IBM unveils updated channel partner skills initiative

IBM has released two new skills initiatives for channel partners as part of the tech company's Software Value Plus skills program. The new initiatives involve an Industry Authorization and a Security Authorization.

"This is extremely significant," said Sandy Carter, vice president of IBM Software Business Partners. "For our Software Value Plus program, it's the most important part since the program started in January."

One of the program's central goals it to impart key knowledge of industry verticals as a means to provide channel partners with sales advantages. The goal is largely in response to a recent survey conducted by IBM that found 90 percent of IT professionals in 87 different countries believe industry-specific knowledge of verticals is important. However, the same survey found that 63 percent of respondents believe they are lacking such skills.

IBM is describing the Industry Authorization initiative as an extension of its current Software Value Plus initiative and an attempt to address the concerns of IT professionals.

"It enables resellers and SIs to validate their industry expertise," Carter added. "They must pass two IBM Industry Mastery tests and map their strategy to IBM Industry Frameworks. They then have a board review, where they go before a board and answer questions about their industry expertise, and become industry authorized."