In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
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IBM also announced new initiatives designed to help Business Partners build their solution, selling capabilities around expert integrated systems. Specifically, IBM Systems and Technology Group plans to increase its dedicated channel sales and technical sales specialists by 50 percent in 2013 to assist Business Partners in closing more solution opportunities. In addition, IBM Power Systems is further strengthening its Business Partner incentives. Finally, IBM continues to strengthen and launch new PartnerWorld Specialty and Certification Programs for IBM System x, PureFlex and Flex Systems to assist Business Partners in developing specialized skills to help deliver innovative solutions for clients.
IBM is continuing to invest $150 million in lead generation for business partners with the goal of four times the number of leads passed to Business Partners in 2013 to help grow their business.
"The interdependence of mobile, social, big data and cloud is undeniable, and will only multiply as data growth and mobile use continue," said Mark Hennessy, GM, IBM Global Business Partners. "We are committed to the success of our business partners in this shift in the way we do business across industries and around the globe. To seize this big data opportunity, IBM has laid the foundation for a comprehensive set of initiatives for IBM Business Partners, who are key to our growth strategy, which can help these clients address their business needs as the business grows."
* Source: IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the Third Platform, November 2012 Doc # 238044