Last week, I had the opportunity to attend IBM's Partnerworld Leadership Conference for the first time. Individually, the event was very cool for the "reunion" aspect of it -- I had the chance to reconnect dozens of IBMers that I've worked with and for over the last nineteen years, along with several "didn't I just see you in Orlando" connections with longtime business partners. It was also a good chance to get to know some of my new team and colleagues in the enterprise mobile arena. Though the Caesar's Palace cashectomy methods always take a little something away from a Vegas trip, the conference itself was very well run, with excellent food and entertainment. We even collectively did some volunteer work, packing lunches for the Three Square Food Bank.

The timing of the conference could not have been better. Only a few days after announcing IBM MobileFirst, we had a few hundred partners attend the mobile breakout session (which yes, I had the opportunity to present once, three weeks into the job), visit us in the exhibition, or participate in breakout meetings. The most common question, understandably and encouragingly, was "how do I get started with IBM mobile?"

The answer: Visit IBM MobileFirst on the IBM PartnerWorld website. While we will quickly be adding and expanding this web content, this one page highlights everything available to a partner today to start to check out the components of the IBM MobileFirst portfolio.

About 30-40% of the partners that we talked to last week already have mobile projects up and running. Those that don't wanted to know how to get started with IBM Worklight. The easy answer - it's free. That's right; much like in my old job, I made Domino Designer a no-charge item, the Worklight team offers a developer edition for free as well. Tons of other resources on and linked from that page as well. We also had many discussions at the conference last week about potential improvements to the selling model for Worklight applications from business partners. More on that to come.

There was also a lot of interest in two other tools that are part of the family:

  • AppScan - which does application security testing
  • Tealeaf CX Mobile - "Tealeaf CX Mobile unveils obstacles in real-time. It shows you why mobile users behave as they do by providing enhanced visual replay, including device orientation, screen size and touch-screen interactions."

Obviously, the end audience for all of this is customers and prospects. But much like the channel has been the key to IBM Notes and Domino success, almost since the products' inception, the same is now playing out in the mobile space. The opportunity to deploy 2nd generation ("Mobile 2.0") apps for organizations is happening right now. Companies are looking to transition away from hiring agencies and doing one-time build-outs for mobile applications. IT practices of reuse and platform management are coming into play. These are all places where IBM Worklight, and our other tools in the mobile enterprise portfolio, are strong and getting stronger.

Combined with a really incredible presence at Mobile World Congress- replay of our 30 minute announcement webcast is here - last week was a good accelerant for our efforts in IBM MobileFirst. This week at IBM Pulse, those efforts continue, and will build towards the April IBM Impact conference. (Impact is to the division I am in now what Connect/Lotusphere was to my old job).

If you are a partner and couldn't make it to MWC or Partnerworld last week, what questions do you have about IBM MobileFirst?

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