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Partners find IBM’s Business Model Innovation message most relevant to midmarket companies, who are remaking themselves to compete on a larger stage.

Opinion: Business executives and IT managers have different IT priorities, so it is up to solution providers to bridge these differences.

IBM and business partners are co-investing $250 million in Business Partner Innovation Centers in 2006, with 40 new centers targeted for openings.

Arguing that VARs will sell the product line better if they’ve used it, IBM is offering the discount throughout 2006.

Lenovo launches a two-tier channel based on a simplified version of the PartnerWorld program it inherited from IBM and looks to recruit 3,000 to 5,000 additional partners in 2006.

IBM’s ValueNet is aimed at helping business partners collaborate on solutions and across geographies and technologies.

IBM is seeking partners to help it “touch a new set of customers,” especially in the midsize business space where many potential partners have simply been ignored to date, Atkins said.

Microsoft is giving its system builders and distributors tools, marketing and demand generation programs to help them become more competitive in a marketplace increasingly squeezed by the largest OEMs.

Radical change is now the norm in technology-based markets, and enterprise leaders are watchful, the new IBM Global CEO Study suggests.

Sigmatrak’s Partner Visibility application plugs in to Salesforce.com’s CRM and sends automatic feeds of channel activity directly to vendors.

Computer Associates is opening several thousand direct accounts to channel sales as it seeks the leverage and vertical expertise of partners.

The spyware blocker and zapper drops partners and formalizes its partner program as it sets its sights on enterprise customers.

Xactly Incent, an on-demand sales compensation management application, allows partners to see real-time sales statistics and sheds light on their progress.

To level the field, Anthology, maker of the Yellow Machine storage appliance, manages an inverse margin that pads the sale for VARs so they might match the price of volume sellers.

The Lenovo 3000 series, starting at $359 with features such as one-button disaster recovery and Wi-Fi connectivity, is designed to pickup the SMB market that the ThinkPad line missed.

The Small and Medium Business Technology Network picks up dozens of members on the East Coast, boosting membership past 400 and expanding group members’ ability to service clients in that area.

IBM is making its Virtual Innovation Center portal the front door for partners.

Under SAP’s Referral Program, participating partners, VARs, CPAs and others will receive 10 percent of the initial sale for introducing SAP to new customers, across its software portfolio.

Intel announces “instant” rebates for VARs selling the Pentium-D Dual Core line through April 22. Resellers are eligible for between $40 and $80 on each unit.

HP adds the HP BladeSystem to its Value Big Deal program for special pricing on enterprise sales.

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