B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 1 month ago

Flexibility and Agility: The Revamped IBM Reseller Program


This isn’t your father’s IBM.

Although the hallmarks of IBM remain the same, the company continues to adapt as the marketplace evolves. Recently, that has included some exciting changes to the IBM Reseller Program.

Shelby Skrhak talks with Susan Martens, Global Managing Director for Ingram Micro at IBM, and James Pickett, Sr. Solutions Sales Executive, and Lindsay Corbett, Solutions Development Executive, both with Ingram Micro, about:

  • How IBM has both changed and remained the same
  • What IBM’s agility means for resellers
  • How IBM emphasizes value for all   

For more information, contact Lindsay (lindsay.corbett@ingrammicro.com), James (james.pickett2@ingrammicro.com), or Susan (sldratt@us.ibm.com), and visit Ingram Micro’s IBM resource page.

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

...mm you're listening to B two B techtalk with ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology andtechnological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast issponsored by IBM. IBM is a leading hybrid, multi cloud solutions company,accelerating the creation development and manufacturing of the industry'smost advanced information technology for companies around the world. Let'sget into it. Welcome to B two B tech talk with ingram Micro. I'm your hostShelby scare hawk and our guests today are Susan Martin's Global managingdirector for IBM Jim Pickett Senior solutions sales executive for ingramMicro and Lindsay Corbett solutions development executive for ingram Micro.Susan Jim and lindsey. Welcome. Hey Shelby, thanks for having us, I shallbe glad to be here, glad to be here. So today we are, we're talking about IBM'spartnership with ingram Micro and I think I think of two seemingly oppositeslogans here. So there's the old saying nobody gets fired for buying IBM butthen reading about Ibn partnership with ingram Micro, it kind of seems like I'mgetting this, you know, this isn't your father's IBM. So Susan, let me ask you,can it be both and why? Sure, that's a great question and Iwould say when that slogan of nobody gets fired for buying IBM was aroundthere were, you know, this is, you know, decades ago, Right, this is back in thedays where we were working with Nasa and the Apollo launch right there, justwas this tremendous, tremendous trust in the company and uh and you know,that's one of the things to me that has remained the same with IBM, but thenthere's been so many things that have changed, so in response to our owngrowth, in response to the marketplace, which has continued to add more andmore fierce competitors throughout the...

...years in different spaces of softwareand hardware middle, where there's just been so much change, there is no waythat we could be the same and still continue to be the competitor that weneed to be in the marketplace. But as I said, I think the hallmarks that haveremained the same would be the trust that we really work hard to make surewe have with our clients with our partner community and certainly that,that foremost attention to technology, right? We are a technology company atour heart and we continued that mantra, you know, since our inception and youknow, you don't have to look any further than our patent counts everyyear continuing to grow that and just put tremendous new technology on thetable for our customers, for our partners. So delivering on technology,delivering on trust, those are the hallmarks. But we've had to change,we've had to become more flexible, more agile, more nimble to continue to be afierce competitor in this space, Right? Because if it was still that same IBM,you know, a lot of the, a lot of the agility would be, would be lost there.So jim, we talk about IBM shifting and becoming more agile, what does thatmean then for resellers specifically who are considering working with IBM umthat's a great, great question. Um so I think overall especially this year andmoving forward, IBM made some major changes to their reseller programbeginning of this uh this calendar year. And um basically what they did is theyrevamped their entire reseller program allowing for more flexibility allowingfor resellers to come on board much quicker, more more agile agile as aswell as you know, ramping new resellers up to um you know to come on board andkind of a fast time to revenue. So in the past, you know a reseller to becomean IBM reseller, they needed either you...

...know, to show that they've done somerevenue, they showed that they've done, you know, they have a whole set ofcertifications, qualifications et cetera. Now it's really easy forreseller to kind of take on IBM pretty quickly with help from assistance fromus in your micro from IBM as a whole and help them, you know on boardquickly and you know, truly see the value and the IBM solution portfolio.So whether you're you specialize in infrastructure, IBM cloud, IBM softwareor your, you know analytics, whether you're an MSP et cetera, you know, IBMhas a solution for you and to to come on board and relatively and in a matterof days if not weeks, you know ramp up quickly and help help a reseller takeon that portfolio and hopefully be successful you know, in a short time torevenue and success from a business perspective. Well so let me follow upthen. So the reseller program, I mean it had been where they're kind of was alittle bit of a high bar to be in that space but ingram Micro has would it befair to say kind of democratized that so a lot more businesses can takeadvantage of working with IBM. Yeah, absolutely. So we we help you know wehand hold all of our resellers you know through the on boarding process, theapplication process, you know the the enablement process, the educationprocess etcetera. And you know greatly reduces the time a new reseller has toyou know Take to you know basically establish their reseller agreement withIBM and you know move forward. So basically you know they could whenthey're on board from an IBM perspective they can start selling andproducing revenue from day one. Excellent. Well so Lindsay both you andJames have solutions in your titles there at ingram Micro. So can you sharesome examples of solutions that...

...resellers have come to you with or youknow some of those challenges that that they're looking to solve. Yeah,absolutely. Jim and I both work at ingram Micro and we both work ondifferent sides of the business. I particularly focus on our software sideof the business and he is power storage hardware so solutions can mean so manydifferent things when it comes to the resellers reaching out to us. Butwhat's most important is that our team takes the time to have introductorycalls, ask insightful questions about a business to really customize a go tomarket strategy that's unique to what their customers need and helps themstand out BMS partner ecosystem, you know, keeping in mind IBM sell buildservice partnership strategy companies can develop solutions and execute themby reselling the products is cutting BM labeled technology or by building orembedding IBM products in a company labeled solution both while servicingcustomers with not only these products but also pre and post sales support byway of executing for example a proof of concept prior to the sale followed byimplementation and training services. Once the products are installed there'sso many different types of solutions that what's most important and is thatwe have those discussions to really get down to the nitty gritty of what acompany is looking to sell to their customers well. So I mean I guess let'slook at maybe a recent challenge that that a customer has come to you with areseller that they're uh they're looking to solve. Um can you walk methrough that that journey, I mean you mentioned, you know the theintroductory calls, the Discovery calls to be able to uh to find out exactlywhat they're looking for, what they need but I guess can you walk usthrough that that process? A lot of...

...that process does include just a fullteam approach with ingram micro, IBM and the partner having thesediscussions I would say for a specific example, security is really animportant discussion and topic amongst, you know, customer community is makingsure their network and data is safe and secure and so, you know, with thatbeing a challenge, finger Micro and IBM will get together with these partnersand customize a solution based on IBM security offerings to any issues thatthe customers having and to make sure that the partner is able to, you know,bring that to the table and fix the problem and really just make it asuccessful secure network for that customer, definitely, definitely. AndLindsay, I think you and I have had a really good recent example to wherewe've had a partner that was new to IBM very experienced partner in IOT, a lotof experience with networks and sensors and uh Cisco was a huge partner, is ahuge partner of theirs and we were trying to figure out okay, how can I bem work with this business partner and show them what we could bring to thetable, not to disrupt anything that they're doing today, not to disrupt howthey work with Cisco. We work with Cisco a lot ourselves um and puttogether some really very intense demos very quickly for the business partnerto take them through how we do things around our maximum portfolio. And itwas it was really wonderful to see because it was it was almost as if wewere recording them as if they were a customer, right? Make us, you know,make sure we are showing you how IBM can serve your needs and the needs ofyour clients. And then and then also integrate with your existing knowledgearound the IOT portfolio and your existing partnerships with folks likeCisco. So it's uh it was really um a...

...wonderful example I think of how wehave become more nimble towards our ecosystem, that not just our end userclients. Right? I mean that nimbleness that the that ability to uh to listento to what they're looking for and react and respond. You mentioned this,the cell bill strategy here as we I guess as we start to um wrap up, I Iwonder Susan if you could, I guess if you could put it into uh kind of aheadline, if you will for the for this episode, what do you want our listenersto understand? You know, for that listener? That's thinking, you know,I'm yeah, I probably am too small. I I'm really not a good fit for IBM. Idon't think, you know, that's probably not. They're not the customer, you know,I'm not the customer they're talking about, I guess how would you addressthem? And what would be that headline of, you know, big picture for thisepisode? Yeah, I would say one of the taglines we've been using this year isaround value to our clients and value to our partners and value to IBM andthey're equal. Each one of them is a piece of the puzzle that we want tomake sure we're delivering on. So it's not just that IBM wins the business,it's not just that our partner, when's the business or that our client getsthe solution that we all are driving towards. A value for each one of thepieces of the triangle. So that's what I would say. Our tagline is well wewant every single engagement to be value for our partners, our clients andfor IBM. Well, so for each episode you guys have, well, Lindsay and Susan,you've been on the podcast before but jim we always ask our guests where doyou see technology going in the next year? Now, it could be specific to thetopic we're talking about today or just something that you're interested in.Feel free to to go a little bit broad with this. Uh So Susan, let me startwith you, where do you see technology going in the next year? Sure. I see atremendous focus on security Lindsay...

...mentioned it before. There is seeminglynot a week that goes by that we don't have a headline of a company, smallmedium or large that has suffered a cyber attack. So I think that there'sgoing to be this tremendous focus on security, But also with an ability torun your workloads where you need to, so this hybrid messaging, where do Ineed to put my workloads to be most effective? What kind of regulations doI need to abide by and who can offer those solutions in those faces, bothfor financial and commercial value to the clients. So I would say that isthat is what I see coming fast and furious in 2022. Yes, same for me. Ithink the key buzzword these days is basically a hybrid cloud kind ofapproach in the marketplace where customers are slowly moving whether,you know, if they're if whether they currently have all on prem solutions orall cloud solutions and the, you know, the trend these days and and movingforward, I think in the next year, two, you know, 123 years is every client inthe future will probably have some sort of hybrid cloud approach um you know, acombination of on prem solutions, you know, various multi cloud solutions,etcetera. So, you know, moving forward, I think most customers and you know,and resellers will be focusing kind of in the hybrid cloud Type ofinfrastructure type of solution approach and you know, within the next12 months, if they're not already doing so today definitely and Lindsay, where do yousee technology going in the next year. I love this question. Not only becauseit's a good question, but it's nice to hear, you know what Susan's point ofview from iBms and then jim it's just a really good question. So, you know,really from my whether it's year, over year, month to month, the technologyindustry is always changing. We know that IBM partners are reaching out tous and ingram Micro because their customers are asking for top of theline square and power storage solutions...

...from data aI to security cloud andWatson to its r value added approach to our IBM partners that ingram Microbring our expertise and resources to the table to help these companies buildand market solutions to their customers and network, it's important to helpthem network these solutions amongst IBM partner ecosystem and help themstand out to what makes them unique. You know, the goal is always going tobe to set these companies up for success with IBM and the IBM team atingram micro is always adapting to what's trending in today's technology.I believe. It's worth noting that our team at ingram Micro is comprised of 50plus resources in the areas of business development, sales and technicaltraining being in demand generation support. We have a dedicated quotingand ordering specialist team, financial solutions. There's just so much tooffer and support these companies, all these resources are available toservice our partner community at no extra charge. And while the change inthe technology industry I think is inevitable, ingram Micro's team and Iare here for our partners to creatively overcome customer network challenges,address those needs by inserting the appropriate solutions and you know, tomake for a lucrative partnership that celebrates in the successes that changeand develop our I. T. Community in north America and globally, I reallyhas been an incredible ride. Jim and I have worked in ingram Micro with teamfor years now and and we certainly look forward to what's changing anddeveloping this relationship in the future definitely well for ourlisteners who want to find out more about what we talked about today. Howcan they reach out? Yeah, so I mean feel free to reach out to you know me,Jim Susan directly. My email dresses Lindsay dot Corbett at ingram micro dotcom. And we will also have some clickable links and information withthis podcast and certainly feel free to reach out at any time. Jim if you wantto provide your email and Susan as well.

Absolutely. So my email address isJames dot pick it to the number two at ingram micro dot com. Thanks jim andI'm s L d r a T T at us dot IBM dot com. Who is this other James pickett? Wherewhy is he? You know, Impersonating you someone? I don't know. That's why I'mtrying to find the source and I haven't found it yet. All right then. Well, Isurely appreciate all of all of you guys time. Thank you so much forjoining me. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having us and thank youlisteners for tuning in and subscribing to B two B tech talk with ingram Micro.If you like this episode or have a question, please join the discussion ontwitter with the hashtag B two B tech talk. Until next time. I'm ShelbySparrowhawk. You've been listening to B two B tech Talk with ingram Microhosted by Kerry roberts. This episode was sponsored by IBM B two B Tech Talkis a joint production with Sweet Fish Media and Anger Micro. To not miss anepisode. Subscribe today to your favorite podcast platform. Mhm.

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