, any relationship with,” she noted.
What today is called the IBM Garage has evolved from the IBM Bluemix Garage and the IBM Cloud Garage. Its core mission has always been to help clients find a new way of working as they transform their business.
Launched in San Francisco in 2014, the IBM Bluemix Garage was envisioned around the launch of IBM’s Bluemix, an open cloud platform intended to facilitate rapid development of applications in the cloud by driving developer engagement and what it means to develop services on a platform. The Bluemix Garage was later rebranded as the IBM Cloud Garage, which combines people, places, platforms and methodologies in a creative environment that fosters innovation and rapid development on IBM Cloud.
“Same mission, same purpose, just broadened in scale with the number of technologies we supported and the ways we connected with our clients in more locations,” said Stephanie Trunzo, global head of the IBM Garage.
Which brings us to this year, with the latest rebranding to IBM Garage.
“Now when we speak about the Garage, it’s about the span and scope of what we’ve learned more broadly,” said Trunzo. “Now the IBM Garage is the signature co-creation experience across cloud and cognitive, Global Business Services (GBS), Global Technology Services (GPS) and all of the areas of IBM coming together under one methodology and one way of working with our clients in this model.”
Trunzo, in her current position for just over a year, is no stranger to the IBM partner ecosystem. She’s been part of the IBM story for more than 10 years, having joined the company right out of graduate school. Trunzo left IBM and joined PointSource, an IBM business partner, who she took through its acquisition by Globant.
PointSource worked in the original Bluemix Garage. As a business partner, Trunzo also worked with IBM’s Vlasic, whom she recruited over to the Garage to help expand the partner strategy.
The IBM Garage business partner strategy is resonating with partners who see it as an addition to their portfolio of offerings.
“It’s a huge value-add for them to help their customers transform and innovate,” said Vlasic. “It’s the tip of the spear for the bigger customer engagement and being able to …