Think 2018 New initiatives to accelerate next-generation partners

Many existing partners and clients within the IBM ecosystem are transforming.

Core partners are shifting from the traditional reseller model, to embedding IBM solutions in service offerings to create new, high-margin opportunities for their business, and clients are starting to partner with IBM to work on new ventures that will expand their customer base and crease new revenue streams.

To accelerate this new wave of ‘next-generation’ partners, at the recent Think 2018 event, IBM announced four new initiatives that will make it easier, faster and more rewarding to partner with IBM and create high-value solutions that tackle their customers’ toughest problems:


#1 Enabling ecosystem transformation

IBM is making it easier for partners who currently resell IBM technology to shift between engagement models and move up the client value chain, with flexible benefits and support through PartnerWorld.

The business has consolidated the number of competencies offered to partners, and ensured these are relevant to product authorisation so that partners can get higher recognition, faster.

Additionally, IBM has introduced enhancements for partners that want to embed IBM technology into their solutions, including new bundled partner benefits and expanded SaaS trials, sandboxes, IBM Cloud credits and development assistance for those who want to build new solutions on IBM technology.


#2 Introducing Watson Build 2.0, the AI challenge to build new IP

The second iteration of IBM’s Watson Build challenge will help more partners develop AI skills, build working prototypes of Watson-based solutions on the IBM Cloud in less than 10 months and incubate their ability to embed IBM technology faster.

Last year, the first Watson Build challenge drew more than 1,300 firms to IBM design thinking workshops, spurred 400 AI-based business plans and enabled more than 100 partners to advance and develop new embedded AI solutions.

Partners can reserve their spot for Watson Build 2.0 at biz/bpbuild.


#3 Launching a new, digital self-service platform

Designed for partners who are building and selling solutions with integrated IBM technology, a new, digital self-service platform will provide access to leading-edge technologies and offer technical support, pre-built code patterns and skill-building courses.

Partners will be able to take advantage of several promotional offers to help them get started building quickly with IBM Cloud, AI and data, including 10 TB of IBM Cloud Object storage, 100,000 conversations using IBM Watson Assistant and USD 50,000 in migration services for partners migrating over USD 20,000 per month in workloads from a competitor’s cloud.

Once partners are ready to take their embedded solutions to market, they can list them on the IBM Marketplace and extend their reach to new clients globally.

This new self-service platform can be found at:


 #4 Expanding IBM’s digital footprint with third-party cloud marketplaces

Over the past year, IBM has doubled down on presence with third-party marketplaces and cloud aggregators.

In 2018, IBM signed new deals with AppDirect and ALSO Deutschland GmbH, which means that partners and clients can now find IBM offerings in a total of 10 different cloud platforms and reach more than 60 million new customers worldwide.

New and existing partners can reap the benefits of these new routes to market as new customers bundle IBM technologies with other complementary catalog offerings and partner services. This provides a new integrated route for partners to serve their clients digitally.

These four initiatives will go into effect 10 April 2018, as part of IBM’s increased commitment to partner growth and development.


You can read the original announcement by John Teltsch, General Manager of IBM Global Business Partners here.

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