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IBM beefs up software partner incentives

IBM beefs up software partner incentives

IBM has unveiled a rewards program for software partners as part of efforts to grow its presence in SMB and the mid-market.

The new Software Value Incentive (SVI) - which covers all steps of the sales cycle - will see resellers earn rebates for identifying opportunities, closing the deal and implementing solutions.

IBM software channels manager, Sue Hope, said it had launched the initiative as a way of boosting new license sales in broader market segments.

"We want to skew everything towards the mid-market as that's where we want to grow our business," she said.

Partners receive up to 20 per cent margin on SMB and mid-market sales if they are involved in all three stages. Those operating in other market sectors would earn up to 10 per cent margin. There are also smaller rebates available for either identifying or fulfilling a deal.

"As IBM identifies a lead and passes it on to a qualified partner, they will get paid on the sales and closing component," Hope said.

IBM previously maintained a Top Contributor Initiative (TCI), which provided select SMB and mid-market partners with rebates of up to 8 per cent for meeting set revenue targets.

"TCI was relevant but it didn't have as much impact in the sense that it was only open to partners in a particular framework," Hope said. "This new program is applicable from SMB right through to enterprise accounts. It gives partners the funding to invest in new opportunities if they want to by identifying, closing and fulfilling."

IBM has developed a Web registration portal to allow partners to submit potential customer leads.

Hope said information would remain confidential between the partner and select IBM staff to ensure resellers retained the deal. She insisted IBM would not take registered deals direct.

Opportunities would need to have a software component worth $10,000 or more to qualify.

"We recognise that to be successful in the mid-market, we need flexibility," Hope said. "Customers in that space often buy software on a project basis, not in big chunks."

SVI is open to systems integrators, ISVs and resellers registered in IBM's Business Partner Advantage Program.

Hope said 16 partners had already joined since the pilot in April.


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