IBM Launches New Social Networking and Skills Site for Partners

IBM announced a new social networking community, called PartnerWorld Communities, designed to help partners more easily connect and collaborate with each other from anywhere around the world to bring new technologies to market and close sales faster and more efficiently.

The new community enables companies to gain real-time access to IBM subject matter experts to support sales leads and client implementations. Partners can also create personalized profiling tools to develop online communities that make their skills visible to other partners, connect with them on new technology innovations and joint sales leads and develop and deliver new technologies online through interactive forums before test-marketing or taking offerings directly to clients.

"We are seeing the emergence of new ecosystems being developed for the IBM smarter planet initiative and key growth plays," says Rich Hume, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. "For IBM partners, smarter planet is about engaging clients in higher value discussions. With today's launch of new skills-building and community opportunities for our partners, we are facilitating more effective, efficient selling in this unique economic environment, and jointly laying the groundwork along with our partners for the infrastructure of tomorrow."

The concept grew from an online idea exchange IBM held with 1,100 global partners to brainstorm new ways to grow profitability and develop skills. One of the leading ideas from that session called for a Web 2.0 approach to help IBM's partners improve collaboration with each other and establish new relationships across global markets. PartnerWorld Communities is intended to bring together the best in social computing technologies and online community building tools to connect more than 100,000 partners worldwide on emerging business opportunities such as analytics, cloud computing, green IT and economic stimulus projects. The new online forum aims to facilitate partner-to-partner relationships and enable joint go to market planning and innovative solution building around smart infrastructure opportunities.

Based on Lotus Connections, IBM's enterprise networking and collaboration technology, PartnerWorld Communities enables members to collaborate through a secure network that connects people around a focused task or goal using blogs, forums, private teaming spaces for solution design and market planning activities, social bookmarking and RSS feeds for real-time access to key topics of interest.

To learn more about IBM PartnerWorld Communities, go here.