XChange Events

XSP Day 2, Mar 6, 2012

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THE OFFICIAL SHOW DAILY XChange Daily NEWS AND EVENTS FROM XCHANGE SOLUTION PROVIDER Business intelligence and analytics, mo- bility, and virtualization and the cloud are the three trends driving transforma- tion of the channel, Wilfredo Sotolongo, vice president of IBM's North American Business Partners and Midmarket, told solution providers during an XChange keynote Monday. The trends, which were identified by a recent IBM survey of CIOs, mean solution providers need to examine their core competencies as well as whether they have the resources and management capabilities to make the transformation, Sotolongo said. "With customer buying patterns shifting to business intelligence, mobil- ity and the cloud, and you shifting to more managed services, you are facing some tough questions," Sotolongo said. Solution providers have three op- tions for transforming their business, he said. The first is to partner with other solution providers, which is already happening. However, Sotolongo said, the kind of partnerships in which solu- tion providers engage in are changing. For instance, he said, hardware VARs are more likely to partner with MSPs going forward. Because of that, Sotolongo said, IBM last week unveiled a new pro- gram called "Blue on Blue" that gives solution providers additional dis- counts for bundling hardware and software together. That additional discount is available even if a hard- ware VAR partners with a software VAR on a deal, he said. The second option is for a solution provider to build its own business to specifically address the transformation, Samsung: 'Giant' Steps To More Teamwork very difficult climate." By Kristin Bent Samsung expressed a new commit- ment to growing its channel partner resources, particularly within vertical markets and public-sector segments, during its keynote address at XChange. Richard Hutton, senior channel marketing manager, and Peter Rich- ardson, manager of printer marketing, shared the stage in matching New York Giants uniforms to drive home a mes- sage of collaboration and teamwork. "Thanks to you guys," Hutton told solution providers, "we've grown in a Touchdown Pass To Partners: 'We have the resources now,' says Hutton. Hutton attributed much of the company's recent success stories—22 percent year-over-year growth and its rise to the No. 4 largest notebook manufacturer—to partners. But he also emphasized a new initiative to more proactively reach out to and communi- cate with its solution providers. As an extension to Samsung's Part- ners in Innovation program, solution provider accounts can be assigned a direct rep to not only build a more tight-knit relationship, but to more DAY TWO Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Los Angeles, Calif. IBM Paves Way For Partner Transformation New 'Blue on Blue' program offers additional discounts for bundling software and hardware together By Joseph F. Kovar which, because of signifi- cant capital investments and cultural changes, could be risky, he said. The third is to make the acquisitions to get Look Closely: Examine core competencies, says Sotolongo. kind of expertise needed, Sotolongo said. IBM is working with solution providers to help them make the leap, he said, such as last year's introduction of five cloud specialties. IBM also has multiple paths for partners looking to do more with business intelligence and business analytics, and re- cently acquired a company called WorkLight for its smartphone and tablet technology, he said. readily provide them with the resources they need to engage in new trends such as cloud computing and the consum- erization of IT. "That's the big message from us at this XChange," Hutton told the audi- ence. "We have the resources now." He noted the continued addition of video-based content to Samsung's parner portal, including Webinars that solution providers can stream live or view from the portal's archive. "It's not ever a done deal; content is always being refreshed," Hutton said of the portal. "And we will continue that in 2012 with specific vertical breakouts, too." Photos: Kim Kulish

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