Category Archives: Reports

IBM’s Vision for Security in the Quantum Era

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  February 8, 2023

Enterprise technology solutions are predicated on the knowledge that large scale businesses face continual, often evolving challenges. Most enterprise IT vendors’ offerings and services are designed to help clients successfully address existing problematic issues and situations. The best vendors have the foresight, skills and expertise to help enterprises effectively prepare for ever greater difficulties that lie just over the horizon.

A recent report from IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV), Security in the Quantum Era offers insights into how this process works. The report examines the potentially catastrophic dangers posed by cybercriminals, rogue states and other bad actors that have access to quantum-level tools. It also discusses what IBM is doing to address those issues and help enterprises secure their IT assets and infrastructures against quantum cyberthreats. Continue reading

Lenovo ISG and Strategic Partners: Sharing Innovations and Success

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 25, 2023

Strategic partnerships are common among technology vendors of every kind and size. However, the depth and direction of those relationships and their common efforts varies pretty widely. In some cases, partners are vital to one another’s long-term strategic goals. In others, partners provide technologies that enable vendors to address emerging use cases and develop new solutions.

Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) recently issued announcements that illustrate the value offered by its strategic partners. Let’s consider them in more detail. Continue reading

Dell at CES 2023 – The Past, Present and Future of Commercial Client Computing

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 11, 2023

Though “commercial client devices” is a common and well-used solution classification it fails to capture the full range of product features and functions or the considerable effort that vendors put into developing and manufacturing desktop and notebook PCs and workstations for businesses. It also fails to account for the dozens of peripheral devices, from basic mice and keyboards to high performance displays that companies depend on to maximize productivity.

Most importantly, simple classification misses the bigger picture behind commercial clients—that optimal success requires vendors to focus on building systems and peripherals for both static legacy and evolving modern use cases while anticipating how to best support business customers and workers in the years ahead. That makes the new peripheral solutions and the updates to its Concept Nyx initiative discussed by Dell at CES 2023 well-worth considering. Continue reading

IBM Partner Plus – Helping Business Partners Adapt to and Prosper During Strategic Shifts

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 11, 2023

The relationships between vendors and their business partners, including resellers, value-added resellers (VARs), independent software vendors (ISVs), systems integrators (SIs) and hyperscalers are typically symbiotic. However, predictably beneficial outcomes depend on at least a modicum of predictability. So, what challenges occur when vendors decide to change strategic directions or pursue new or uncertain markets? Plus, how can vendors help their partners adapt to and prosper during those strategic shifts?

The new Partner Plus program IBM announced on January 4, 2023 offers some insights into how this process can benefit all involved parties.

The challenges of change

First, how do strategic shifts challenge or even inhibit business partners? There are multiple elements, but among the largest are:

  • Common confusion – Most business partner programs build and evolve over time. Like other relationships, those between vendors and partners may begin with common interests or goals. Some may focus on specific markets, applications or geographic locations, while others leverage mutual expertise and skills. As a result, these programs can become highly complex and opaque, leaving partners uncertain about their status or how to progress. New strategic aims or imperatives can add further complications that are difficult to integrate into the whole.
  • Building new skills and resources – When vendors alter strategies or targets, it is commonplace for partners to lag behind. After all, partners typically focus on the markets, products, services and solutions that vendors offer today, not those they hope to exploit tomorrow. While the skills and resources partners offer often complement future solutions, others need to be developed or built from scratch. How to achieve that is top of mind for business partners.
  • Finding and closing deals – Finally, in markets that are still developing, where exactly are business partners supposed to find work? Creating new business lines typically involves considerable, often expensive customer education efforts. Business partners seldom have the means to pursue this on their own, though they can be valuable contributors to broader efforts.

IBM Partner Plus

So, what is IBM doing with its new Partner Plus program to address these challenges?

In essence, Partner Plus is designed to place partners at the center of its go-to-market strategy to act as a growth engine for hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) services, solutions and consulting. According to Kate Woolley, GM, IBM Ecosystem, “Partners want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. Partner Plus … (is designed to help them) … gain skills, grow faster and earn more.”

How will the program achieve that?

First, Partner Plus offers a transparent, simple and modern experience across all partner types and programs as an integrated ecosystem. The company’s Partner Portal consolidates and tracks participants’ expertise, revenue and deals globally, providing clarity into partners’ progression. By enhancing technical expertise and demonstrating sales success, partners can progress over Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers, unlocking specialized benefits and demand generation programs which can offer them up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM.

In addition, partners can engage IBM technical experts to grow skills, develop solutions and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, open hybrid cloud platforms and security. IBM will also help develop minimal viable products, proofs of concept and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate their growth. As partners’ businesses grow, they can unlock additional IBM benefits that are designed to help them further expand their capabilities and find additional new clients.

Finally, Partner Plus builds on IBM’s October badging and selling enablement materials announcement, which offers the same training, enablement, and experiential selling resources available to IBMers to partners at no cost. Those tools can help generate competitive, transparent pricing and bids. Partners can also participate in IBM’s quarterly Sales Kickoffs, live training sessions and other advocacy events. IBM’s New Partner Accelerator provides onboarding, training and other benefits during partners’ first six months in the program. IBM will also double the number of brand and technical specialists that help partners prospect and win additional client business.

Final analysis

What does this mean for IBM business partners in practical terms? Overall, IBM’s new Partner Plus is designed to address and correct the challenges and pain points that erode the value and usefulness of many vendors’ partner programs. By enhancing transparency, improving skills building opportunities and providing additional resources for finding and closing deals, IBM has designed a program that will provide immediate benefits to existing and new partners. More importantly, Partner Plus should help partners find clear incentives and pathways to support IBM’s go-to-market strategies in hybrid cloud, AI and other new and developing markets and business opportunities.

© 2023 Pund-IT®. All rights reserved.

Dell’s Concept Luna – Advancing Sustainability with Circular Design Innovations

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  December 21, 2022

Sustainability is popular in the tech industry, with numerous vendors highlighting their strategies and efforts for enhancing the efficient use of energy and raw materials for products and packaging. However, fewer organizations discuss the mechanics of that process, and how enhancing specific steps in complex processes can deliver greater results.

A year ago, Dell introduced Concept Luna, a proof-of-concept developed in collaboration with Intel that aims to rethink how personal computers, peripherals and accessories are designed and manufactured so component parts can be easily removed, reclaimed and reused. Last week, Glen Robson, CTO of Dell’s Client Solutions Group, published a blog discussing Concept Luna’s progress on its first anniversary. Let’s consider Robson’s points in more detail. Continue reading

Dell’s Pro Webcam – Quality Meets Value for Business and Pleasure

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  December 7, 2022

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses of all sizes and sorts and employees of every kind to rethink the ways they functioned and interacted. Working From Home (WFH) started as a stopgap measure—a way to address what everyone hoped was a short-term emergency—before things returned to normal. But during that time, tech vendors have delivered innovative new solutions that make remote communications easier and better than ever before. Dell’s new Pro Webcam (WB5023) is a good example. Continue reading

Kyndryl at One: A Year of Transformation

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  November 30, 2022

It is common for companies to sell business units (BUs). That is particularly true when those groups and the products and services they provide no longer reflect the parent organization’s underlying strategies, goals or economic benchmarks. However, corporate spinoffs are considerably rarer and often indicate that the BU in question is too large or asset-rich to attract interested buyers.

IBM’s spinoff of its managed infrastructure services organization in late 2021, and what was later named, “Kyndryl,” is a good example of this. Recently, Kyndryl executives, including CEO Martin Schroeter hosted a briefing with industry analysts to discuss the company’s progress during its first year as an autonomous entity. Let’s consider what they shared. Continue reading

Clean Energy Cohort Joins IBM’s Sustainability Accelerator Program

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  November 16, 2022

Environmental threats, ranging from the rise of extreme weather events to global climate change do not impact all people or groups equally. The populations at greatest risk are those in developing countries that have fewer resources to devote to large scale programs. While many enterprises have embraced efforts to reduce the environmental impact of doing business, including employing renewable energy sources and using recyclable materials in products and packaging, fewer are focusing on larger challenges and global programs.

At the recent 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, IBM announced that five organizations focused on accelerating clean energy projects will become members of its global pro bono social impact program, the IBM Sustainability Accelerator. Let’s consider IBM’s efforts and the company’s sustainability goals. Continue reading

Lenovo Tech World 2022: Viewing the Metaverse Through a Business Lens

By Charles King, Pund-IT®

There have always been synergies between business and consumer tech products, including instances where success in one area leads to equal or greater development and success in the other. The thing is that it is difficult, at best, to predict or determine exactly how these synergies will appear or proceed. However, enterprises’ generally deep pockets mean that they can be more proactive than consumers when it comes to adopting and adapting to new technologies.

That is a point worth considering related to the immersive and metaverse-related announcements Lenovo made at its recent Tech World 2022 conference. Continue reading

IBM’s Diamondback Tape Library: Secure Archive Storage for Hyperscalers

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  October 26, 2022

Data storage innovation often gets short shrift in technology discussions where it is simpler to focus on the continual advancements of silicon, chipset and system solutions. But the fact is that improvements in storage capabilities like capacity and data read/write speeds are comparable to or even greater than what compute performance has achieved.

Plus, effective data storage is vital to the success of virtually every enterprise and industrial solution and service, including cloud and hybrid computing, big data and advanced analytics. Storage innovations have also enabled the evolution of new types of hyperscale businesses, such as cloud service providers, life science research and development and large-scale healthcare providers. At the same time, creating, storing and accessing massive troves of data also carries substantial challenges and risks.

Those and other issues make IBM’s recent introduction of its new Diamondback Tape Library both timely and intriguing. Continue reading