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The Euro arm of Big Blue rolled out its PartnerWorld initiative but the scheme means a vast shake up in the channel. According to Kevin Bishop, IBM's director of business partners for Europe, its PartnerWorld scheme "is a unified solution across all of our brands". That means, he said, that IBM channel partners will be able to sell anything from ThinkPads to S/390s. But it also means complete re-accreditation for all existing IBM partners from the biggest distributor to the smallest reseller. Bishop claimed that this plan was masterminded by CEO Lou "Boots" Gerstner four and a half years ago, and it has taken that long for the shake up to be complete. A post hoc propter hoc line if ever we heard one. Bishop said: "This comes direct from Gerstner." Blood had been shed, he said, but he refused to discuss how many billions of dollars had flowed out of Big Blue's coffers into the scheme. Meanwhile, channel partner Kevin Drew, at Triangle, said he was betting his whole business on IBM's PartnerWorld. ®

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