IBM is continuing its cloud push by launching a series of initiatives aimed at business partners of SoftLayer. The initiatives announced on Friday include new sales incentives, marketing programs and training courses to help partners improve margins and drive demand for cloud services.
According to IBM, SoftLayer Business Partners who have transitioned to the cloud are seeing more than twice as much revenue growth as partners who have not.
“Cloud computing is transforming the relationship between Business Partners and their clients, creating unprecedented opportunities to enter new markets and sell new services,” Tom Blair, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, SoftLayer, an IBM Company said. “SoftLayer recognizes that our Business Partners are evolving to meet the needs of their customers and we are committed to building a world class support program for them to tap into as they transition to this new era of computing.”
The partner program combines best practices from SoftLayer’s partner program and IBM PartnerWorld, and the new initiatives come as IBM has added new disaster recovery and managed security services for SoftLayer cloud customers.
IBM is offering SoftLayer Business Partners earned-volume discounts without requiring upfront commitment, and is creating a new SoftLayer Services & Solution Provider program, which sets out to streamline the SoftLayer hosting reseller and strategic partners program. The goal there is to clarify the eligibility requirement and benefits of the program.
Another initiative is co-marketing as part of PartnerWorld to help SoftLayer Business Partners generate demand for services and improve marketing skills. These partners will have access to campaign design tools and customizable campaign templates.
Finally, IBM is expanding the technical training courses for both SoftLayer and IBM Business Partners. The courses are free of charge and offer two-days of hands-on activities to build skills to meet client demands. Classes are held in 21 locations including markets where IBM is expanding its network of cloud hubs including Japan and India.