By Technology Times Staff Reporters
Lagos. February 27, 2013: IBM has its eyes on Nigeria and other developing economies in launching a set of global initiatives to arm its global ecosystem of business partners to embrace cloud, mobile and big data analytics technologies to generate new revenue streams with new buyers, the technology giant says.
IBM says it is making a significant commitment to the business partner community to help them build innovative solutions that take advantage of advanced technologies enabling clients to tackle the next wave of data intensive business challenges and bring new buyers from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief of Police and the Chief Financial Officer.
According to IDC, the IT industry has been transitioning to a new era of computing built on mobile, cloud services, social networking and big data analytics. In 2013, spending will exceed $2.1 trillion, driven by double-digit growth in mobile, cloud, big data and social technologies – and by emerging markets’ growth.
These solutions are already bringing benefits to Nigeria where IBM is collaborating with Business Partner Sproxil leveraging mobile and cloud technologies to help manufacturers view and analyse real time consumer data to detect and prevent drug counterfeiting.
According to IBM, consumers in emerging markets such as Nigeria, India,Ghana and Kenya can verify the authenticity of prescriptions in seconds with their own mobile phones anytime, anywhere securely through the cloud.
Consumer feedback on product genuineness as well as other comments they may have about the product, allows companies to make prescription drugs safer for millions of people who live in areas where counterfeiting is rampant.
Chief Executive Officer, Sproxil, Ashifi Gogo, says that, “Mobile represents a significant growth area for the pharmaceutical industry. As the use of Smartphones and tablets surges, the pharmaceutical industry needs a strategic understanding of how mobile can play to drive innovation. IBM’s focus on arming business partners with the right initiatives to bring innovative mobile solutions will be key to help pharmaceutical companies manufacture and market safer products more effectively to health care providers.”
IBM says it is launching a set of new initiatives to prepare its global ecosystem to capture this growing market opportunity. As the digital consumer continues to demand a unique and personalised experience across multiple channels, IBM says it offers CMOs and marketers the tools necessary to turn mounds of big data into actionable insights.
The technology company says that it is empowering its business partners with tools and new services to maximise the efficiency of their own digital marketing efforts and better serve their clients, especially small to midsize businesses in emerging markets such as India and Africa.
Under the plan, IBM will now offer business partners one-year free access to cloud-based IBM Digital Analytics technology that helps businesses analyse big data to identify patterns in customer preferences and transform real-time marketing strategies to target the individual consumer more effectively, the company says.
With this capability, businesses can mine data on interactions via web, mobile, and other digital channels, including interactions referred from all major social networks, to better adjust and personalisemarket campaigns based on that insight. With this initiative, business partners will now have free access to this cloud-based technology to apply deep analytics to mine big data and enable them to compete in today’s digital and social environment. IBM Business Partners in this program will also receive access to services to help them capture, qualify, prioritise and assign client leads more effectively.
CEO of Zobrist Consulting, Teresa Zobrist adds that, “As the retail environment has dramatically changed with the proliferation of mobile devices and social media, this is presenting new opportunities for our clients in the retail industry to engage with their consumers in new ways. We see IBM taking another significant step in providing its business partners with un-matched skills, technology and expertise to capture new market opportunities, evolve and innovate as the markets do.”
IBM and Zobrist Consulting’s joint clients see a difference, the partners say noting that Bishop Company, an online retailer recently created a stronger online presence to develop a unique shopping experience to meet the needs of a younger generation of socially savvy consumers.
“The site has become the driving force in its growth using IBM Smarter Commerce, enabling its marketing executives to apply deep analytics to promote the right products while quickly responding to changing consumer trends. As a result, Bishop Company’s online sales have increased 200 per cent.”
The proliferation of 10 billion-plus mobile devices by 2020 is creating a sea change in the way businesses are engaging the consumer. IBM is launching a programme to help business partners capture the growing mobile opportunity.
The new initiative called Ready for IBM MobileFirst is designed to help IBM’s business partners develop the right skills to bring innovative mobile solutions to the market in a variety of industries.
For example, in healthcare, providing access to patient information via mobile devices to provide a more efficient and orchestrated care response, and in some cases leading to more rapid or accurate diagnoses. Or, by adding mobile commerce capabilities to a banking application, not only automates traditional transactions, but can also provide customers with the ability to instantly deposit a check via a mobile device.
Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) will be able to embed mobile technologies into their solutions with the Software Value Plus program, an initiative that rewards business partners who distinguish themselves through industry skills and solutions. IBM will also offer mobile certifications, workshops and incentives for resellers and systems integrators.
IBM will provide business partners with new skill building capabilities and access to IBM’s technical experts at its global network of 42 global Innovation Centre in 36 countries to nurture growth for development of new mobile capabilities while meeting IBM’s mobile integration standards.
IBM is also enabling IBM Business Partners to help credit-qualified clients take advantage of simple, flexible lease and loan packages for the Ready for IBM MobileFirst portfolio and Big Data analytics, starting at as low as 0% for 12 months with no upfront costs. Additionally, IBM will also provide marketing support to business partners to help reach new buyers in this space.
IBM also announced new initiatives designed to help Business Partners build their solution, selling capabilities around expert integrated systems. Specifically, IBM Systems and Technology Group plans to increase its dedicated channel sales and technical sales specialists by 50 percent in 2013 to assist Business Partners in closing more solution opportunities.
In addition, IBM Power Systems is further strengthening its Business Partner incentives. Finally, IBM continues to strengthen and launch new PartnerWorld Specialty and Certification Programs for IBM System x, PureFlex and Flex Systems to assist Business Partners in developing specialised skills to help deliver innovative solutions for clients.
IBM says that it is continuing to invest $150 million in lead generation for business partners with the goal of four times the number of leads passed to Business Partners in 2013 to help grow their business.
“The interdependence of mobile, social, big data and cloud is undeniable, and will only multiply as data growth and mobile use continue,” Mark Hennessy , GM, IBM Global Business Partners says.
“We are committed to the success of our business partners in this shift in the way we do business across industries and around the globe. To seize this big data opportunity, IBM has laid the foundation for a comprehensive set of initiatives for IBM Business Partners, who are key to our growth strategy, which can help these clients address their business needs as the business grows.”