Monday, September 26, 2011

IBM Software ASL: A Discussion [#IBM #ASL #ibmpartners #isv]

As I discuss what Application-Specific Licensing (ASL) is and what its value is, I will do so in the context of the potential value to you and to your customers.

ASL is an IBM licensing vehicle that enables you to deliver your solution bundled with IBM software - at a fixed price and under one contract - to  your customers anywhere in the world and supported by your organization from end-to-end.

IBM knows that delivering a total solution to your customers makes good business sense for you as well as them.  By bundling proven, industry-leading IBM software into your solution, you provide your customers with all the software necessary to deploy, run, and manage your application.

How ASL can help you meet your business goals...

Based on IBM's experience, the following are common goals of ISVs.

First and foremost, our partners want to be more profitable.  Some ways to achieve this include increasing revenue, developing a faster time to market, and leveraging IBM brand equity.

Revenue and Profitability

We know that this can be a challenge if you do not know how much the third party solution components will cost.  By knowing this, you can price your solution so that you get a margin that increases your profits.  An ASL contract gives you that known, fixed cost.  An additional benefit of purchasing IBM software through an ASL contract is that you make a profit on the IBM software component, as well as on your solution.

Faster Time to Market

By bundling IBM software with your application, you reduce your development time - and development costs.  Furthermore, by using IBM software, you can reduce your investment risk by focusing on the areas of  application development where you have core expertise.

Brand Equity

By including IBM software in your solution, you leverage the IBM brand - a known value to customers globally.

Some additional ways to achieve your goal of increased revenue are by utilizing the IBM ecosystem, maintaining high customer satisfaction, and  reducing your sales cycle.


Leverage IBM PartnerWorld to connect with other partners.  Partners can download marketing materials and templates, participate in co-marketing programs, get technical support, and us the local IBM Innovation Centers (IICs) for customer meetings.  Partners also get the ability to leverage IBM's global marketing  campaign themes, such as IBM Smarter Planet.

Customer Satisfaction

Maintain and increase high customer satisfaction by delivering a proven solution that is easily deployed and easily maintained with single source of support.

Reduce Sales Cycle

You are the single point of contact on the sale.  There is only one contract - your contract - for all the components needed to run the solution.

Some examples of how the IBM ASL agreement
has helped some other ISVs.


STORServer needed to bring to market their STORServer Backup Appliance.  They found that bundling IBM Tivoli Storage Manager into their backup appliance helps them penetrate markets they hadn't been able to address in the past.

STORServer needed custom pricing to penetrate the SMB customer market.  Through the IBM ASL agreement, they were able to do just that.

Leveraging ASL not only helped with pricing, but it also helped STORServer attract new customers as a result of IBM's brand recognition in SMB.

Delivery Options

An ERP ISV wanted to offer their existing and prospective clients their solution hosted on the Cloud.  They determined a hosted offering would provide the flexible licensing options and scalability their clients needed.  The ISV selected IBM software because it was the right technical fit and they selected ASL because it offered the right licensing fit.

The ISV was able to quickly attract a customer.  The customer needed to deploy an ERP system to meet the demands of its new growth strategy, but was concerned about the high deployment cost of that system.

The company selected the ERP ISV because it had a hosted solution (on premises / off premises), and as such, it aligned with their cost and cash-flow pressures.

The result?  The ISV was able to establish a new route to market which, in turn, grew their business.  The customer was able to immediately deploy their market growth strategy and, only three months after, landed a large sale that resulted in a five-fold expansion of their operation.

In Summary

ASL provides you with the ability to:

  • Bundle IBM software with your solution.
  • Leverage your discount to price your solution to maximize profit.
  • Sell the total solution under ONE contract to your customers anywhere in the world.

All of this will help you to:

  • Get to market faster.
  • Sell into new markets.
  • Expand your ecosystem.
  • Maintain customer satisfaction.
  • Reduce your sales cycle.

I hope you can see the value that an ASL contract can provide to you and how it can help your meet your goals.

Contact me today to further discuss how ASL can help your organization.
(770) 863-1493

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