Big Blue is expanding access to its Cloud Engagement Fund for all partner types. “IBM offers a tremendous opportunity to advance channel-neutral sales programs that open accounts and generate leads for partners to expand and improve IBM’s sales capabilities,” said John Longmire, chief revenue officer for Boston-based IBM partner Ironside.

New investments that IBM launched Tuesday to meet its promise to spend $ 1 billion on strengthening its cloud ecosystem will give the channel a head start on more complex cloud work, according to solution providers.

The Armonk, New York-based technology giant is expanding access to its Cloud Engagement Fund to all partner types and opening up a variety of technical resources and cloud credits to help partners migrate customer workloads to hybrid cloud environments to help.

John Longmire, chief revenue officer of Boston-based IBM partner Ironside, said any investment to help partners with go-to-market approaches and sales alignment will be a win.

“IBM has a tremendous opportunity to advance channel-neutral sales programs that open accounts and generate leads for partners to expand and improve IBM’s sales capabilities,” said Longmire.

The improvements to the IBM- Affiliate programs were held at Think 2021, a conference focused on hybrid cloud and AI.

“There’s never been a better time to be in the IBM ecosystem,” said David La Rose, general manager of IBM Partner ecosystem, CRN in a previous interview. “There is $ 1 billion in the market today and that will only help them (partners) get to business faster and earlier.”

One of the new offerings for channel partners is an expansion of cloud engagement Fund for technical resources and cloud credits to help partners migrate customer workloads in hybrid cloud environments to all partner types, whether they build on, maintain, sell, or resell IBM goods and services to the new Competence framework for partners to demonstrate technical expertise and success in areas such as hybrid cloud infrastructure, automation and security. The new advantages for partners include the joint creation of customer centers and proof-of-concept incentives.

The 10 new competencies that focus on sales partners in the IBM tracks “Build” and “Service” are the migration from SAP to the IBM Cloud (Service), AI Powered Automation for IT operations (Build) , AI Powered Business Automation (Build) and AI Powered Automation for IT Operations (Service), AI-powered Business Automation (Service), Anywhere with IBM Cloud Satellite (Service), Provision of an IBM Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure (Service), Accelerating Journey to AI (Build), Accelerating the Journey to AI (Service) Service) and Zero Trust Security (Service).

Mark Wyllie, CEO of Boca Raton, the Florida-based IBM Gold Business Partner Flagship Solutions Group, said that the connection of further partners with architects and services technical partners should be helpful in the communication with customers in order to achieve the customer’s goals.

“Customers not only want someone who knows what they want, but who can explain what they can do,” Wyllie told CRN.

Wyllie said it shows that with the new investments, IBM is thinking of medium-sized partners, not just the largest global systems integrators.

[See also: IBM Exec: “There’s never been a better time to become a partner”]

The new skills are also of interest to Wyllies. After investing in separating his company from the IBM partner group by gaining competencies and certifications in cloud, automation and security, he said he will invest the time and money to show customers that Flagship is leads the way in new certifications in these areas.

Wyllie said he “definitely” sees “a bigger boost and more targeted programs with funding behind partners” five months after IBM announced it would spend $ 1 billion on its partner ecosystem.

However, he is waiting for more information from IBM on how best to access the new partner benefits. “We need more information down to the execution level about how easy it will be to get all the benefits,” he said.

While IBM Silver Partner Connection is focusing more on growing its Microsoft, Google Cloud, and AWS businesses this year, the Merrimack, NH-based company’s chief growth and innovation officer told CRN that IBM is the Channel partners have to expand available technical resources of different sizes and markets.

“This is a basic channel program that IBM should have. So it’s good to see IBM bring these movements into the channel, ”said Jamal Khan.

Ref: https://www.crn.com