They may be going through their own individual problems of late, but last night IBM significantly brightened up the prospects of First Distribution and Business Connexion by naming them their Top Distributor and Top Business Partner of 2007 respectively.
Business Connexion is still struggling to shake off the doldrums of the failed takeover bid by Telkom – and continued speculation that it is still an acquisition target, while First Distribution, it is reliably learnt, has just seen its distribution contract with Lenovo cancelled.
Stelio Frasco, IBM's channel excecutive, says that the company had, for the second year in a row, seen double-digit growth in all its product categories bar one (Intel System X which grew by 8%) and that this was largely due to the continued efforts of its channel partners.
About 80% of IBM's business in the region, he says, is now going through its channel.
"This year we are aiming to do R2-billion through our channel," Frasco says. "And we are confident of achieving this."
First Distribution and Business Connexion also qualified for IBM's Top 10 CEO incentive – having achieved more than $10-million in revenue over the year