During a keynote session at its PartnerWorld conference, IBM Monday morning launched a new co-location hosting program, among other initiatives aimed at ushering in "Phase 2" of e-business for IBM Business Partners.
Due to the increasing complexity of e-business technology, IBM plans to rely more and more on business partners, officials said during the keynote.
Also expanding are the types of business partners, Gerstner noted. Instead of just ISVs, VARs and OEMs, IBM is now working with ASPs, NSPs, and BSPs, systems integrators, and Web hosters, for instance. "The opportunity (for e-business) isn't coming our way. It's here," Gerstner remarked.
After getting its feet wet with B2C and dot com applications during "Phase 1" of e-business, the world is arriving at "a new appreciation that e-business is real business," said the IBM chief.
Under the new co-location service program, business partners can now remarket or receive fee-for-leads for IBM's e-business hosting services. Partners can also own, install and manage Web hosting services from servers located in IBM Hosting Centers.
Officials also mentioned IBM's new Alliance Lite program for ISVs, along with an "influencer organization" made up of organizations such as ASPs.
Later this week in Atlanta IBM intends to spell out its priorities regarding what kinds of technologies it will invest in, as well as which areas will be addressed mainly by partners, instead of through co-marketing. Linux, for example, is an area of heavy investment for IBM. IBM's i-Series servers, previously known as AS/400, are being marketed mainly through partners.