IBM debuts Business Partner Open Days

IBM has come up with a tasty training recipe for resellers that are keen to learn more about Big Blue’s extensive product portfolio but are unable to attend multiple events every quarter.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  September 1, 2004

IBM has come up with a tasty training recipe for resellers keen to learn about Big Blue’s extensive product portfolio but unable to attend multiple events every quarter. IBM Middle East has pulled some of its various training events together into a single two-day event allowing its Business Partners (BPs) a cost-effective way of learning about multiple product sets in a short period. The inaugural IBM Middle East BP Open Days event has just been held at Knowledge Village, Dubai. Jeff Maslen, business development manager volume channel sales at IBM Middle East, declared the debut event a roaring success: “There are 104 people attending, representing about 35 partners from across the region including Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Pakistan. The purpose of these events is to make it easier for the partners to get information from us.” “In the past, what you typically had was multiple divisions calling up with invitations to separate events. After a while the partners were saying, ‘You’re not the only vendor and we can't afford to have these people going to see you for training several times every quarter’. So we decided to rationalize it and make it simpler and run Open Days at a set time every quarter.” The first day of IBM’s inaugural event focuses on IBM’s PC products and xSeries servers with the second day dedicated to storage and other IBM products. “Each time we plan to add more vertical product groups and this will mean even more partners attending,” said Johannes Helmreich, manager volume channels at IBM Middle East. “It may well end up being a three day event. We try and put the agenda together in a way that makes sense and allows partners to come in for a day, day-and-a-half.” Having established contact with over 250 partners through its PartnerWorld reseller programme in recent weeks, IBM is now in the process of qualifying these leads, educating them on the features available within the vendor’s partner portal and explaining the benefits on offer. IBM also plans to offer a condensed training programme for smaller resellers and retailers. “We will go out onto the street where these resellers are and arrange to train them at a local hotel," said Maslen. “We know that they cannot leave their businesses for long so will give them a cut down version tailored to their business needs.”

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