IBM Japan held the “IBM Business Partner Executive Forum 2021” on March 5th. This event conveys the 2021 business strategy and partner collaboration policy to IBM Japan’s business partners. This year, it was held online to deal with the corona sickness. Mr. Akio Yamaguchi, the company’s president who first took the stage, said, “Amid the demand for major social changes such as measures against corona damage and movements toward a carbon-free society, the purpose of DX is to change the business model and manage it. There has been widespread recognition that top management will take the initiative, and in order to realize flexible and prompt response, we will co-create an open ecosystem with our partners, centered on the open hybrid cloud and AI platform. I want to go. “Promote hybrid cloud and AI platform as a strategy
President and CEO
Akio Yamaguchi Next, Mr. Yamaguchi explained the company’s changes over the last three years. With the acquisition of Red Hat in 2019, it has become a strong force to promote open source software and OpenShift, an enterprise Kubernetes platform, as a group company. And while all IBM middleware products have been containerized, we have deployed Cloud Paks equipped with AI. Last year, it announced the spin-off of its managed infrastructure services division. As a result of these changes, the types of infrastructure, from IoT devices to on-premises and public clouds, are diversifying, and customers will be able to build and use IT systems in a platform-free environment, enabling rapid and flexible digital transformation. Will be able to. Furthermore, it is necessary to change the way of sales by creating ideas with customers through experience-based and co-creation.
The trajectory of change based on the strategy of hybrid cloud and AI Therefore, I explained the overall picture of what kind of world we would like to realize with the company’s business partners. It is divided into four layers.
Entering the world of open hybrid cloud and AI The bottom layer of infrastructure includes servers, storage and cloud provided by IBM, public clouds of other companies, and infrastructure for enterprises. In order to firmly manage such a wide variety of infrastructure, the managed infrastructure service division will be spun off, and at the same time, we will collaborate horizontally with various customers and partners. The second tier is the hybrid cloud platform. With Red Hat’s OpenShift at its core, it provides an environment in which applications can run on any infrastructure. The third layer of software leverages containerized middleware for automation, data and AI, networking, security, integration, and more. He explained that he would like to make proposals together with business partners who have similar assets. Finally, the top is the service layer. He said he would like to collaborate with system integrators to realize the digital transformation of customers. Great support for the new 360 degree technical experience journey
Technology Business Headquarters
Senior Managing Executive Officer
Mr. Noboru Ito Next, Mr. Noboru Ito, Senior Managing Executive Officer and General Manager of Technology Business Headquarters of the company, explained the new collaboration policy. “This year’s message is that IBM will become a technology company,” Ito declared. To achieve this, the Technology Business Headquarters was created as an organization that bundles all products. He said that collaboration with partners is the most important way to convey that value to customers. Regarding the sales system, he said that the era in which value can be provided simply by proposing and purchasing as in the past is over. Products from many tech vendors are now available in the cloud, are subscription-based, and the products themselves are increasingly agile. Therefore, we strengthened the technology support system. In order to continue to provide value to customers, it will respond generously to the new 360-degree technical experience journey from pre-sales to post-sales. To that end, we will establish a new customer success organization and work closely with customers at the post-sales stage. In addition, it will strengthen the expert lab specializing in products and the support department for response to failures and Q & A.
Strengthening the technology support system Mr. Ito continued that it will be important for partners to continue to provide such value. He explained that he would like customer success managers and experts lab members to be included in the collaboration with partners. For example, the services of Expert Labs, which were previously provided directly to customers by IBM, will now be available through partners. He also said that by preparing specialized members of partners within the brand team of IBM products, it will be possible to make proposals with a sense of speed in proposal activities. Delivering IBM’s strengths with partners through three collaborative models
Technology Business Headquarters
Partner Alliance Business Headquarters
Managing Executive Officer
Miho Miura In the second half of the event, Miho Miura, Managing Executive Officer, who is the General Manager of the Partner Alliance Business Division of the company’s Technology Business Division, explained the model of collaboration with partners. Mr. Miura says that IBM’s current strengths are its open hybrid technology, garage methods that allow you to experience agile methods of accelerating DX, and a comprehensive portfolio for enterprises. Told. In order to deliver this along with the strengths of its partners, it is said that it has prepared three collaboration models.
Co-creating an open hybrid cloud and AI-based ecosystem The first collaborative model is called “Build.” IBM technology is incorporated into the hardware and software assets of our partners. The second “Service” employs IBM technology when the partners themselves provide managed services, SaaS, and so on. And the third is a model called “Sell,” which sells IBM technology by leveraging the expertise of its partners. This will be the same as the traditional resale model.
Three collaboration models that combine the strengths of partners with IBM technology Three advanced cases taken up in line with the collaboration model Next, we introduced three examples that match this collaboration model. In the case of the first Build model, Mr. Takashi Kiyokawa, CEO of Central Soft Service Co., Ltd., appeared online. Here, we introduced an example of containerizing the business support system “Tricaretops” for SaaS-type long-term care providers provided by Okaya System Co., Ltd. in Aichi Prefecture. The point in this case is that by strengthening the system such as DevOps, application release was automated without interruption. As a result, the service level has been improved and the burden on developers has been reduced. In the case of the second service model, Mr. Takashi Kamika, executive director of the 5G Vertical Service room of Tomitori Co., Ltd., took the stage. The company has acquired the first local 5G commercial license in Japan and has opened the “FUJITSU Collaboration Lab” to integrate and verify the advanced technology of partner companies and the technology and knowledge of Fujitsu’s local 5G. There, we are building an open platform “Open-Edge & Cloud” using local 5G and OpenShift, which enables joint verification of optimal solutions that meet various on-site work needs, including equipment maintenance. IBM’s OpenShift and Maximo are used as the system environment for this open platform. Mr. Hisashi Mori, the president of Eltex Co., Ltd., appeared as an example of the third Sell model. The company develops and sells the EC / mail order integrated package “eltex DC” and the customer experience optimization tool “eltex CX”, and has a wealth of experience in building and operating as an IBM Cloud integrator. The point of this Sell model example is that IBM and the company have been steadily achieving results by conducting sales activities in unison while utilizing IBM support measures such as “co-marketing.” Thanks to that, in 2020, it was possible to receive orders from school corporations and energy companies. In addition, we were able to actively participate in IBM’s Containerization Promotion Working Group and utilize it for the modernization of our own solutions. Mr. Miura, who moderated the case study, said that by practicing a collaboration model like this case, we can provide better value to our customers. Enriched programs to support partner activities Continuing on, Mr. Miura explained in detail the measures to support partner activities. The first measure is to strengthen technical support for partners. Among them, the “Hybrid Cloud Build Team” is a group of IBM architects who support migration and modernization to a hybrid cloud environment for partners who have their own solutions and assets. Activities such as building MVPs and prototypes together will be provided in one shot for 3 to 5 weeks. We will also provide our partners with technology seminars and learning tools for employees called “Seismic”. There is also a competency program that proves the technical capabilities of our partners.
Hybrid Cloud Build Team The second measure is to provide a place for co-creation to expand business opportunities. As one of them, it is said that Japan will provide its own “Container Co-creation Center” that promotes containerization of solutions for industry owned by partners. In addition, the “DX Challenge Program” is a business development contest in which ideas for new business creation are considered together with multiple companies. In addition, an online course for developers, “IBM Developer Dojo,” will be held where you can acquire cloud-native skills.
Container Co-creation Center The third measure is a support program to accelerate the market entry of partners. Of particular note is the “Cloud Engagement Fund,” which provides financial support for cloud solutions. It provides support for the efforts of partners who want to drive innovation through open hybrid clouds and AI platforms. In addition, it is said that it has “IBM Cloud Free Credit” that allows you to use the IBM Cloud worth US $ 12,000 for free, a conventional joint marketing program, and a digital marketing support program that has become indispensable after the Corona disaster.
14 Cloud Engagement Fund Partner Awards Winners At this event, the awards were announced to IBM Business Partners, who contributed to the business development of IBM Japan and achieved outstanding results throughout 2020.14 The company won the award. At the end of the event, Mr. Miura introduced the global slogan of “Let’s create what’s next, together” in the partner business. This is a manifestation of the desire to “create new things together to support the transformation of our customers, now and in the future.” It is the first time for SIer and ISV to occupy a part of IBM’s strategic chart. For that reason, it was an event that conveys IBM’s earnestness to co-create an open ecosystem with its partners.