Update! The IBM Referral Incentive for SaaS and Software program will be consolidated with the IBM Channel Value Rewards - Software Sales/Sales Assist Incentive at the end of 2017. For more details please read the following announcement (PDF, 25 KB)


As part of IBM’s rapid cloud growth; the IBM Referral Incentive for SaaS and Software is a channel offering designed to reward business partners who help to drive increased SaaS sales and arm Business Partners with the ability to provide customers with quick access to IBM business solutions in the cloud.

Business Partners are looking to expand their capabilities to more effectively fulfill client demands brought on by new online buying patterns that are driven by social networking and mobile computing trends.

Why participate in IBM Referral Incentive?

  • Enhanced Profitability – Competitive Fee for adding value to the sale
  • Speed – Faster way to engage Customers
  • Increase Sales Portfolio – Increase the value of your current Offerings
  • Easy Path to Building a long term Business Relationship with IBM

The IBM Referral Incentive is a "fast start" offering that encourages accelerated cloud adoption by enabling Business Partners, including cloud services solution providers, to deliver SaaS solutions. Based on extensive Business Partner feedback, IBM has designed the incentive to enhance Business Partners' offerings while minimizing the steps required for selling cloud-based solutions.

Watch this short video to learn more about the incentive

Where to go from here

A key icon indicates that the links associated with it lead to entitled content.


Eligible Business Partners will receive competitive fees* for recommending and co-selling market leading SaaS products:

Show all eligible products

  • B2B Integration for maximizing supply chain and efficiency.
  • BlueMix Platform Subscription is a single solution environment with the instant resources and infrastructure you need to develop and deploy apps across multiple domains—fast.
  • eCommerce enables companies of all sizes to deliver the right customer experience at the right time with solutions for omni-channel commerce, order management and fulfillment, customer insights and digital experience.
  • IBM Cloud Video Catalog and Logistics Manager - IBM Cloud Video offers Media and Entertainment specific SaaS solutions where "Video is the Business" to streamline multiscreen video preparation, delivery, and catalogue and subscriber management.
  • IBM Cloud Video Streaming Manager - IBM Cloud Video provides live and on demand video streaming SaaS capability where "Video Supports the Business" to power organizations of any size, ranging from a one person video production video company to a worldwide enterprise, and enhance communication across a variety of audiences and devices.
  • IBM Connections Cloud Services offers a cost-effective social platform that provides easy-to-access integrated email, social business capabilities and third-party applications. Benefits include deeper customer relationships, increased effectiveness, optimized workforces and reduced IT costs and complexity. IBM Connections Cloud Services allows developers to enrich their applications with social collaboration, analytics and information from business/corporate social networks; increase visibility and operation effectiveness of applications by publishing information into the business work stream; and enhance collaboration between customers/employees/partners with integrated business applications.
  • IBM MaaS360 is an enterprise mobility platform that enables IT to deliver end-to-end security and management for applications, content, email and devices. Businesses, government agencies and educational institutions use IBM MaaS360 to provide secure access to resources and content from mobile devices, without compromising the user experience, data security or privacy.
  • IBM Security Trusteer Fraud Protection delivers an intelligence-based, cybercrime prevention platform that helps protect web applications and mobile devices from online threats such as malware and phishing attacks and account takeover fraud.
  • IBM Smarter Workforce (Kenexa) allows companies to easily identify, attract and keep the best people, develop their skills, cultivate new leaders, and capitalize on their collective intelligence by applying behavioral best practices, social tools and analytics to transform the way they work.
  • IBM Watson Health Patient Engagement with Watson Care Manager empowers you with value-based solutions to optimize performance, engage consumers, deliver effective care and manage the health of your population.
  • IBM Watson Internet of Things delivers new industry-specific cognitive computing technologies, cloud data services and developer tools to help companies manage, monitor and control devices as a way to remotely connect products and enhance operations to transform the way they do business. Join us and obtain your share of the projected $ 11 Trillion of economic value as projected by analysts.
  • MEA ERP for Cloud; Identifying and helping sell IBM's offering for Management of ERP application Services on the IBM Cloud
  • Merchandising (Formerly known as IBM Price, Promotion and Product Mix Optimization (DemandTec)) is a network of software services connecting retailers and consumer products companies enabling them to define category, brand and shopper marketing strategies.
  • Procurement (formerly known as Emptoris) enables companies to maximize financial performance and optimize procurement
  • Watson Customer Engagement – SaaS Entry - a set of easy to use and install 'born on the cloud' offerings with high function, great value and a wide variety of applicability for clients.
  • Watson Marketing (formerly known as IBM Marketing and Customer Analytics) enables companies to visualize customer journeys, replay sessions and get the insights you need to create frictionless customer experiences.

Participating Business Partners can add incremental value to their solutions and secure rapid value for their customers. Given that customers are increasingly demanding a wider variety of SaaS solutions, this referral incentive presents a significant new reason to call customers.

Participating Business Partners can potentially build annuity based revenue stream for their role identifying opportunities, co-selling with IBM and ensuring that the customer optimizes usage over time to build out a continuous annuity stream.

Software Co-Marketing is a benefit of participating in the SaaS Referral Incentive.

Software Co-Marketing can help you extend your marketing reach and drive demand for your IBM SaaS solutions. With Software Co-Marketing, IBM will contribute toward the costs of your approved marketing activities, such as advertising, digital marketing, telemarketing, direct marketing, events and more!

*Subject to qualification criteria.


This Referral Incentive is available to Business Partners which meet the following criteria:

  • A member of PartnerWorld in the country where the Business Partner is applying.
  • Achieve a qualifying sales certification in each SaaS Referral product group they apply for and register the associated Sales Mastery test(s) for the Sales Certification in their PartnerWorld profile. Refer to the list of qualifying certifications by product group in the IBM Referral Incentive for SaaS and Software Business Partner Operations Guide located under the Resource tab. Note: Some Product Groups no longer require certification. Details are found in the Operations Guide.
    • If a Business Partner has either a SVP Smarter Commerce Capability Authorization or a validated Smarter Commerce solution these can count as the qualifying sales certification for some product groups. Refer to the operations guides for details.
  • Accept terms of the IBM PartnerWorld Agreement and its Attachment for Referral Incentive for SaaS and Software.
  • Participating Business Partner must be confirmed as approved for the IBM Referral Incentive, prior to registering any opportunities or requesting any fees under this Incentive.

For full details on enrollment, opportunity registration and claim processes please refer to the IBM Referral Incentive for SaaS and Software Business Partner Operations Guide.

Plug-in options


Update! Given that the IBM Referral Incentive for SaaS and Software program will be consolidated with the IBM Channel Value Rewards - Software Sales/Sales Assist (CVR - S/SA) Incentive at the end of 2017, we are no longer receiving new applications. Learn more about the CVR - S/SA incentive.

Registering and claiming opportunities

Once your firm has been accepted to participate in the IBM Referral Incentive program, you may start registering opportunities using the IBM Referral Incentive portal.

Please note for the purposes of the incentive this is a standalone system and not connected to IBM Global Partner Portal (GPP) or any other IBM IT system.

If you have any questions regarding the submission of your opportunity registration, you can email or call our dedicated support team.

Watch this video for an overview of the new portal.


Helpful links and resources about the IBM Referral Incentive can be found below.

Operations Guide for the IBM SaaS Referral for Business

List of product part numbers

IBM Referral Incentive materials