IBM, Partner Program research

This program helps startups and ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) scale their business with IBM’s guidance and connections. I conducted eleven 1-hour interviews to better understand how partners go to market, make decisions and why they chose IBM’s program.

User researcher
A big thank you to my ‘scribes’ Jane, Myriah and Ash for taking such great notes during the interviews!
Research plan
Email and interview scripts
List of questions and scribe template
New journey-maps from synthesized results/user responses

The challenge

Our team had a hypothesis about how startups and ISV’s go through their lifecycle; from having a great idea, bringing it to market and scaling up their business. The hypothesis was a very general flow of what each step looked like. I was tasked with conducting user research to get a more accurate picture of our users’ journey so our program could better assist our users. 

Through this research, our team wanted to:

1. Gain more insight into the details of our customers’ user journey and validate if our hypothesis flow was correct

2. Understand the points of friction in the users’ journey and if our program was causing or solving those issues.

3. Understand why users chose IBM over competitor programs

Solution & impact

I created a detailed research plan, scripts, and interview templates in order to conduct 11 one-hour interviews with leaders of startups and ISV’s. I then synthesized all results by comparing their user journeys and variations.

These synthesized results gave us the more accurate, detailed user journeys that we were looking for. Additionally, we received lots of honest opinions on support and service. I condensed presented my findings (including proposed solutions to pain points) to all stakeholders and senior leadership. 

In the end, Don Boulia, GM of Global ISV Partnerships integrated the results of this research into our org’s broader strategy for partner programming in 2019 and 2020.

For more information

Some of this info is sensitive to IBM’s business and can’t be shown here. If you reach out, I’m happy to speak to it in more detail privately.