IBM pulls in partners

Almost 120 partners have signed up to IBM’s PartnerWorld channel programme since the global scheme was officially launched in the Middle East in February. Building on the back of IBM’s Business Partner Executive Conference, Big Blue has used PartnerWorld to increase marketing touch with its second tier resell community.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  July 19, 2004

Almost 120 Middle East partners have signed up to IBM’s PartnerWorld channel programme since the global scheme was officially launched in the region in February. Building on the back of IBM’s Business Partner Executive Conference (BPEC), Big Blue has used PartnerWorld to increase marketing touch with its second tier resell community. “The number of partners applying to become members in our PartnerWorld programme has been increasing ever since the BPEC event back in March,” said Mourad Zohny, channel sales manager at IBM Middle East. “Today we are standing at 120 partners that have already joined and the applications keep on coming.” Some 70% of the first reseller batch joining the PartnerWorld programme operate in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or the UAE — although IBM has seen applications from across the entire region including Pakistan. Many of the companies signing up to PartnerWorld have been reselling IBM products for some time. Distribution partners provided IBM with customer information to assist the recruitment of second-tier resellers. Although 120 have already signed on, there is plenty of scope for more with Zohny claiming that more than a thousand resellers regularly reselling IBM kit have the potential to sign up. “It is a great opportunity for us to establish contact with partners and let them see how easy it is to deal with IBM through the PartnerWorld programme,” added Zohny. “Once they register we can contact them through e-mail and phone and even start passing on leads. The whole cycle becomes more complete and they start seeing IBM in a whole new perspective.” Many of the partners signing up are focusing on reselling IBM products available through open distribution such as Intel-based servers, desktops and notebooks. Zohny’s message to IBM resellers not yet signed up to PartnerWorld in the Middle East is simple enough: “Guys, you’re missing a lot. Come on board.”

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