Top Takeaways from the 2013 IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference – Part 1

PWLC2013_3If you are a customer of IBM technologies, or are interested in learning more about IBM strategies and updates, then please read on. As many of you know, last week I was in Las Vegas for the 2013 IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference. I provided some updates/tidbits via Twitter (by the way, you can follow me at @darrenwaldrep), and here I am sharing a more complete report of the key takeaways from the conference.

I am breaking up my report into four parts. This is part one. Please check back for part two.

Conference Overview

1,500 IBM channel partners and 500 IBMers gathered in Las Vegas February 25-28 for the annual PartnerWorld Leadership Conference (PWLC). PWLC is an annual event for senior executives in IBM Business Partner firms to meet with peers, industry analysts, and IBM executives and learn about marketplace trends and updates on IBM strategy and direction.

The theme of PWLC this year is Leadership on a Smarter Planet. Four of my colleagues joined me for an event full of updates from IBM, meetings with IBM executives, learning sessions, and networking with industry peers regarding various topics pertaining to IT infrastructure solutions.

Our goal was to bring back insights that we can leverage on behalf of our customers and partners, because IT and business leaders need to continually find better ways to apply technology to enable innovation, improve operational performance, and drive business results. Some of the main topics included Big Data, Cloud, and Converged Computing. In fact, these three are of particular interest to Datatrend and our customers, so we wanted to glean as much as we could.

Besides the great lineup of general session speakers, and customer testimonies, the meetings we held with IBM executives were particularly productive. For example, we met with brand leaders, supply chain executives, channel management, and more. We are excited about the follow-up and what it will all mean to our customers and partners – in terms of improving the way “Team IBM” (of which Datatrend is a part) conducts business for customers and innovates for their ongoing success.

Day One

The highlight of the first day of PWLC was the ISV and MSP Forum. My personal goal was to see what I could derive for the benefit of our ISV and ISR partners. What’s “ISR” you ask? More on that in a moment.

The Forum aimed to provide valuable insights from senior IBM executives and share best practices from ISVs and MSPs who are working closely with IBM today. The “hot topics” included social business, mobile, smarter analytics, cloud, and PureSystems – and the important role ISVs and MSPs play in each.

Here are some of my notes from the Forum:

  • ISVs can leverage data analytics, mobile computing, cloud computing, and integrated systems to drive innovation and faster time to license revenue
  • ISVs and MSPs should take a strong look at IBM PureSystems if they haven’t already. Test validating to this converged computing platform will provide new opportunities. The market for Expert Integrated Systems (where PureSystems plays) will be $79B by 2015.
  • More on IBM PureSystems – ISVs can increase their value proposition because PureSystems helps them differentiate their offerings and rapidly acquire new customers. PureSystems reduces project risk, enables ISVs to more easily leverage the Cloud, and is known to simply delight the customers that experience it
  • ISVs looking to transform themselves into an MSP (Managed Service Provider) can look to IBM Business Partners like IBM to help them make the journey, working closely with IBM and especially the ISV & Developer Relations (IDR) team at IBM. Datatrend teams with IDR regularly to help enable ISVs on IBM technology infrastructure solutions.

As an aside, I should mention a key business enabling program for ISVs and MSPs – the Industry Solution Reseller (ISR) program. It offers a practical, programmatic methodology for ISVs and MSPs to deliver fully integrated solutions (combining hardware, software, and other components) to end customers, with the main goals being ease of doing business, faster time to value, and smoother deployment. It’s a flexible program that provides many benefits, such as custom logoing, the ability to export, and the backing IBM worldwide support. Be sure to ask me about the ISR program, if you are an ISV or MSP and are interested in learning more.

Please check back for Top Takeaways from the 2013 IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference – part two. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your feedback. Please post your comments below.

 

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