Big Blue Lets Big Partners Collaborate with IBM Research
March 20, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As part of the announcements that it made at the PartnerWorld reseller and partner shindig that IBM hosted in Las Vegas last week, the company announced that it had created a new collaboration initiative that would allow business partners to collaborate with IBM Research to put those PhDs to work solving real business problems.
The program, which will be launched in the second quarter through the PartnerWorld Industry Networks organization, will put some 3,000 researchers who work at various facilities in China, India, Switzerland, Israel, Japan, and the United States at the disposal of selected business partners. Presumably, the partners will be screened to give the researchers something interesting and relevant to do. Researchers still have primary research that they need to do, particularly if IBM wants to keep its intellectual property edge in the IT market.
“The Research division has always been a huge differentiator for IBM and we want to encourage our partners to tap into that wealth of knowledge and expertise to help them be more innovative in their markets,” says Buell Duncan, general manager for ISV and developer relations at IBM, and a former general manager for the iSeries division and the formerly the head of the PartnerWorld organization. “Collaborative innovation is going to be a driving force in the global economy and this program will enable IBM and its partners to be at the forefront of this shift,” he explains.
What IBM did not say, and what is certainly true, is that by working with partners, IBM’s researchers also will be able to keep their fingers on the pulse of the customer base and aim their research at solving real-world problems, not theoretical IT problems that do not mean much to anyone out here beyond the ivory towers.