PartnerWorld, the day before

So here I sit in the Philadelphia Airport waiting for my connection to PartnerWorld in Vegas. Since I have time to reminisce about it, my thought go back to the ’90’s when it was known as BPEC, Business Partner Executive Conference. It was as big then as PW is now, but it seemed more enterprise focused then with respect to the customer. I think we had more channel conflict back then as we were selling applications until 99.

I also recall that each group had it’s own partnering program which caused them to align with either a division or a product, or two, or three. It was difficult as there might have been multiple programs with multiple sign on’s, but it was still good to go to market with IBM as we had a large salesforce to help.

We started to consolidate the partner programs in ’99 when we exited the business applications business and started Software Development Marketing, the precursor to what is now IDR. This finally happened in 2004 where there now is one program for all of IBM.

Through all of this partner history, we’ve had PartnerWorld. It has evolved as the Partner programs have evolved. One thing I’ve noticed is the groundswell of support and activity for and with the partners. I use the term groundswell as it is a surfing term. You paddle like crazy to keep up with the wave until the swell gathers you up to the wave. Once you catch it you either ride just ahead of the break and feed off the momentum of the wave, or get swallowed up, affectionately know as going over the falls.

The amount of activity and RESULTS has been very impressive. I fully expect this PartnerWorld to be just a move forward on the wave, and not over the falls.

I made it to Vegas only 12 hours after I started. Later in the evening, I went to a partner dinner and got to see many folks I work with, but due to different locations, I don’t get to see them much. Here’s some shots at the party.

Tomorrow is the Keynote and the beginning of the real show. Burt Rutan who built the first plane to fly around the world and the first private space travel ship is the guest speaker, can’t wait.

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