IBM Boosts Its Channel Partner Skills Programs

by: Nichole Gunn February 9, 2011

IBM enhanced its Software Value Plus channel partners program with two innovative skills initiatives: an IBM Industry Authorization initiative and an IBM Security Authorization. Both these initiatives focus on Industry Authorization and a Security Authorization.

According to eChannelLine.com, the primary goal of the new programs is to provide industry-specific knowledge of verticals. This strategy will provide channel partners with an understanding of customers' businesses, in effect, giving IBM partners a sales advantage.

Vice president of IBM Software Business Partners Sandy Carter told the business site, “This is extremely significant. For our Software Value Plus program, it's the most important part since the program started in January [2010]."

In a survey of over 2,000 IT professionals in 87 countries, conducted by IBM, 90 percent of participants recognized that vertical industry-specific skills are very important, but 63 percent noted that they didn’t have the need industry knowledge to be competitive. The results of the survey are what prompted IBM to implement the new programs.

The Industry Authorization initiative was implemented to enhance IBM’s current Software Value Plus initiative. It is believed it will be an effective tool to help IT professionals. "It enables resellers and SIs to validate their industry expertise,” notes Carter. "They must pass two IBM Industry Mastery tests and map their strategy to IBM Industry Frameworks.” Along with this, participants then have to pass a board review in order to “become industry authorized."