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Sonny and Cher, Batman and Robin, Laurel and Hardy. The list of famous duos is endless. Here’s another: IBM and SAP.

But at SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP plays the field, filling its dance card with the names of a number of partners, not only IBM.

I wanted to hear more about the partnership and how it is being marketed at the event so got on the phone with a colleague and her contacts at IBM. It was like a marketing microcosm of the ecosystem!

Jessica Wagener came to SAP two and a half years ago from Microsoft to join the Global Partner Marketing team and is now 100% dedicated to IBM.

“It’s a global role, very international, very virtual,” she says when describing her job by phone from Munich.

In fact her contacts at IBM are based in Calgary, Alberta and Falls Church, Virginia. Doreen Moug, the North American SAP Alliance Marketing Lead at IBM, says, “SAPPHIRE is not only SAP’s premier event but our whole team is focused on what we can do for SAP clients. We view it as our premier event from an alliance perspective.”

Doreen describes the two audiences targeted by their presence at SAPPHIRE NOW:

Selected IBM and SAP accounts –

These accounts are concerned with learning about innovations and how to become more competitive through technology. IBM will deliver a unique client journey built specifically for each of these accounts including customized booth tours, client to client meetings and a very special experience with the Lab for SAP solutions. As Doreen says, “We want our clients to think big and the IBM SAP partnership is there to help them innovate to drive significant business outcomes.”

Broader technical audience –

This audience is well-informed and has questions for subject matter experts related to projects and explorations. IBM invites this audience into the IBM Solution Zone in the IBM booth, offering unique access to a broad range of subject matter experts, ready to answer questions or discuss unique projects. Or, as Doreen says, “Just come in and join a lively conversation on technological innovations.”

She adds, “We don’t win clients by force-feeding solutions; we win by doing what’s right for them.”

Virginia-based Beverly Tomb of the IBM Global Demand Program team. her voice bursting with excitement, describes one of the activities the team is presenting at SAPPHIRE NOW. The “experiential zone” is a space where customers entering the IBM booth can be immersed into three business scenarios – predictive maintenance, connected care, and customer loyalty. “Instead of standing in front of a monitor or watching a video, you’ll go into a space that will take on the look and feel of a shop floor,” says Beverly. “A client can pull from SAP HANA and using algorithms created by IBM Research and implemented by the IBM Services team interpret the data and come up with actionable information.”

Recipient of a record 28 Pinnacle Awards, including the 2013 HANA Co-innovation Partner of the Year award, IBM can expect to be a favorite dance partner in Orlando. Check out their website: http://www.ibm-sap.com. Visit the experiential zone at booth 1017 in Orlando.

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