IBM Imposes Fines to Get Resellers Pitching Working Solutions
August 3, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Business in the Power Systems reseller channel must be getting tight or some business partners must be playing it a little fast and loose to try to drum up more business because the word coming out of the master resellers is that IBM is going to start slapping penalties on resellers who peddle machines configured with software solutions that are not set up properly.
According to sources familiar with the matter, master resellers Arrow Electronics and Avnet are warning their downstream resellers that starting August 1, IBM will be enforcing penalties on customer transactions that do not meet Big Blue’s stringent Solution Assurance guidelines for hardware and software sales.
In IBMese, this is what Avnet has warned its resellers that any solution that doesn’t go through the Solution Assurance process will be subject to a $2,500 penalty, and says further that “Business partners are exposed to this assessed penalty only when they fail to meet a mandatory Pre-sale/Pre-install TDA requirement as outlined in the Trigger Criteria and Designated Product (TC/DP) List. Beware . . . if a critical situation is opened with IBM when a Partner fails to perform a mandatory Expert TDA, IBM can impose an additional penalty of $25,000.”
TDA is short for Technical and Delivery Assessments, and it is a process used by the Systems and Technology, Global Technology Services, and Global Business Services groups at IBM that does risk management and quality assurance to make sure a particular hardware or software solution that a business partner proposes will actually work as intended. IBM’s goal with Solution Assurance is to improve the win rate that customers see on their deals, to make sure there are not any surprises during installation, and to try to get customers very satisfied with a solution that has the IBM label on it.