Mark Enslin, business analytics accreditation program manager for IBM, sat down with us to talk about the IBM Software Practice Accelerator and how Revelwood became the first IBM Business Partner to earn IBM Cognos TM1 Gold Accreditation
Q: Can you give us some quick background on the Software Practice Accelerator?
Mark: The program was launched in early 2013 and is designed to help our Business Partners deepen and broaden their IBM Software implementation skills. The program includes training, mentoring, coaching and accreditation. The goal is to accelerate our Business Partners’ ability to implement new technology, while strengthening their existing skills supporting IBM Software. We want to help them deliver best-in-class solutions to their clients. As IBM’s Business Analytics Division has grown to include new capabilities such as Sales Performance Management (SPM), Risk Analytics and Predictive Analytics, this program is central to a Business Partner’s ability to quickly expand their practice to resell and consistently implement well.
Q: What’s the benefit of the program to end users?
Mark: IBM Business Partners who earn accreditation, such as Revelwood has, are certified on specific technologies, and have proven they can deliver high performing applications. Clients who work with partners like Revelwood end up with leading edge applications that provide measurable benefits. In layman’s terms, think of it as the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for IBM Business Partners.
Q: How do you evaluate the Business Partners applying for accreditation?
Mark: As you know, we put Business Partners through a comprehensive process. First, we validated Revelwood had the requisite number of consultants certified on IBM Cognos TM1 . These certifications span a range of roles on a typical implementation – data analysis, developer, administrator and advanced solution expert.
The second step was to look at Cognos TM1 applications Revelwood has designed and implemented for its clients. We validated a cross-section of the hundreds of deployments Revelwood has worked on, and evaluated them for best practices, technical elegance, delivery of client benefits and overall application performance.
Q: What’s next for the Software Acceleration Program?
Mark: IBM Business Analytics continues to make investments in this program – based largely on the positive feedback we’ve received from Business Partners. These investments include developing additional implementation workshops that address new market offerings , such as IBM Predictive Maintenance & Quality. IBM is committed to helping Business Partners drive successful outcomes for the clients they serve. IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty is extremely passionate about IBMers delivering outcomes for clients and becoming ‘essential.’ I strongly believe this program helps our Business Partners deliver these same outcomes and becoming ‘essential’ in their own right.