The IBM ecosystem all set to help clients transform businesses with AI
Generative AI is the latest disruptive technology that has already taken the industry by storm. Realizing the fact IBM has come up with watsonx which enables collaboration on a single workbench and ensures strong governance. IBM also provides opportunity to the partners to integrate the tools into their own products and solutions. While chatting with VARINDIA, Sunil Mahajan, Director – Ecosystem, IBM India and South Asia discusses the potential of AI and latest innovations at length. He also talks about key initiatives to enhance partner experiences, partner program and much more.
How is IBM effectively helping businesses to access the potential of generative AI?
According to a recent study, 75% of CEOs understand that the future of their competitive edge hinges on advanced AI capabilities. Yet, most organizations face certain challenges like a lack of in-house expertise and the significant costs associated with reskilling their workforce. In response, we have embraced a forward-thinking approach – moving from a +AI to an AI+ approach – to ease current enterprise AI burdens and enable them to develop, tune, and deploy enterprise-ready and trustworthy AI more easily and at scale. After years of intense focus on developing AI built for businesses, we introduced watsonx, our AI and data platform, earlier this year. The platform enables collaboration on a single workbench to build and refine machine learning and foundation models while ensuring robust governance.
How IBM helps partners to build and enhance their solutions by embedding AI? What are IBM's latest innovations to make it easier for partners to design and deploy AI?
We are actively collaborating with our partners to facilitate the integration of our foundation models, AI tools, and solutions into their own products and solutions. This collaboration extends to working closely with our partners through ecosystem engineering labs and consulting teams to ensure the seamless incorporation of IBM's AI capabilities into their product portfolios. We offer tools, applications and libraries so partners can build and enhance their solutions by embedding the same AI that powers our leading products. Partners can now embed core AI technology like Watson Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make application experiences more intelligent, or Watson Discovery to infuse automation into core business workflows.
For example, recently SAP embedded IBM Watson natural language capabilities and predictive insights to power the digital assistant in SAP Start, helping to augment decision-making and boost user productivity. We also expanded our relationship with Amazon Web Services to deliver joint solutions and services upgraded with generative AI capabilities designed to help clients across critical use cases. As part of this, we just launched a brand-new Innovation Lab with AWS, at the IBM Client Experience Center in Bangalore to test prototypes and proofs of value that aim to help accelerate innovation.
What are IBM’s key initiatives to enhance the experience of partners? What is IBM's strategy to put partners at the forefront of the current market landscape?
We endeavour to establish the most extensive hybrid cloud and AI partner ecosystem by deepening our existing relationships with partners and activating hundreds of new service partners on our platform. Our work with service partners, consultancies, hyperscalers and infrastructure players is core to this strategy, and it works both ways. Our partners leverage IBM’s technology and expertise to succeed with their clients and we create new business opportunities together. Our Partner Plus program is our key initiative to help our partners, which represents the most significant change we’ve made in over a decade to how partners engage with IBM, centered around simplicity, expertise and empowering partners to control their earning potential.
The program is structured around three key pillars: competitive incentives, insider access, and enhanced support and benefits, contributing to the success of our partners in today’s competitive market landscape. Through this, we aim to streamline and simplify how partners access IBM solutions, resources, benefits, and expertise. Today, we have successfully onboarded over 4,000 new registered partners worldwide (as of August 2023). To bridge the expertise gap, we revamped our approach to skilling, giving all registered partners access to the same training and enablement as IBM sellers at no cost to them. We are thrilled to see the response from our partners, with more than 82,000 course enrolments and over 46,000 learning badges completed since the program launch.
Does IBM have any partner program to support the ecosystem’s AI business?
Today, businesses across industries and sectors recognize that AI breakthroughs have led to a shift from simply assisting them to becoming a foundational technology for the way they function. The IBM Ecosystem is ready to help clients transform their businesses with the power of AI that is accurate, scalable and adaptable. We are working with our partners to bridge the expertise gap and build solutions on top of best-of-breed AI technology to solve client problems. With the general availability of watsonx – our enterprise-ready AI and data platform – we are enabling partners of all sizes to help clients scale AI across their businesses. Partners are helping extend our reach and providing valuable industry insights to support clients along their AI journey. Our AI solutions along with the specialization and expertise of these partners are a potent combination for market differentiation.
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