Booth Martin wrote:

>There's even a 3rd point of view.  Yes, the midrange part of IBM is huge,
>but not so huge it can't figure out how to do business in a proper way.  GM,
>Ford, Campbell's, and Colgate have all figured it out.  You'd think the minds
>at IBM were at least as smart as people that make chicken noodle soup for a
Well, I guess there are some questions to consider. When you mentioned
Ford, Campbell's, and Colgate it made me consider how Ford would respond
if I called their corporate offices and told them it was time to rebuild
my transmission.

The problem seems to come from the fact that IBM used to be the direct
representative for these products, and still is for many products, but
now the BP falls into the loop somewhere.

So IBM has a rather unique set of circumstances, doesn't it? Even if
they could turn over 100% of their customer relationships to business
partners, they couldn't advertise business partners like auto dealers,
because IBM's big customers don't want to deal with small BPs and not
all BPs have expertise with more than one area.

I think this is compounded by the fact that the customer doesn't
necessarily know what they need when they call IBM. Sure, _I_ know they
need a new iSeries, but the customer might not! They just call because
they have a problem and they want a solution. So someone has to make the
call as to whether or not that solution is PC, midrange, host, consumer
electronics, whatever. Then there is either a business unit or business
partner who should handle that.

Plus I guess there's a problem with determining the scope of the
solution requested. If a guy calls IBM Direct and says, "I want Notes
email.", does that mean for his desktop, for his department in the
enterprise, for the enterprise, what?

Sometimes I think the whole BP thing doesn't work. But then, I don't
really know how the channel would work without it, either.

This particular problem, the one of apparent confusion when customers
try to buy products, is really a big issue with me. It is something I
dislike greatly. I'm very interested in seeing some suggestions for
curing this.

>Booth Martin
>802-454-8315 x235
Chris Rehm

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one
that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7

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