IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna encouraged partners to raise prices, weighed in on the pending Broadcom acquisition of VMware and touted his company’s cybersecurity prowess during an event at CRN parent The Channel Company’s 2022 XChange Best of Breed Conference.
“From our conversations with clients, I would tell you that nobody loves it [a price increase], but they all understand,” Krishna told attendees Monday. “Because most of our clients are doing the same out to their clients. … Pricing power comes down to something simple. Is the product highly valuable and is it sticky? … In a world of fewer skills, if you have the skills, you can price those skills.”
Krishna was on stage responding to questions from The Channel Company Founding Partner Robert Faletra and CRN Executive Editor of News Steven Burke. XChange Best of Breed runs Monday to Tuesday in person in Atlanta.
What Did IBM CEO Arvind Krishna Say About Red Hat?
Mark Wyllie, CEO of Boca Raton, Fla.-based IBM partner Flagship Solutions Group, told CRN in an interview that he’s glad to hear IBM plans to continue integrating different parts of the Red Hat business.
Earlier this month, IBM said that it had absorbed storage technology and teams from its Red Hat business to combine them with IBM’s own storage business unit as a way to help customers take advantage of the two without requiring extra integration or having to deal with multiple sales teams.
Wyllie wants to see IBM further integrate Red Hat services into its portfolio to help partners push the services out to existing IBM customers.
“I think that’d be a benefit to us and IBM,” Wyllie said.
As for Broadcom and VMware, Krishna said that VMware remains an important partner for his company. And as long as VMware keeps investing in its products, it should remain “a strong franchise.”
“I think it’ll come down to what is going to happen in 2023 and 2024,” Krishna said. “As long as they keep innovating on the products, they keep giving more function back to their clients—it’s a strong franchise. That falls away, then that’s a different question. But I think the virtualization world likes those products. Now it’s up to them to keep innovating.”
Here’s more of what Krishna had to say during XChange Best of Breed 2022.
Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at [email protected].
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