"This is an area that we have put additional focus to go after
the enormous e-business opportunity," says IBM's channel chief
Buell Duncan.The new offerings and programs are "the reason you can
say this is no longer about just cheerleading--that this is now
ready for prime time," he says."
"Duncan, speaking about IBM's team of business partners, which
includes Web integrators such as US Interactive and Luminant
Worldwide, said a full one-third of IBM's revenue currently comes
through its business partners, making it vital for Big Blue to help
integrators embrace Linux for e-business solutions. As part of the
move, IBM will expand its e-business certification initiative to
include Linux products. The new curriculum will start in July via
satellite, classroom instruction and Web training."
"It's essential we provide education to help partners sell
Linux solutions," says Duncan, noting that the goal is to train
roughly 5,000 partners in Linux solutions by the end of the
year. The program is currently training approximately 35 a
week. "We have expanded the reach and coverage and definition of
what a business partner is," says Duncan. "We have recruited 1,000
Web integrators during the past 12 months alone, and we work with
more than 600 ISPs and SPs that are becoming the channel of the
future. Even though those partners don't resell products, their
influence on what customers buy is enormous."
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