An example for IBM to follow?

Received this from VMWare this morning, as part of a VMWare Partner newsletter:

We recognize that in the past you had to pay for Internal Use Licenses to run VMware virtualization solutions in your own production environment. Effective September 1st, I am happy to announce we will be offering Internal Use Licenses, at no charge, for VIP Partners who meet the minimum certification requirements. We want you to have first-hand experience in your business with the benefits the customers are realizing from the most trusted and most reliable virtualization platform.

As part of IBM’s Partnerworld program, a partner such as as Collaboration Matters must currently pay $2,000 a year to have access to IBM software to “run your business” (as part of the “Value Package”).  Whilst not a huge amount of money for the larger partner, it does put quite a strain on smaller businesses such as ourselves.  In addition, the numbers of licences involved are quite restrictive.

I personally would love to see IBM encouraging all its partners (that have committed to the program by gaining the certifications) encouraging them to run their whole businesses on IBM technology – I can only see good coming of that in terms of case-studies, increased knowledge and experience, feedback to the developers and product managers etc.   I see too many IBM BPs using Microsoft Outlook on their laptops, not to mention accessing Sharepoint repositories, running business apps on Oracle etc – it’s not a great advert for the quality of IBM software is it?  

I think VMWare understand this, and wants its partners to really embrace the technology, hence the announcement above.  I’d love to see IBM do something similar.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!