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IBM expands sales and marketing services for SMB partners

IBM announced today a set of new sales and marketing resources for its small and midsized business (SMB) partners, including systems integrators, to help those partners push more products and services based on IBM’s platforms. While most of those partners are independent software vendors (ISVs), SIs will also be able to use the services, said IBM’s vice president of strategy for ISV & developer relations Chris Wong.

Members of IBM’s PartnerWorld — the company’s formal partner program for VARs, SIs and ISVs — will have access to “marketing resource managers” who will try to understand each partner’s specific needs and formulate a sales, marketing and lead-generation plan with that partner, Wong said.

Many of IBM’s SMB partners “don’t really do a lot of marketing — or, if they do do a lot of marketing, they don’t really have a lot of resources, skills to do that,” he said.

The company is also working to connect more SIs and ISVs with one another, he said, including a series of Second Life meetings that started this year.

IBM also announced today a new Innovation Center in Dublin, Ireland, and plans for four additional centers in Europe. Innovation Centers are locations where PartnerWorld members — mostly ISVs — can get access to IBM hardware, software and technicians. The five European centers announced today would bring the total number of centers to 38 world-wide.

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