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IBM takes partners into the digital world

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By Mark Davison at IBM PartnerWorld, Las Vegas – Like it or loathe it, digital transformation is the way the world and its traditional businesses and industries are moving – and they’re moving fast. As one seasoned business partner quipped here in Las Vegas: “There’s probably been more change at IBM in the past two years than over the previous two decades.”
And one of the key figures behind the radical change at IBM is Bob Lord, Chief Digital Officer, IBM Digital Business Group.
“I’m the first Chief Digital Officer that IBM has had in 105 years,” Lord says. “And, contrary to belief, I wasn’t appointed to spruce up the company website.”
Lord has been responsible for bringing five key elements together under the digital umbrella that is at the heart of IBM’s new business model. And yesterday in Las Vegas, he added a sixth component to this vital core – Business Partners.
He says that the new, digital reinvention is the transformation from traditional methods to those that enable innovation, drive performance and breathe the customer journey.
“Our winning aspiration is to unleash IBM to empower the world,” he says. “That’s a powerful statement, but that is the mission we are on and, as Business Partners, you are helping us.
“We’re going to win,” he adds. “We’re going to change the industry; we’re going to change IBM; and we’re going to change the world.”
In welcoming partners into his digital fold, Lord says that one of the first steps the company has taken is the launch of a cognitive sales advisor. PartnerWorld Advisor is a new voice and text activated Watson-based support tool on the PartnerWorld portal.
“PartnerWorld Advisor will assist in digital prospecting, progress opportunities and improve your propensity to close and win deals,” he told delegates. “Lead generation will be faster and more intelligent, alleviating one of the biggest problems faced by our partners. It’s a really important tool that will make sure customers are partnered with the right Business Partner at the right time. It will mean better leads for our partners and more quality leads.
“As has been stressed here at PartnerWorld 2017, we’re now in a ‘show me, don’t tell me’ world and we’re building assets to enable you to do just this,” Lord says.