IBM Moving to a Closed Software Distribution Model

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Strongback Consulting

For all IBM customers:

I’d like to be sure you are aware that there are some pending changes to IBM’s partnering strategy that will affect you moving forward. In February 2009, IBM Software Group announced to its Business Partners the next step in its channel strategy. This announcement was in response to requests from IBM’s valued clients. This strategy will provide you with more
targeted IBM solutions, faster deployments, and reduced implementation risk.

In January 2010, this new strategy will go live after nearly a year of careful planning and preparations with Business Partners. IBM will implement this strategy through a new value model that covers the entire IBM Software Group portfolio. IBM Software Group will organize its software portfolio of offerings into two categories:

  • Open products can be acquired through all IBM Business Partners. Due to their rapid time-to-value and high degree of consumability, you will be able to purchase these solutions from any IBM Business Partner.
  • Authorized products can only be acquired through those IBM Business Partners who have been authorized by IBM. Authorized IBM Business Partners will have demonstrated advanced skills through certifications and approved solutions. Authorization will help ensure that you get the right solution, reduce the risk inherent in any deployment, and increase your return on investment.

These changes will apply to both new license sales, as well as to your annual subscription and support renewals. The new Business Partner requirements will take affect January 25, 2010 (start date may vary slightly by region). There is no impact to any business partner transactions in 2009. However, after January 25, 2010 you will only be able to purchase Authorized products from authorized IBM Business Partners.

Authorized software will fall into one of 11 different categories as shown in the image below.


Strongback Consulting will be authorized to sell in the Rational, Lotus Portal, and WebSphere Core product groups. This meets our strategy of delivering solutions for Enterprise Modernization, Enterprise Architecture, Collaboration, and Middleware. As 2010 progresses, we may add additional product categories as deemed appropriate. But for now, our focus will be on delivering our deep expertise on the IBM products in the categories mentioned above. Such products include:

  • WebSphere Extended Deployment
  • WebSphere Virtual Enterprise
  • WebSphere Network Deployment
  • Lotus Notes and Domino
  • Lotus Connections
  • Lotus Quickr
  • WebSphere Portal
  • WebSphere Portlet Factory
  • Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS)
  • Rational Business Developer and EGL
  • Rational Software Architect and Application Developer
  • Rational Team Concert
  • Rational Quality Manager
  • Rational Functional Tester
  • Rational Performance Tester
  • Rational Requirements Composer
  • Rational Requisite Pro
  • Rational AppScan

IBM has produced an FAQ for you the client. Of course, feel free to contact us here at Strongback if you have any concerns. We’ll be happy to help!

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