Every month, I receive a summary of all the new references IBM has published, both internally and externally.  The application is a Notes database, of course, so it's easy to search for references in key industries, product areas, or competitive situations.

The March summary arrived recently, and contained what looked to be a very promising reference.  It was a competitive displacement, with some unique characteristics that would really help me and my extended team in some of our new selling opportunities.  Only problem is, come to find out, the customer hasn't exactly finished the deployment of what they said they were doing.  The business partner involved submitted the reference to IBM in advance of project completion -- not great.  I know IBM does validation on submitted references, so I'm not quite sure how this one got through the cracks.

Still, it got me thinking.  I'm sure there are tons of great stories out there that have never been submitted as formal IBM references.  IBMers and partners can both submit to the process, and a formal writing team takes care of the rest.  Public references can become case studies on sites like www.lotus.com/success, which is especially beneficial to partners who can gain further visibility through that approach.  References also play an important role in selecting speakers at events like Lotusphere.

So, is there something special about your Lotus software deployment that could be considered for the IBM references program?  Have you been approached by your IBM team or partners you work with?  Why/why wouldn't you consider being a reference?

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