IBM Bluemix evolution spurs growth for the channel

IBM first launched Bluemix, its cloud platform, in February 2014 as the future of IBM Cloud. It became a game changer, bringing together market-leading capabilities from across IBM and our third-party ecosystem to help enterprises, developers and startups build, run and manage applications in the cloud.

In July 2015, IBM Bluemix officially “opened up for business” for IBM’s channel, giving IBM Business Partners and Distributors the opportunity to accelerate their exploration of cloud app capabilities, and build the next generation of cloud applications and services for the ecosystem.

In October 2016, we accomplished yet another milestone in the evolution of IBM Bluemix and announced an even more holistic cloud platform. Today’s IBM Bluemix now encompasses infrastructure and advanced cloud services across the hybrid environment, with new services—including cognitive solutions and DevOps tools—being added nearly every month.

Reflecting back only a few years ago, businesses had to wait for software and services to be “channel enabled” on a case-by-case basis, and then purchase each of them individually. The way the channel consumes, builds and offers IT products has changed dramatically thanks to the cloud.

IBM Bluemix is a great example of this; any time a new IBM microservice or offering is introduced on the platform, it’s immediately and inherently partner-enabled. And because partners use a subscription model to access Bluemix, they can select any of its 150 (and counting) microservices and combine them—paying only for what they actually consume with no big upfront investments—in an agile way.

As IBM Bluemix has evolved, so has our IBM channel business. Within the last year and a half, we’ve enabled our partners to both resell Bluemix and embed Bluemix services into their own offerings. We’ve supported them as they have grown their skills, adapted to the recurring revenue economy and expanded to new business models.

Today, an increasing amount of IBM’s channel revenue comes from IBM Bluemix, and that is a direct result of our IBM Business Partners driving the rewarding work of transforming the way they build and monetize their solutions for clients. We understand that it can be daunting to go from a transactional-based model to a monthly cloud subscription model, and that’s why we have uniquely enabled partners to “mind the gap” as they transition into cloud.

There are many ways we help our IBM Business Partners and Distributors during this transformation, but there are four value-adds that stand out:

  • We offer resell margins that remain competitive in this new era, which are key to keeping our partners and distributors successful while they transition to a Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) model.
  • We provide support in 16 languages, along with a growing footprint of nearly 50 IBM Cloud data centers across 17 countries. This makes it easier for channel businesses—wherever they may be around the globe—to create and migrate workloads to our cloud.
  • Through our IBM Bluemix platform, we offer the most robust, integrated set of cloud microservices—150 and counting—designed specifically for the enterprise. And we offer both platform and infrastructure services on-premises, in private or public cloud environments, or in a hybrid combination. IBM Bluemix enables the most flexible cloud continuum in the business, giving customers full flexibility in their cloud implementations.
  • Our advanced data and cognitive capabilities allow you to adapt and evolve. You are free to work your way and adapt to the market, because IBM allows you to own and control your data. This means that when you collect information on your customer’s purchases or web activity, it is yours to monetize.

By becoming an IBM Business Partner you too can grow your business with IBM Cloud by choosing the business model that is right for you here to provide your clients with choice and flexibility of hosted, on-premises or hybrid models.