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IBM announces new benefits for ISV Business Partners — aimed at closing mutual deals

12 October 2004: Today IBM announced rich extensions to its IBM PartnerWorld program and the PartnerWorld Industry Networks for ISV's, all aimed at helping IBM Business Partners close sales with IBM.

"We're doing something very dramatic with this announcement," said IBM's Scott Hebner, vice president, marketing and strategy, for ISV and Developer Relations. "We're investing in valuable new benefits for ISV's focused on helping them drive real business results."

The investment, he said, is part of the $1 billion IBM will spend this year on initiatives to make the company's ISV Business Partners successful in the marketplace, a promise made at the annual PartnerWorld conference last March.

"We are committed," Hebner said, "to providing our ISV Business Partners the tools, resources and benefits to create and close new business together."

Hebner stated that, during 2005, worldwide businesses are poised to spend more than $40 billion on business applications sold by smaller ISV's serving regional companies and those customers needing industry-specific solutions. The enhancements to the PartnerWorld program are aimed particularly at helping those ISV's serve the needs of these local and industry-specific customers.

New membership benefits

The announcement caps more than a year of effort to help Business Partners profit from their membership in IBM PartnerWorld. For example, ISV's will have a clear set of criteria to reach Advanced level membership in PartnerWorld, once offered by invitation only.

Now, all ISV's can reach Advanced level by submitting a reference to a customer using the ISV's solution on one IBM hardware and one middleware platform. Once at Advanced level, the ISV can display the IBM Business Partner emblem and gain access to software support, discounted consulting, priority listing of their applications in IBM's Global Solutions Directory and use of IBM's sales reference database.

To help ISV's build a deeper relationship with IBM, there are new benefits at the Member level as well. The expanded Virtual Innovation Centers, which offer support for both IBM hardware and software, help ISV's incorporate IBM technologies into their applications. Then the ISV can qualify for technical validation and earn the "Ready for" designation that helps in marketing and sales.

In addition to receiving the benefits of Advanced level Business Partner membership, ISV's who sign up to participate in an industry network will have access to many more technical and business benefits to help them enable their applications and take them to market. More than 1,600 ISV's from 55 countries have already opted into industry networks since their introduction six months ago.

New technical benefits for industry network ISV's include individual consultations with an IBM architect to help ISV's develop robust, standards-based applications for on demand solutions. And, new sales and marketing benefits include deeply discounted advertisements in trade magazines to help ISV's gain marketplace recognition for their applications.

Also, through a new initiative called IBM Sales Connections, ISV's will now be able to easily access IBM's worldwide sales team and other IBM Business Partners to help close deals. To better support ISV's who sell applications to regional customers, ISV's from around the globe will now have access to localized business and technical resources as well as sales support. And supporting materials will be offered to them in 14 local languages.

Advanced ISV's find IBM relationship helps them close deals

Advanced level ISV's who have taken advantage of the sales and marketing help offered by the PartnerWorld Industry Networks for ISV's are getting real results closing deals. For example, Bill Hamer, CEO of Hamer Enterprises, an Advanced level member of PartnerWorld and a participant in the PartnerWorld Government Industry Network for ISV's, worked with IBM to close a mutual deal with the government offices of Travis County, Texas.

The offices of the county seat in Austin installed Web-based systems to help residents remotely register to vote and to pay their taxes online. The applications run on IBM WebSphere and DB2 middleware, and on IBM eServer iSeries and xSeries systems.

Hamer feels that IBM's expertise in the government industry, and the connections to other Business Partners he's making through the industry networks, will give him entry into new business. "We believe the industry networks will give Hamer Enterprises a springboard to grow our market share," Hamer said.

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