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IBM channel strategy: one channel builds camss software ecosystem


Transformation is the only choice for major information technology providers to face the new form of it in recent years, and big blue IBM is no exception. In order to transform itself into the world's largest software ecosystem, IBM has made a big reform. The biggest move is that IBM plans to invest a total of $4 billion in "strategic goals" including cloud, data analysis, mobile, social, and security (camss) in 2015. 

Another key factor that determines the success or failure of IBM's transformation is "channel". IBM can become an enterprise IT giant because of its powerful channel ability. In order to create a diversified cooperation mode and establish a more open cooperation environment, IBM has launched an integrated and omnichannel strategy -- one channel team. One channel strategy is the latest channel mode to meet the needs of the new era. It can not only help partners to add value, but also make IBM's investment achieve rapid results. 

Why one channel team? 

IBM's transformation is not a patchwork, but a restructuring of its own business. In the future, IBM will focus on three key business areas: data, cloud, and system of engagement. The reason why IBM pays attention to data is that IBM realizes that data will become the most important asset of an enterprise. How to help users gain data insight will become the most important ability of enterprise information service providers. Similarly, the importance of cloud computing can not be ignored. Whether it is a simple WeChat application or the construction of large enterprise infrastructure, the cloud is an essential platform to support various services. IBM's cloud capabilities should cover all levels of IAAs, PAAS, and SaaS. While "interaction" is mainly based on the communication between mobile devices and social media, IBM should consider how to help users do personalized marketing and enhance the interactive ability of mobile terminals. But from the perspective of the application, with the deepening application of enterprise informatization, the user's demand for IBM is not only a product or a tool but also a solution to solve the actual problems of the enterprise. Therefore, the past "moving box" channel model has not met the needs of users and partners, and channel transformation is imminent. 

In order to accelerate the expansion of IBM's business, the one channel team integrated channel strategy emerged. One channel team is composed of Seven Star products, including cloud, security, Watson, analytics, commerce, systems, and services. The benefits of one channel are obvious. First, make cooperation more convenient. Users can quickly understand IBM products and solutions, convenient development and testing; Second, the rapid expansion of product promotion ability. The integrated technical support will enhance the ability of secondary agent camss domain and help secondary agent incubate camss domain solutions. Third, the sustainable growth of profitability. A channel strategy can not only better serve the original large and medium-sized customers, but also deeply tap and serve the needs of the majority of small and medium-sized enterprise users. The most important thing is to be able to work with secondary agents to promote solutions and jointly develop a broader market. 

How to extend one channel strategy in China? 

IBM's one-channel strategy has been highly praised by channel providers, which has fundamentally reversed the plight of channel providers. As IBM's largest distributor, digital China is also undergoing great changes. Since 1999, digital China has established IBM software division in the enterprise and has accumulated a lot of technical experience. Since 2014, great changes have taken place in the information technology market, customers' demand for software products and services has become more and more refined and customized, and the layout of the SaaS environment has gradually become clear. Therefore, digital China must seek the reform of channel mode. 

The trend of "national entrepreneurship and innovation" will set off a maker movement in China. Some small companies will stand out. This brings new opportunities to Digital China and IBM. "Based on the new technology environment, only by providing incubation help for more enterprises and selling and buying alliance system, can IBM's products and overall scheme be promoted." Wang Wei, general manager of the software division of IBM business headquarters of Digital China, thinks. To help partners incubate solutions closer to the market. Digital China has established a new partnership with IBM. After Beijing, it has established a digital China IBM Exhibition Center in Guangzhou. The center has further enriched the fields covered by IBM product solutions and can provide technical explanation and demonstration training of products and solutions including big data, cloud, social commerce, and middleware. The establishment of the exhibition center facilitates the sales of IBM products and helps users to further solve practical problems. For example, the original IBM optimal product can achieve effective data governance, which is a software that can do data desensitization. However, in the past, it was more complex to implement, and it was not very convenient for users to use. 

Through the incubation model of the exhibition center, users can realize the demand for one-click data desensitization. In other words, the incubation model of the exhibition center can be more close to the needs of customers and make the application more simple. At present, there are nine mature solutions (excluding partners) in Digital China IBM solution Exhibition Center
There are more than ten partner programs in total. Users can get the remote test environment, watch the demo remotely through the network, and learn more through video and PPT. In addition, the exhibition center also provides a SaaS display function. Taking the trial of maas360 as an example, users can get the user trial card of maas360 through the SaaS platform. If they feel good after two months of trial, they can register directly on this platform. 

Who is making the most of IBM app store? 

We should know that the internal thrust of channel transformation is customer demand. In the Internet age, many users do not want to install their own machines. The cloud platforms can help them to establish personalized services. Therefore, IBM's distribution agency business will gradually weaken. Channel providers and partners must focus on services. Therefore, IBM must rely on the integrated model to provide overall services for users. Xu Weili, general manager of IBM's software business channel in Greater China, said that the IBM app store broke the situation that IBM and its partners worked independently and made the cooperation between the two sides closer. For example, the division of software and hardware business of IBM in the past was very clear. Power or storage is done by relevant channels or partners. 

Software is also divided into several departments, database development and database product channel promotion also have their own division of labor, the goal of the channel is to push out some data development tools. The integration concept of the IBM app store can make departments cooperate more closely, and the cooperation between channel partners and IBM can be more agile, faster, and more transparent. Beijing advanced digital information technology Co., Ltd. is one of the successful cross-border IBM channel providers. According to Jin Lin, the head of the company, the company's goal is to build a 4S store in IBM software products. The company has more than ten years of service experience in the traditional banking market, serving four major state-owned banks (China, agriculture, industry, and construction) and postal savings, as well as joint-stock and commercial banks (including China Merchants Bank, Ping An Bank, and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank), as well as rural credit and urban commercial bank. But with the expansion of business scale, the company also hopes to cross into the nonbanking industry. But the difficulty came, and the company didn't have so many sales to shop for. Through the exhibition center of Digital China, we can further integrate resources, show the added value of their products, and promote the enterprises from selling human services to selling software products. 

Wang Weibin of new digital technology also said that with the help of relevant products including IBM software products, the company can do some innovative product and solution development work in the new Internet, big data, and cloud computing fields. Digital China and IBM have good sales and channel platforms, which can help the company focus more on technological innovation. For example, in the field of DB2, the company recently developed cloud monitoring, which belongs to the DB2 database monitoring and management software. 

At present, it has been deployed in the exhibition center to provide demonstrations for users. In the future, DB2 blue memory database will also be deployed in the exhibition center. Similarly, Beijing Yicheng Jiayuan Technology Development Co., Ltd. has cooperated with IBM and digital China for many years. According to Dang Tao, general manager of the company, Yicheng Jiayuan is also in the process of transformation, from the past distribution to focusing on customers and solutions. The new exhibition center can help it gain value quickly. Therefore, in a sense, IBM and the digital China exhibition center build an ecosystem, and small and medium-sized enterprises or ISV can provide a part of the ecosystem. We are interdependent, promote each other, innovate constantly, and jointly provide excellent products and solutions for customers and markets. Of course, for most distributors, there are difficulties in transformation. A channel strategy will make sales and profit no longer the only assessment point, and the SaaS model needs channel partners to better accept, understand and digest. But there are no more difficulties. Society is progressing, and services should be upgraded. 

Building a new software ecosystem has become an irreversible trend of the times. It is understood that the difficult objectives of Guangzhou Exhibition Center in the next stage are: first, the whole system should be improved again. When the solution is expanded again, it is necessary to allow users to absorb it quickly. Second, the exhibition center should advance another kilometer to a higher level. In addition to increasing channel coverage, we should also help channel partners to do a better job in logistics services, carry out effective transformation and promotion.

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