IBM has announced its initial group of partners in a four-pronged strategy aimed at gaining new business through the development of emerging Internet companies.
KAZ Computer Services and WebCentral have completed an accreditation process that sees them gain additional sales leads through IBM's 'Hosting Advantage Partner' Program.
Similarly, IBM has also signed an agreement with Technology Venture Partners (TVP) to offer additional technical and business consulting services to TVP-funded entrepreneurs under the new 'VC Connections' program.
The vendor has inked a deal with BlueFire Group Incubator as the concept-house of choice for start-ups under the third arm of the scheme, tagged the "Incubator Series." It has also promised to take some of the start-ups services under these schemes to its International partners and customers under the new 'Going Global' program.
These initial partners will work with IBM in co-branding and joint marketing aimed at sharing sales opportunities and offering entrepreneurs funding, hosting and business development assistance through one source.
"Partners get the leverage [of] the IBM brand, to take part in joint marketing, and gain access to IBM's global partner and customer networks," said Peter Hreszczuk, country executive for Net Generation Business at IBM Australia and New Zealand. "Our accreditation and endorsement also gives their customers a lot of confidence."
Hreszczuk does not see the scheme as a way of choosing between partners, but as giving customers confidence in using IBM-branded services. He is also confident the move will not upset the traditional IBM channel that offer similar services already.
"I think there are plenty of opportunities to add complimentary services," he said. "For example, if a company needs some software development, something a hosting company or an incubator does not specialise in, we will direct that need to the right partners."
More partners are expected to be announced next year.