>  Reeve Fritchman
>IMHO, IBM made a big mistake a long time ago when they abandoned marketing
>reps and farmed it out to 3rd parties.  IBM needs real, trained sales reps
>compensated to sell IBM midrange products and smart enough to deal with the
>NT blather; a bunch of disorganized vendors fighting over hardware
>commissions and "value add" has turned IBM's marketing on its head.  The
>System/3 model 6's sold by IBM marketing reps are now the big iSeries
>accounts; IBM got in on the ground floor and kept the business.

I don't think I agree.  When the BP arrangement works the way it should it
resolves a lot of problems inherent in IBM's market rep system.  The reps
could get pretty lazy.  If you were in a certain rep's territory and had any
AS/400's installed there was little incentive for your rep to really work
with you.  As a customer you were unlikely to shift platforms so you were a
guaranteed sale at upgrade time.

Also, as the technology became more complicated the sales reps and technical
reps became less and less useful.  Many of these folks had never actually
implemented a system -- they've just talked about systems for years.  They
go off to IBM rep conferences twice a year to be presented the new features
so they can phonetically repeat the presentations back to their customers.

At best, the business party relationship allows you to hook up with someone
who has actually worked with these systems, and it introduces some
productive competition.  At worst the BP's are no better than the reps, and
the (unproductive) competition occurs between the IBM reps and their
business partners.

I think that "real, trained sales reps" is a good idea in theory.  Keeping
these people trained when they never do any real systems work is the
problem.

(This is, of course, IMO.  Actual results may vary.)

-Jim

James P. Damato
Manager - Technical Administration
Dollar General Corporation
<mailto:jdamato@dollargeneral.com>


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