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WJ News Round-Up

WJ News Round-Up

IBM Steps Up Effort to Drive Sotware as a Service
IBM has announced new resources to help application providers develop and deploy business solutions to be delivered as services. IBM will provide companies with access to technical architects, free online educational courses and new sales incentives to help them transform their applications and business operations to a services delivery model. As a result, application providers can now more quickly deploy software as a service offerings and increase profits. In an effort to continue to help business partners capture growth in this booming market, IBM will provide new sales and marketing incentives to business partners. Starting immediately, channel partners can now receive a 10 percent referral fee in return for submitting a lead to a software as a service application provider that results in closed business. IBM will also provide business partners with access to its sales force to help close opportunities faster and gain credibility with IBM's sales experts locally.

Additionally, IBM is announcing new strategic relationships with Apptix, Success Factors, and Corente who are delivering their applications as services based on IBM's open technology infrastructure and support from IBM services, which provides a secure hosting environment for 24/7 network reliability and availability. In less than one year IBM has doubled its channel network delivering software as a service to more than 100 partners. Working with IBM, these companies have reached tens of thousands of customers and millions of users in a services model.

Pacific Crest estimates the market for hosted software will grow 25% a year to $10 billion by 2009. AMR Research's 2005 Software-as-a-Service syndicated research study shows that more than 78 percent of 500 respondents across major vertical industries and company sizes are currently using or considering software-as-a-service. Only 18 percent said they have no plans to consider software as a service.

Software as a service is a model of delivering software over the Internet, eliminating the need for companies to buy, build, manage and maintain applications, such as accounting, human resources, CRM, ERP, etc. Companies are increasingly drawn to this concept to reduce operational cost, lower maintenance expenses, enable rapid implementation and increase profits.

Today's news builds on IBM's efforts to deliver the broadest range of hardware, software and services resources to help business partners to help business partners quickly deploy this new model of computing. IBM launched its "Software as Services Showcase" initiative less than eight months ago, an online directory which allows customers to search for ISV solutions that are available to them as a service.

For example, San Mateo, CA-based Success Factors, a provider of on-demand, Web-based integrated talent management solutions, joined IBM's Software as Services Showcase and leveraged IBM's direct mail, telemarketing and advertising and technical resources to generate customer leads. In 2005, IBM also sponsored 50 percent regional tradeshows for SuccessFactors' HR applications.

Partnering with IBM has enabled SuccessFactors to generate more than 800 sales leads in less than a year. The Showcase is also helping Success Factors build a channel network -- partners within the Showcase can align their offerings to deliver complementary offerings for customers, and cross sell within the Software as a Service community of IBM's channel partners.

"IBM's support for helping solution providers adopt the Software as a Service model is a significant endorsement for the future of delivering hosted services, a key element of driving technology innovation," said Roger Goulard, vice president of alliances, Success Factors. "Today, more than one million users in 101 countries trust our hosted software solution for talent and workforce management needs, hosted by IBM. Partnering with IBM has allowed us to reach a larger and more varied set of audience than we would have been able to reach on our own. The technical, marketing and sales resources provided by IBM have also allowed us to maximize our reach to newer markets."

New Sales Incentives and Marketing Resources offered to Business Partners
IBM is introducing new ways to invest and promote Business Partners' solutions being delivered as a service. Channel partners can now receive a 10 percent referral fee in return for submitting a lead to a software as a service application provider that results in closed business. Other new resources include IBM hosted web seminars for demand generation to drive customer awareness of software as a service, discounted advertising for ISVs in industry publications and lead generation services and white papers from IBM experts for business insight.

New Technical Workshop - Hybrid Transformation Model
IBM is offering free technical workshops to Business Partners at IBM Innovation Centers worldwide to help ISVs evaluate, adopt and deploy software as a service business model. The workshop is facilitated by IBM enablement architects who will discuss the technical considerations with the solution provider before building and offering software as a service applications model. Architects will also provide advice needed to reach business goals and transition to this model. The workshop includes education and guidance on the architecture of software as a service and new code design methods including Web services, service-oriented architecture (SOA), and security.

New IBM Virtual Innovation Center (VIC) Support
IBM is offering Business Partners worldwide access to new virtual workshops on hardware, software and services support around Software as a Service through the IBM Virtual Innovation Center. Developers can access these workshops on Software as a Service online and complete the courses at their own pace. IBM also offers classes through its virtual mentoring program, allowing participants to attend instructor-led workshops by accessing web conferencing technologies. IBM's new catalogue of Software as a Service classes are designed to help developers transition to a Software as a Service model -- from the early stages of learning about the opportunity to understanding the final implantation procedures. The courseware includes topics such as software as a service transformation techniques, middleware of software as a service, financial implication of e-business on demand, etc.

Expanded Sales Coverage Opportunities through Sales Connections
Through IBM's Sales Connections, ISVs worldwide who are working on active sales opportunities around software as a service can now connect with an IBM local software as a service sales expert to help the ISV close the deal. This is specifically designed to help ISVs gain access to IBM's sales force enabling them to shorten the sales cycle, close business faster and gain instant credibility with new customers with IBM's sales support.

"Making the transition to an Internet delivery model unfolds new market opportunities, but can pose a technical challenge for software makers accustomed to a client server model. It requires major changes underlying software architecture and in sales and marketing strategies, alterations in revenue streams and a cultural change within an organization," said Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV and Developer Relations. "We are dedicated to the success of our business partners, helping them understand the technical and business benefits of transitioning to a software as a service model, find new ways to manage change and support their customers while lowering the costs of doing business to maximize profits." The Software as Services Showcase can be accessed at: www.ibm.com/software/showcase/sas.

The news is another major step in IBM's commitment to the success of its business partners. As part of its $1 billion investment on joint sales and marketing activities through IBM's PartnerWorld Industry Networks program, IBM has unveiled an array of resources to increase business partner visibility in the marketplace including a discounted advertising program, lead generation tools and direct mail campaign support. More information on PartnerWorld Industry Networks can be accessed at www-304.ibm.com/jct09002c/isv/marketing/industrynetworks/.

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WebSphere Journal News Desk trawls the world of e-commerce technologies for news and innovations and presents IT professionals with updates on technology trends, products, and services in the WebSphere family.

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