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IBM Provides SoftLayer Ecosystem Partners with New Resources for Generating Cloud Revenue

Arms partner ecosystem with industry-leading support to help them build, deliver and tap into cloud services for high-margin sales

ARMONK, N.Y., April 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is launching a series of initiatives to make it easier and more profitable for Business Partners of SoftLayer, an IBM Company to develop, market and sell cloud services to their customers.

IBM Corporation logo.

Cloud computing is transforming the way that IT services are consumed and delivered and will account for the bulk of new IT spending by 2016*. For Business Partners who specialize in streamlining integration and delivering value-added solutions, cloud presents an unprecedented opportunity to capture new revenue and enter new markets. In fact, Business Partners who have transitioned to cloud are experiencing more than twice as much revenue growth as Business Partners who have not**.

With the new sales incentives, marketing programs and training courses it is announcing today, IBM is building on its industry-leading support for SoftLayer and IBM Business Partners to help them capture the growing cloud market opportunity. It is also combining best practices from the SoftLayer partner program and IBM PartnerWorld to enable Business Partners to improve margins, build skills and drive demand.

As part of today's news IBM is:

  • Offering improved margin opportunities with richer earned-volume discounts for SoftLayer Business Partners without requiring a prior commitment.
  • Creating a new SoftLayer Services & Solution Provider program, which streamlines the SoftLayer hosting reseller and strategic partners program to improve clarity of eligibility requirement and benefits of the program.
  • Launching a co-marketing initiative as part of PartnerWorld to help SoftLayer Business Partners that join the program build their brands, generate demand for their services and grow their marketing skills. Partners who join PartnerWorld, and existing IBM Business Partners who join the SoftLayer partner program will have access to campaign design and creation tools as well as customizable campaign templates to minimize upfront work and deliver consistent messaging.
  • Expanding the technical training courses for both SoftLayer and IBM Business Partners to build skills that meet clients' plans to use outside resources for delivering high-value cloud solutions. The free two-day courses introduce SoftLayer solutions through hands-on activities delivered by Global Knowledge, one of IBM global training providers. Classes are held in 21 locations including markets where IBM is expanding its global network of cloud hubs in addition to several other key markets around the world, including: Japan, India, China, England and several locations across the United States.

"Supporting our partners as they transition from selling traditional on-premise cloud solutions to hybrid and off-premise cloud solutions is a priority for Avnet Technology Solutions," said Fred Cuen, senior vice president and general manager, IBM Solutions Group, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas. "With these new enhancements, and with IBM's plans to expand its global cloud footprint globally, SoftLayer has assembled the right components for a winning partner program and we're looking forward to leveraging it to grow cloud market share for Avnet and our partner base."

SoftLayer, an IBM company, provides a high performance, enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure that can expand to accommodate any workload and offers a unique network architecture that optimizes global performance using a high-speed private network. Offering services on SoftLayer's high-performance cloud enables Business Partners to take advantage of IBM's considerable investments in building out its cloud portfolio, including a recent $1.2 billion investment to expand its global cloud footprint and its $1 billion investment to develop a unique platform-as-a-service offering, codenamed BlueMix™.

ClipCard is a SoftLayer partner that provides a big data discovery platform built on SoftLayer's cloud infrastructure. ClipCard renders big data discoverable for end users by driving new insights and context to support business decisions. "As a lean company selling to large enterprise customers, we really appreciate what SoftLayer has to offer," said Ryan Cunningham, product vice president, ClipCard. "Our customers like the security, reliability, and control that comes from a cloud provider who really 'gets' enterprise. We love that we have a real partner in the SoftLayer team, not just a website to go to when we need a hand. IBM is clearly invested in helping us be successful, which is a great boost for a company like ClipCard."

Today's offerings build on IBM PartnerWorld's existing cloud-related resources, including: Cloud services mark, an IBM ingredient brand mark for cloud solutions and service to allow eligible PartnerWorld members to promote cloud services that run on IBM technologies, including SoftLayer; PartnerWorld Cloud Benefit Guide, a catalog of resources connecting PartnerWorld members with benefits for building, selling and deploying cloud solutions; PartnerWorld SatScor, a free client satisfaction survey for promoting referral marketing; Cloud-based Program Criteria to make it easier for cloud-based PartnerWorld members to achieve advance participation levels in the PartnerWorld program.

"Cloud computing is transforming the relationship between Business Partners and their clients, creating unprecedented opportunities to enter new markets and sell new services," said Tom Blair, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, SoftLayer, an IBM Company. "SoftLayer recognizes that our Business Partners are evolving to meet the needs of their customers and we are committed to building a world class support program for them to tap into as they transition to this new era of computing."

Partners can learn more about joining SoftLayer's programs at www.SoftLayer.com and can learn more about joining IBM PartnerWorld at http://bit.ly/1lRjlxI.

About IBM Cloud Computing
IBM has helped more than 30,000 clients around the world with 40,000 industry experts. Since its acquisition in 2013, IBM SoftLayer has served 4,500 new cloud clients. Today, IBM has 100+ cloud SaaS solutions, thousands of experts with deep industry knowledge helping clients transform and a network of 40 data centers worldwide. Since 2007, IBM has invested more than $7 billion in 17 acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives and build a high value cloud portfolio. IBM holds 1,560 cloud patents focused on driving innovation. In fact, IBM for the 21st consecutive year topped the annual list of US patent leaders. IBM processes more the 5.5M client transactions daily through IBM's public cloud. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/cloud. Follow us on Twitter at @IBMcloud and on our blog at http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com. Join the conversation #ibmcloud.

*Source: Gartner Press Release: Gartner Says Cloud Computing Will Become the Bulk of New IT Spend by 2016
**Source: IDC: Worldwide channel and alliances 2013 top 10 predictions, January 2013

Media Contact:
Nicholas Smith
IBM External Relations 
Email: nssmith@us.ibm.com

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