IBM has commenced its first partner roadshow for the year to drive new education initiatives.
The event series, which began in Perth and visits Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, will highlight key focus areas for the vendor in 2009.
IBM director of global business partners, Andrew Baker, said enablement was at the forefront of the vendor’s partner strategy in 2009.
“We see the race for skills to be key in this economic climate,” he said. “Those that obtain the skills quickest will thrive.
“We wanted to start the year with a clear message to our partners.We had 100 business partners come to the Perth summit, which was slightly more than we were expecting, so it’s been a good start.”
IBM’s partner enablement plans are focused in two areas: A channel academy, which the vendor plans to increase in breadth and depth to encompass solutions training; and business management and marketing disciplines.
“The point product era is all but over,” Baker said. “It’s important for us to educate partners around solutions sales and technologies.”
IBM is also doing work around its online enablement programs and has just launched the Virtual Classroom, which allows people to interact with a presenter in a webinar-type environment.
“We’ve also increased the number of education modules we’re offering partners online,” Baker said.
Partners had also recognised the need to increase certification a technical levels, and IBM had seen a 53 per cent increase in certification levels, he said.