IBM Gives A Deal To Online Software Buyers
October 1, 2012 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Sending people around to make the sales pitch and then take orders for product sales is expensive and inefficient even if it is more personable, and IBM wants you to try something new and buy software online.
In a deal running on IBM’s website, Big Blue is opening up its online software catalog in the United States and Canada and sweetening the deal a bit if customers buy online. IBM is not offering discounts on the software, so it is reasonable to expect that big ticket items like operating systems and middleware will be bought this way. But the deal does give customers a coupon that is good for $500 for education and training on IBM’s software products if they spend at least $2,500 online buying software.
You can see the eligible online software catalog covered by the deal in the United States here and in Canada there. The coupon for training covers database and data management, Lotus groupware, Tivoli system management and security, WebSphere middleware, and Rational development tools. Operating systems are not on the list, and neither are any self-trained educational products. You can see the list of eligible training and certifications that the $500 coupon is good against here.
The one question I have in all of this, and which is not addressed in the deal, is how do online sales affect the commissions of the IBM and business partner reps who do direct sales out of the same IBM software catalog? IBM may want to do direct sales, but you can sure bet that what the sales reps want is for IBM to collect leads so they can ultimately do the sale and collect sales commissions.