How IBM Cloud Services Embraced Next-Gen Workforce Education to Deliver Big Customer Results

In our multi-cloud and multi-app digital world, companies need partners who can help them build a powerful digital foundation. Businesses seek out partners to help them knit individual technologies into a cohesive whole. For years, IBM and VMware partnered to deliver this unified infrastructure approach for joint customers. Yet, just like technical infrastructure, success is the sum of its parts. To help customers achieve their digital foundation goals, IBM’s cloud services technical sales team needed to be the best and brightest in the business.

“Our tech sales persons need to know the deeper knowledge,” says Vinod Chavan, director of cloud services solutions, IBM. “We always work with VMware Education Services to build and enhance our knowledge sites through their certifications and training programs.”

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Removing sales personnel from the field is detrimental to both revenue and customer relationships. A 2018 report showed nearly two-thirds of a sales rep’s time is spent in non-sales activities. Chavan and his cloud services team knew an educated salesforce was necessary to help customers achieve their technical goals. Yet, they also knew the demands of sales life meant static, classroom-based learning would keep their experts from customers. IBM looked to VMware to help achieve this balance, enabling technical sales reps to build their knowledge without sacrificing customer facetime.

“The value that VMware Education Services brings to IBM is threefold,” says Chavan. “First one is the confidence that is has created in our tech sellers. … Second thing, VMware Educational Services were really flexible to work with us, work with our time constraints, because we cannot put our tech sellers into the classes. And VMware Educational Services designed the courses flexibly, so that we can take it online on-demand. And the third thing was certification, and that was recognized by our customers and that was really kind of reflected in our results.”

“Last year, the impact that VMware brought was tremendous. We signed 1,700 clients across all industries, like American Airlines, Honeywell,” says Chavan.

The IBM Cloud Services story is one of many stories about the importance of continuous workforce education. Sixty-five percent of CIOs believe a lack of talent will prevent their organization from keeping up with the pace of change. Customized, on-demand education is now a reality for most companies who need to solve the talent gap and beat the competitive curve. And as every company becomes a digital company, industries evolve faster than ever. Is your organization learning fast enough to stay ahead?