Newly appointed IBM business partner director, Andrew Baker, has highlighted SMB penetration and solution selling as key initiatives for its channel this year.
Baker started in the business partner organisation (BPO) role this month. He spent the last two-and-a-half years in charge of the vendor's small business unit. Prior to this, he was director of global business partners in A/NZ. He has 24 years' experience at IBM. Baker replaces Scott Kardash, who has been promoted to director of service-oriented architecture for Asia- Pacific. He will continue to be based in Sydney.
"In SMB, there was a real reliance on business partners, especially in the mid-market. This [position] is a natural extension of that role - as was my appointment into SMB given my previous experience in the channel," Baker said.
While BPO was in good shape, Baker said he was plotting several program initiatives which would kick-off over coming months. Many would feature education and sales incentives.
"There are lots of things happening in terms of market trends: the need to drive to solutions from vendors and partners for example," he said. "It's really become pressing that we move into solutions.
"There are a lot of opportunities in the market we can explore with partners, such as hosted services." Baker said it was also imperative IBM ramp up partner participation and effort in the SMB market.
"We see this as a number one priority for our channel business," he said. "We're working very hard to fully engage business partners in this space and they should be seeing some strong opportunities to go after the full SMB market with IBM."