Here it comes. Another strategically placed Cognos release timed to coincide in the run-up with IBM’s annual Insight event. There’s No Doubt that IBM Marketing will deliver a strong push around the release of Cognos 10.2.2, scheduled to take place Nov 21. Having been a part of the Cognos ReportNet release, and living through the 10.0 release as marketer, I can honestly say, even though ReportNet & 10.0 where major releases. I can see very little difference between the amount of marketing emphasis placed on a major release vs. upgrade releases. To IBM’s marketing credit, they deliver a huge volume of activity and resources all designed to maximize the releases revenue potential. Understanding all that is available, how, and when best to take advantage of those resources can be daunting. So much so, that many IBM partners miss out, just because they don’t have time or resources themselves to sift through the information. With the strength behind IBM’s release marketing efforts, it’s a shame that more partners don’t tap into that with complimentary offerings and supporting demand-generation activity. Especially when IBM usually will cover must of the costs associated.

So what do IBM partners need to know to make the most of this release?

First, and foremost. For a period, there will be a high level of mind-space being occupied in the market around the release. The flip-side of that is, the space will be filled with more questions about the release than answers. Therein lays the opportunity for partners, and IBM knows it. The question is; will partners take advantage of it? After all IBM will be providing all the assets needed in the form of Sales Quick Reference Guides, client-facing presentations, Ready-to-Execute demand-gen programs, and even funding for resources to execute. Savvy consulting partners can capitalize on the market-timing, and resources. All that is needed to maximize the opportunity are simple offerings around 10.2.2 such as:

  • What’s New In 10.2.2 – All the resources needed to build a program around this are available from IBM. In fact, it’s a firehouse of marketing resources on IBM’s ParnterWorld site. Remember – for a period there will be more questions than answers on this release.
  • 10.2.2 Migration Assessment & Services Offering – A simple scoping engagement offer with SOW and roadmap as outputs will generate interest if timed during the release ramp-up.

By using these two simple to execute partner marketing activities, timed with IBM’s own efforts around Insight 2014, the release, and tapping into the knowledge and funding resources from IBM, consulting partners can prepare themselves now for a strong Q1.