Partners are no longer just important to IBM – they are at the heart of the company’s strategy. Because only with a strong ecosystem can the next step of the digital transformation be tackled. This became clear at a partner roundtable at the IBM Watson Center in Munich on November 16, to which media representatives were invited in addition to some important partners.
Vesna Maric and Marco Braun, both VP IBM Ecosystem IBM Technology DACH, welcomed the participants with a short presentation of this strategy. “Not only since the acquisition of Red Hat three years ago,” said Marco Braun (photo Sendler), “IBM is a technology provider. Our focus is on the innovations of our partners and customers, whom we want to help with our technologies to make open standards the basis of their development.”

IBM counts about 5,000 partners in Europe alone, and German companies are disproportionately represented among them. A considerable ecosystem that is the central prerequisite for the next push in digitalization. Nowhere can solutions be found with technology alone. The expertise of the domains and sectors in which the solution is to be used is always needed. The call for open standards is becoming ever stronger.

There is hardly a sector of the economy that does not make corresponding demands on new IT solutions. Werner Schwarz (upper photo, Sendler), VP Corporate Strategy & Innovation, Cancom Munich, says: “It affects all industries and all applications. In addition to the project business, we also offer “X as a Service” for the entire lifecycle and implement this together with the customer. IBM and Red Hat really provide enormous support in this. This is the only way we can offer any solutions at all for the major current challenges such as IT security, energy shortages, supply bottlenecks, sustainability and the huge topic of IoT and digitalization.”

Bernd Kremer (bottom photo, Sendler), COO German Edge Cloud Digital Industrial Solutions, Friedhelm Loh Group, reported on initial deployments of hybrid multicloud solution technology in production at the Friedhelm Loh Group’s Rittal plant in Haiger. “Microservices and low-code are not simply already the solution, but elementary components. The solution can only be found on site together with the experts and their knowledge. The fact that such technologies are now available is something that a still small but growing part of those responsible in the industry are aware of.”

There was a lively debate with the media representatives. The change that is taking place was not doubted by anyone. It is obviously already noticeable in many places and can be seen in numerous examples. However, it became clear that the necessary change from thinking in terms of “old IT” to thinking in terms of open cloud services is only just beginning. Events like this roundtable are very helpful in this respect: No PowerPoint. Open conversation. Roundtable. This is how we can deal with these issues.