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

Episode · 5 months 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 tech talk with ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by IBM. IBM is a leading hybrid, multi cloud solutions company, accelerating the creation development and manufacturing of the industry's most advanced information technology for companies around the world. Let's get into it. Welcome to B two B tech talk with ingram Micro. I'm your host Shelby scare hawk and our guests today are Susan Martin's Global managing director for IBM Jim Pickett Senior solutions sales executive for ingram Micro and Lindsay Corbett solutions development executive for ingram Micro. Susan Jim and lindsey. Welcome. Hey Shelby, thanks for having us, I shall be glad to be here, glad to be here. So today we are, we're talking about IBM's partnership with ingram Micro and I think I think of two seemingly opposite slogans here. So there's the old saying nobody gets fired for buying IBM but then reading about Ibn partnership with ingram Micro, it kind of seems like I'm getting 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 I would say when that slogan of nobody gets fired for buying IBM was around there were, you know, this is, you know, decades ago, Right, this is back in the days where we were working with Nasa and the Apollo launch right there, just was 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 then there's been so many things that have changed, so in response to our own growth, in response to the marketplace, which has continued to add more and more fierce competitors throughout the...

...years in different spaces of software and hardware middle, where there's just been so much change, there is no way that we could be the same and still continue to be the competitor that we need to be in the marketplace. But as I said, I think the hallmarks that have remained the same would be the trust that we really work hard to make sure we have with our clients with our partner community and certainly that, that foremost attention to technology, right? We are a technology company at our heart and we continued that mantra, you know, since our inception and you know, you don't have to look any further than our patent counts every year continuing to grow that and just put tremendous new technology on the table 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 a fierce 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 that mean then for resellers specifically who are considering working with IBM um that's a great, great question. Um so I think overall especially this year and moving forward, IBM made some major changes to their reseller program beginning of this uh this calendar year. And um basically what they did is they revamped their entire reseller program allowing for more flexibility allowing for resellers to come on board much quicker, more more agile agile as as well as you know, ramping new resellers up to um you know to come on board and kind of a fast time to revenue. So in the past, you know a reseller to become an IBM reseller, they needed either you...

...know, to show that they've done some revenue, they showed that they've done, you know, they have a whole set of certifications, qualifications et cetera. Now it's really easy for reseller to kind of take on IBM pretty quickly with help from assistance from us in your micro from IBM as a whole and help them, you know on board quickly and you know, truly see the value and the IBM solution portfolio. So whether you're you specialize in infrastructure, IBM cloud, IBM software or your, you know analytics, whether you're an MSP et cetera, you know, IBM has a solution for you and to to come on board and relatively and in a matter of days if not weeks, you know ramp up quickly and help help a reseller take on that portfolio and hopefully be successful you know, in a short time to revenue and success from a business perspective. Well so let me follow up then. So the reseller program, I mean it had been where they're kind of was a little bit of a high bar to be in that space but ingram Micro has would it be fair to say kind of democratized that so a lot more businesses can take advantage of working with IBM. Yeah, absolutely. So we we help you know we hand hold all of our resellers you know through the on boarding process, the application process, you know the the enablement process, the education process etcetera. And you know greatly reduces the time a new reseller has to you know Take to you know basically establish their reseller agreement with IBM and you know move forward. So basically you know they could when they're on board from an IBM perspective they can start selling and producing revenue from day one. Excellent. Well so Lindsay both you and James have solutions in your titles there at ingram Micro. So can you share some examples of solutions that...

...resellers have come to you with or you know 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 on different sides of the business. I particularly focus on our software side of the business and he is power storage hardware so solutions can mean so many different things when it comes to the resellers reaching out to us. But what's most important is that our team takes the time to have introductory calls, ask insightful questions about a business to really customize a go to market strategy that's unique to what their customers need and helps them stand out BMS partner ecosystem, you know, keeping in mind IBM sell build service partnership strategy companies can develop solutions and execute them by reselling the products is cutting BM labeled technology or by building or embedding IBM products in a company labeled solution both while servicing customers with not only these products but also pre and post sales support by way of executing for example a proof of concept prior to the sale followed by implementation and training services. Once the products are installed there's so many different types of solutions that what's most important and is that we have those discussions to really get down to the nitty gritty of what a company is looking to sell to their customers well. So I mean I guess let's look at maybe a recent challenge that that a customer has come to you with a reseller that they're uh they're looking to solve. Um can you walk me through that that journey, I mean you mentioned, you know the the introductory calls, the Discovery calls to be able to uh to find out exactly what they're looking for, what they need but I guess can you walk us through that that process? A lot of...

...that process does include just a full team approach with ingram micro, IBM and the partner having these discussions I would say for a specific example, security is really an important discussion and topic amongst, you know, customer community is making sure their network and data is safe and secure and so, you know, with that being a challenge, finger Micro and IBM will get together with these partners and customize a solution based on IBM security offerings to any issues that the 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 a successful secure network for that customer, definitely, definitely. And Lindsay, I think you and I have had a really good recent example to where we've had a partner that was new to IBM very experienced partner in IOT, a lot of experience with networks and sensors and uh Cisco was a huge partner, is a huge partner of theirs and we were trying to figure out okay, how can I be m work with this business partner and show them what we could bring to the table, not to disrupt anything that they're doing today, not to disrupt how they work with Cisco. We work with Cisco a lot ourselves um and put together some really very intense demos very quickly for the business partner to take them through how we do things around our maximum portfolio. And it was it was really wonderful to see because it was it was almost as if we were 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 of your clients. And then and then also integrate with your existing knowledge around the IOT portfolio and your existing partnerships with folks like Cisco. So it's uh it was really um a...

...wonderful example I think of how we have become more nimble towards our ecosystem, that not just our end user clients. Right? I mean that nimbleness that the that ability to uh to listen to 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 I wonder Susan if you could, I guess if you could put it into uh kind of a headline, if you will for the for this episode, what do you want our listeners to 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. I don'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 address them? And what would be that headline of, you know, big picture for this episode? Yeah, I would say one of the taglines we've been using this year is around value to our clients and value to our partners and value to IBM and they're equal. Each one of them is a piece of the puzzle that we want to make 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 gets the solution that we all are driving towards. A value for each one of the pieces of the triangle. So that's what I would say. Our tagline is well we want every single engagement to be value for our partners, our clients and for 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 do you see technology going in the next year? Now, it could be specific to the topic 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 start with you, where do you see technology going in the next year? Sure. I see a tremendous focus on security Lindsay...

...mentioned it before. There is seemingly not a week that goes by that we don't have a headline of a company, small medium or large that has suffered a cyber attack. So I think that there's going to be this tremendous focus on security, But also with an ability to run your workloads where you need to, so this hybrid messaging, where do I need to put my workloads to be most effective? What kind of regulations do I need to abide by and who can offer those solutions in those faces, both for financial and commercial value to the clients. So I would say that is that is what I see coming fast and furious in 2022. Yes, same for me. I think the key buzzword these days is basically a hybrid cloud kind of approach in the marketplace where customers are slowly moving whether, you know, if they're if whether they currently have all on prem solutions or all cloud solutions and the, you know, the trend these days and and moving forward, I think in the next year, two, you know, 123 years is every client in the future will probably have some sort of hybrid cloud approach um you know, a combination 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 of infrastructure type of solution approach and you know, within the next 12 months, if they're not already doing so today definitely and Lindsay, where do you see technology going in the next year. I love this question. Not only because it's a good question, but it's nice to hear, you know what Susan's point of view 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 technology industry is always changing. We know that IBM partners are reaching out to us and ingram Micro because their customers are asking for top of the line square and power storage solutions...

...from data aI to security cloud and Watson to its r value added approach to our IBM partners that ingram Micro bring our expertise and resources to the table to help these companies build and market solutions to their customers and network, it's important to help them network these solutions amongst IBM partner ecosystem and help them stand out to what makes them unique. You know, the goal is always going to be to set these companies up for success with IBM and the IBM team at ingram 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 50 plus resources in the areas of business development, sales and technical training being in demand generation support. We have a dedicated quoting and ordering specialist team, financial solutions. There's just so much to offer and support these companies, all these resources are available to service our partner community at no extra charge. And while the change in the technology industry I think is inevitable, ingram Micro's team and I are here for our partners to creatively overcome customer network challenges, address those needs by inserting the appropriate solutions and you know, to make for a lucrative partnership that celebrates in the successes that change and develop our I. T. Community in north America and globally, I really has been an incredible ride. Jim and I have worked in ingram Micro with team for years now and and we certainly look forward to what's changing and developing this relationship in the future definitely well for our listeners who want to find out more about what we talked about today. How can 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 dot com. And we will also have some clickable links and information with this podcast and certainly feel free to reach out at any time. Jim if you want to provide your email and Susan as well.

Absolutely. So my email address is James dot pick it to the number two at ingram micro dot com. Thanks jim and I'm s L d r a T T at us dot IBM dot com. Who is this other James pickett? Where why is he? You know, Impersonating you someone? I don't know. That's why I'm trying to find the source and I haven't found it yet. All right then. Well, I surely appreciate all of all of you guys time. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having us and thank you listeners 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 on twitter with the hashtag B two B tech talk. Until next time. I'm Shelby Sparrowhawk. You've been listening to B two B tech Talk with ingram Micro hosted by Kerry roberts. This episode was sponsored by IBM B two B Tech Talk is a joint production with Sweet Fish Media and Anger Micro. To not miss an episode. Subscribe today to your favorite podcast platform. Mhm.

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