Monday, August 8, 2011

IBM Information Management Software and ASL: A Primer. #ibmpartners #ibm

As the world is becoming increasingly more instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent, today's organizations have more information at their disposal than ever before.  However, along with the opportunities, this creates challenges of managing the explosion of information and controlling spiraling costs.

Today’s demanding business environments require a tighter integration with IBM's business partners to ensure that partners’ solutions are based on IBM platforms. The competition is fierce.  IBM’s portfolio offers many unique advantages to partners who want to offer clients solutions for information and analytics at a lower total cost  - while improving performance and quality of service.

In this post, I will describe how an ISV can make more money, get to market faster, and leverage the IBM brand equity with an Application-Specific License agreement.

Increase Customer Satisfaction - Take Control of Your Business Cycle
Increase Sales, Profit, and Market Reach with IBM

An Application Specific License is an IBM Software Group contract in which an ISV licenses IBM Software, bundles it with their own software and services, and markets the integrated solution to their clients.  Today, IBM has over 1,000 Information Management ASL Partners. The reason our Application-Specific Licensing has been wildly successful and our ASL partners are growing at a double digit rate is that ASL allows ISVs to beat their competition and increase profits.

One of the ways ASL increases customer satisfaction is that the ISV becomes the single point of contact for their customers.  Customers won’t have to call IBM for assistance with the IBM software integrated into the solution.

ISVs can take control of their own sales cycle with ASL because they don’t need to negotiate the price of the IBM software with IBM to respond to the customer.  ISVs receive the IBM software at a discounted, fixed price and they are the single point of contact for the sale. There is only one contract with the end-user: the ISV's contract – for all the components needed to run the solution.

With ASL, ISVs can drive more profit by taking a bigger share of the integrated solution cost.  They price the solution so that they get a margin that increases their profits.  They also receive marketing and sales assistance from IBM based on their PartnerWorld relationship with IBM.

Enable - Resell - Integrate

If you are an ISV, System Integrator, or technology partner with a repeatable solution that could benefit from integrating IBM Information Management software into your solution, you should consider ASL.  Whether you are enabling your solution to run on IBM Information Management middleware today or reselling IBM software with your solution, you should consider ASL.  With ASL you can license and bundle IBM middleware with your solution to provide your customer with all the software necessary to deploy, run and manage your application. You deliver a total solution to your customer, under one contract,  anywhere in the world at a fixed price.

Why bundle?

When you bundle and tune IBM software with your products, you are investing in the IBM software.  This enables you to leverage IBM’s significant investment in Information Management software and industry solutions.  You can achieve a competitive advantage with IBM’s brand equity – a known value to customers globally as the #1 information platform turning information into a strategic driver for innovation, business optimization, and competitive differentiation in the industry.  With IBM’s help you can integrate and tune your application on our software so your customers receive the high performance and reliability out  of the box, without the need for tedious integration.

You control your own sales cycle with ASL because you receive aggressive pricing for the IBM Software and you determine your own profit margin when you price your solution to win your business.  You don’t have to negotiate any pricing with IBM, you own the contract.

Reduce your own solution development costs by integrating IBM software to assemble and analyze information in your solutions.  Leverage the IBM Information Management portfolio instead of developing your own applications wherever possible to get to market faster and deliver optimized, differentiated, and consistent solutions to your customers.

IBM will help you broaden your market reach by opening up new channels and markets through the IBM client teams, IBM marketing, and the IBM PartnerWorld ecosystem available to our partners today.

The complete portfolio of IBM Information and Analytics products are available to enrich your solution through our unique capabilities. By integrating

Information Management software and solutions into your existing application or new applications, you can provide your customers with a solid foundation for managing their trusted information to meet business optimization objectives.

Data Management
IBM's continued investment in data management software means that all of our key database families such as DB2, Informix, and Optim tools are being continually updated and enhanced to better support this rapidly changing environment. IBM databases are a key component of IBM's  Information Management family of solutions. And IBM databases do not stand alone. They are part of an integrated family of Information Management solutions that span the complete range of segments from Business Intelligence to Content Management, Information Platform and beyond.  Compared with competing products IBM databases provide lower costs, better productivity and superior functionality.

IBM and its business partners offer the InfoSphere product portfolio which enables customers to build a highly optimized information infrastructure to deliver trusted information across the enterprise. This core capability is enhanced with information management software, storage, servers and services to improve efficiency, manageability, and cost effectiveness of the information infrastructure while enhancing information security, integration, access, quality and insight.


One of the biggest benefits our ASL partners are talking about is how they are increasing their customer satisfaction with ASL. With an Application-Specific License,  our  partners receive help from IBM to get the skills they need to install the IBM software, test, it, tune it, and get certified. IBM provides the technical resources and enablement support for our partners to enable their solutions on IBM software at our 40 Innovation Centers in 32 countries around the world -  or at our virtual innovation center if you can’t travel. While working at an Innovation Center, our partners have access to a number of resources to get the skills needed including:
  • No charge technical assistance; 1:1 support and expert assistance from proof of concept to integration, migration and implementation  
  • Access to hardware including multiple servers and load-testing tools
  • Onsite education and business enablement workshops
  • Access to the latest IBM software
As an ASL partner, you strengthen your account control and increase your customer satisfaction because you provide the Level 1 and Level 2 support to your customer on your solution and the IBM software integrated into your solution. ASL partners are the single point-of-contact to their customers from pre-sale activity to post-sales technical support.
Reduce installation and support costs to your customers with a single contract to install and maintain the complete solution.  Our partners can continue to enhance their solutions to operate on the most current release levels of IBM software with IBM software upgrade protection.  In addition, when your customer renews their solution they also renew the purchase of the IBM software providing you with more profit each year.

Misys:  A Successful ASL Partner - In Their Own Words

Another successful ASL Partner:  Siemens PLM:

Sales Benefits - Marketing Benefits - Technical Benefits

IBM is your ally to increase sales and profits through your ASL relationship.

Sales Benefits
With ASL you lower the cost of ownership and increase your profit through the discounts you receive on the IBM integrated software.  We’ll negotiate a discounted price on our Information Management software based on your commitment with us to simplify the sales cycle. You own the relationship with your customer and you control your profit.

Marketing Benefits
Many of our ASL partners receive co-marketing funding from IBM to execute successful marketing campaigns, depending on their PartnerWorld membership level.  We will help you design your campaigns using our best-of-breed marketing expertise.  And, we’ll help you structure events to build awareness of your solutions with IBM customers.  You’ll be connected to the right IBM speakers for participation in your event and we’ll  also provide access to IBM facilities at no charge. Partners who are able to commit to a significant investment in IBM software licenses  will also benefit from the expertise of an IBM  Business Development Executive assigned to help you grow your business.

Technical Benefits
ASL partners will receive the same technical training IBM provides for our own technicians through online or onsite training.  And you’ll receive enablement support at the IBM Innovation Center which includes On-site access to IBM technical assistance from proof-of -concept to integration, migration, and implementation.  Education and access to IBM products and business enablement workshops are also included.  If you don’t have travel dollars to travel to one of the Innovation Centers remote-access to our world class technical support is provided through the Virtual Innovation Center which also includes online training, certification exams and hardware and software access.

Application-Specific Licensing from IBM:  Your application. Your customer. Your profit.

Integrate your application with IBM software to increase your customer satisfaction, simplify your sales cycle and increase your profit.  Contact me today.

Joe Gaeta
IBM Software ASL Partner Sales
(770) 863-1493

My IBM Page:

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