At the recent IBM PartnerWorld, I was able to meet with Dave Carlquist, Vice President, Worldwide Channels, IBM Systems. We had a nice chat about the key demographic at PartnerWorld 2015, and the IBM partner program.
To start, there were1500 partner attendees at the recent PartnerWorld event in Las Vegas. Dave explained that the key audience at this particular event was the C-level executive looking to get more info on the bigger picture of today’s technology landscape. Dave also explained that the IBM Interconnect event, taking place here soon, will have about 4000 of the company’s technological partners.
“A big part of our strategy is about moving to value and selling value. IBM builds its partner programs around selling value,” said Dave in our interview.
With that quote, I’ll jump into the IBM partner program conversation. Dave mentioned that there were about 100,000 people certified last year through IBM’s partner program, on various solutions. For SMB partners, Dave said that IBM has a two-tier distributor strategy, so partners can get support from both the disty and IBM.
So how do IBM partners make money? Dave said that it depends on the solution sold, and that most partners see a bigger payout on the front end, as opposed to recurring revenue. If IBM partners sell both hardware and software, there’s an added bonus.