Up and Running Resources
For Business Partners
Direct feedback on this document to Dick Thames
ChannelWorks, WebSphere Commerce
November 19, 2007
The resources and assets available to the community of IBM Business Partners are numerous, and for
partners getting started with WebSphere Commerce, navigating through this vast array of available
resources may be daunting. The purpose of this document is to provide a consolidated listing of useful
resources and assets for IBM business partners who are working with WebSphere Commerce Version
6.0. The document covers the following:
Sales and marketing resources
Technical enablement resources
Many of the resources and services outlined in this document are only available to business partners
who are members of IBM PartnerWorld. PartnerWorld is built on an investment model: the more a
partner invests in their relationship with IBM, the greater the benefit gained. With three levels of
participation, Member, Advanced and Premier, each level is distinguished by unique membership
Commitment - embracing business relationship and annual re-qualification
Competency - looking at the skilled individuals in the partner firm
Contribution - considering annual revenue attainment for reselling business partners
Customer satisfaction - customer references to demonstrate successes with the business partner.
Figure 1: IBM PartnerWorld home page
Information about PartnerWorld and details on the membership types, refer to the following Web site:
Note: When you select the above, you should sign-in to PartnerWorld (PWSW), with your IBM ID/PW,
and stay signed in. This will allow you to select any of the other PWSW referenced sites without
having to sign-in again.
Additionally, it is recommended that partners purchase the Value Pack for Software. This package
provides enhanced resources to help you build your skills and achieve your business objectives.
IBM software offerings
For details on the benefits of the Value Pack for Software, refer to the following Web site:
For access within the PWSW walls, you will need your IBM BP ID/PW.
Additional info on the Value Pack
(Highlighted areas: place and leave cursor over these and CNTRL/Click to follow the link.)
IBM PartnerWorld Business Partners have access to a very wide variety of resources to attain their
business goals easily and effectively. In addition, with the purchase of the IBM Value Package, they
can add a very rich set of incremental benefits to their membership for an annual charge of
In addition to benefits such as education reimbursement (known as You Pass, We Pay), sales and
marketing support and access to IBM software that helps Business Partners, the Value Package
also provides them access to presales/predeployment technical support benefits, all of which help
Business Partners build skills and bring their products and solutions to market.
Solution assurance assistance: is available to Advanced and Premier Business Partners. For
qualified sales opportunities, this benefit provides a comprehensive review of the Business
Partner's completed solution design by IBM technical quality assurance experts. The benefit is
available in North and Latin Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa and few of the following
countries in Asia Pacific:
•Rep. of Korea
Critical Implementation support is available to worldwide Premier Business Partners. For qualified
Business Partner sales engagements, Premier Business Partners can receive on-site assistance
for critical engagements involving complex implementation of an IBM product solution.
Technical Sales Consultancy is available to worldwide Advanced and Premier Business Partners.
Business Partners with a qualified sales opportunity will receive voice or on-site technical mentoring
in solution design and solution integration for complex IBM software sales opportunities.
Besides the above, the Value Package also offers unlimited remote Integration and implementation
support and access to Technical sales support (for member level Business Partners).
WebSphere Commerce is designed to accelerate the automation and integration of cross-channel
marketing and sales processes, helping companies of all sizes become on demand businesses,
ensuring their customers can do business when they want, how they want and where they want. It
can be used to deploy a wide variety of business models, from a consumer-centric online sales
channel to a completely integrated, multi-tier demand chain — all on a single platform.
The product family is divided into editions that serve, in general, different target customer
segments. The solutions address the breadth of large enterprise B2B applications all the way to
B2C and small business applications. A common base exists between all editions allowing a
growth path to scale from one edition up to the next.
The Web site for all editions of WebSphere Commerce can be found here: http://www-
For each production edition, there is a corresponding development environment product that is
used when building customized code for the WebSphere Commerce solution. These products are
collectively known as WebSphere Commerce Developer.
The Web site for WebSphere Commerce Developer can be found here: http://www-
The documentation that shipped with WebSphere Commerce and WebSphere Commerce
Developer is continually updated after the product CDs are created. For this reason, it is very
important to get the latest set of documentation before you install the products. Ensure that you
get the following:
Updated README files
Updated Installation Guides
Updated Information Center
Viewing the Information Center
Note that for WebSphere Commerce Version
6.0, the entire Information Center is available for
you to view online. In other words, you do not
need to install the product to be able to access
the Information Center; instead you need an
Internet connection, and Internet Explorer
Version 6. The online Information Center
includes developer and production information
for all editions.
To access the online Information Center for
Version 6.0, use the following link:
When downloading the Information Center, be sure to get the version that
corresponds to the product you are using. In particular, if you require the
Information Center that includes the API reference, be certain to download the
Information Center for WebSphere Commerce Developer. The Information Center
for WebSphere Commerce (the production environment) does not include the API
reference information. All supported versions of the WebSphere Commerce
Information Center are here: http://www-
One of the first steps to getting started with WebSphere Commerce V6.0 is to obtain and install the
If you are a member of PartnerWorld for Software, in order to access demonstration and evaluation
software, you need to purchase the Value Package for Software. This gives you access to the IBM
Software Access Catalog. The IBM Software Access Catalog (formerly known as IBM Software
Mall) offers a broad range of selected software available to qualified partners. This Internet-based
shopping mall allows qualified partners to obtain the latest level of IBM software products from the
Access to electronic download versions at no charge, and/or
Access to very low priced orderable CD media packages .
If you are a member of PartnerWorld for Developers, in order to access demonstration and
evaluation software, you need to purchase the Software Access Option.
Ideal configuration for learning about WebSphere Commerce V6.0
Once you have obtained evaluation copies of the software, you can get started with a hands-on
learning experience. The best configuration for learning about the features and functions of
WebSphere Commerce V6.0 is to install the development environment.
The development products are as follows:
WebSphere Commerce - Express Developer
WebSphere Commerce Enterprise Developer
WebSphere Commerce Professional Developer
Note, you do not need to be a developer to setup this environment for learning purposes. At a high-
level, you simply need to do the following:
1. Install WebSphere Studio Application Developer (included with WebSphere Commerce
Developer). Ensure that the test environment is selected.
2. Install the WebSphere Commerce Developer toolkit. This is a simple install.
The detailed instructions on performing this installation are found in the WebSphere Commerce
Developer Installation Guide: http://www-
Once the installation is complete, you will have a WebSphere Commerce instance. All of the starter
stores applicable for that edition of the product are pre-published into the local development
database. This means that immediately after installation, you can go through the entire shopping
flow and work with the WebSphere Commerce tools for managing and administering the starter
After WebSphere Commerce has been made generally available, it goes into a maintenance
stream. Information about changes to the product become available from the WebSphere
Commerce support pages.
The support pages include downloadable fixes to the product. These fixes may be individual fixes
to specific APARs or full fix packs. The fix packs contain a bundle of updates for a particular
version and edition of the product. It is recommended that you always use the most recent fix pack
The support pages also include self-help resources such as support flashes (for example, security
alerts) and Technotes. A Technote is similar to a frequently asked question. In other words, a
Technote is a relatively short document that includes a problem statement and a suggested path to
problem resolution. Technotes are maintained in a searchable database.
To access the WebSphere Commerce support pages, visit the following Web site and then select
the WebSphere Commerce product with which you are working:
Sales and marketing resources
IBM provides a number of resources to help your company create and implement successful sales
and marketing initiatives around WebSphere Commerce. Marketing programs may also serve to
increase your profit margins when selling the software while other programs may assist with
gaining necessary skills for working with WebSphere Commerce.
Sales and marketing information kits
The Sales and Marketing Information Kits (SMI) for WebSphere Commerce are your primary
source of sales and marketing information and assets. Here, in a single, consolidated location,
you will find everything you need to market and sell WebSphere Commerce, from presentations to
demos, from brochures to case studies. Different kits are provided for each edition of WebSphere
Commerce. Within each kit, you will find information and collateral on topics such as product
descriptions, presentations, competition, client-ready materials, etc.
The sales and marketing kits are made available through PartnerWorld. To access the
WebSphere Commerce sales and marketing kits, visit: https://www-
Once on this site, you need to log in with your IBM ID/PW. Select the appropriate WebSphere
Commerce sales and marketing kit for your needs.
IBM Sales Connections
Connect with the global IBM sales team to help you close deals. IBM Sales Connections help you
establish a track record of success with IBM, gets you noticed by other IBM sales representatives
and Business Partners and helps you establish productive, long-term relationships with them. Just
tell us about your opportunity, and we will link you to an experienced IBM sales representative or
Business Partner who can leverage their existing customer relationships and product knowledge to
help you close sales opportunities faster. Your customer opportunity information will be kept strictly
confidential. To learn more, visit: http://www-
Assess your client's e-business opportunities through a consultative process and present a
business case for implementing a specific IBM software solution using IBM Executive
Assessments. Executive Assessments are consulting tools that will help you get in the door and
quickly gather the information you need to build a business case, present your proposal, and close
business. You can charge a nominal fee for time spent working on the assessment - then you can
win the business by proposing a customized e-business solution that meets your customers'
needs. You can also use Executive Assessments as demand generation tools or offering in your
You will find Executive Assessments available for a broad range of IBM solutions, including three
designed just for WebSphere Commerce:
WebSphere Commerce - Express,
WebSphere Commerce: B2B and Channel Management
and WebSphere Commerce: B2C and Multi-Channel Retailing
Consider using Executive Assessments to close your top leads. Several WebSphere Commerce
business partners have successfully leveraged this consultative process with as part of their sales
and consultation strategies.
To get started with the Executive Assessments, you will be asked for you IBM ID/PW, do the
1. Access the main page for the tools, at the following URL:
2. Study the Executive Assessment training module available at the following URL to learn how
to sell and conduct an Executive Assessment:
3. Access the individual Executive Assessment tools at the following URL to start working
through assessments with your customers:
Signature Selling Method
The IBM Signature Selling Methodology (SSM) is the way both IBM and IBM Business Partner
sales professionals team to sell. SSM unifies and distinguishes IBM and our Business Partners
through a common approach to selling based on client business needs. SSM aligns the sales
experience to seven selling stages and seven client buying stages.
SSM makes it easier to:
Engage your clients' senior and line-of-business executives in business conversation
Identify and deliver business value to your clients throughout the sales cycle
Develop larger portfolios of opportunities that align with your clients' business initiatives
Sell total solutions and win more deals by helping customers plan before taking action
Getting started with SSM:
To get started with SSM, do the following:
1. Visit the following URL to get more details on the purpose and values of SSM:
2. Use the SSM Sales Enablement Guide to help position IBM's sales tools within the seven stages
of the Signature Selling Method, allowing you to quickly understand where you are in the sales
cycle and what tools are available to assist you in moving the sale along. The SSM Sales
Enablement Guide is available at the following URL:
Quick Proposal Templates
If you need to get started fast on a high quality proposal for a WebSphere Commerce opportunity,
you can leverage IBM Techline to find a "Quick Proposal" (QP) template. These templates will
assist you in preparing high-quality, comprehensive proposals for your sales opportunities. The
template for WebSphere Commerce has been updated for V6.0 and is rich in detail.
Getting started with Quick Proposal Templates:
To get started using the WebSphere Commerce Quick Proposal template, do the following:
1. Visit the following Web site to access the full set of Quick Proposal templates:
2. Locate the WebSphere Commerce template on the resulting page.
3. Before working with the template, be certain to review the usage information and guidelines
contained in the ―Customizing the QP template document section‖ of the page.
IBM Sales and Marketing Centers
IBM Sales and Marketing Centers give your customers personalized, one-to-one access to IBM
facilities, speakers and support staff, helping you shorten the sales cycle, increase the size of
opportunities and close sales. By using IBM subject matter experts to deliver customized briefings
on the features and benefits of IBM software solutions, you gain a dynamic, personalized tool to
enhance your sales process. Usage of any of the Sales and Marketing Center facilities is a fee-
Of particular interest to partners working with WebSphere Commerce, the Software Executive
Briefing Center located in the development lab in Toronto Canada is the primary facility available
for WebSphere Commerce executive briefings.
Other Software Executive Briefing Center locations such as Research Triangle Park, North
Carolina, USA also have the capacity to support certain aspects of WebSphere Commerce.
Two types of sessions are supported at IBM Sales and Marketing Centers:
Sales Opportunities: If you have a qualified sales opportunity and want to move the
opportunity forward, you can leverage the Centers’ executive facilities. Get assistance with
scheduling and defining an appropriate agenda, and bring in IBM technical experts to
address elements of the solution, etc.
Marketing events: If you plan to host marketing seminars to generate qualified leads, you
can take advantage of the executive facilities in the centers. All demand generation, agenda
scheduling, catering, etc. are your responsibility. The fee covers the cost of an executive
setting and equipment for your event. Note that marketing events are scheduled as space
permits. Additionally, sales opportunities take priority and not all centers support marketing
For complete details on the types of centers available, services offered, fees charged, details
about booking a center, refer to the following Web site: https://www-
PartnerWorld Lead Management
The PartnerWorld Lead Management (PWLM) application is an e-business tool designed to help
you with lead collection, lead passing and recording of sales lead feedback from IBM's Business
Partner sales channels worldwide.
Keeping the lead management system up to date with your WebSphere Commerce opportunities
is very important, as it will help us to support your efforts in the field.
There are two ways to enter your leads:
1. Use the following Web site to learn how to sign up for PWLM and begin entering leads on your
2. Work with your IBM partner representative to have them enter your leads via the internal
Top Contributor Initiative (TCI)
The Top Contributor Initiative is designed to provide additional discounts to software resellers who
sell IBM software, through the Passport Advantage program, to customers designated as Small
and Medium Business (SMB) Accounts. To participate, a company must submit an enrollment,
complete the initiative qualification requirements, be approved by IBM and accept the Market
Growth Fee offering terms and conditions.
There are three levels of participation in the Top Contributor Initiative: Standard, New TCI
Business Partner and Entry. Many WebSphere Commerce business partners are already enrolled
and taking advantage of TCI.
For an overview of the Top Contributor Initiative, refer to the following Web site:
Value Advantage Plus Initiative (VAP)
Value Advantage Plus rewards you for integrating IBM middleware with your software solutions. It
was created for partners, such as ISVs, who have value-adding business models in which the
majority of revenue is derived from the sale of applications you have developed or services you
To enroll in Value Advantage Plus and begin earning the financial rewards, you need to be a
current PartnerWorld member and have at least one value-adding solution built around IBM
middleware software, such as WebSphere Commerce. You can participate in Value Advantage
Plus by completing information about your business, solution, and customer references in a
special section of your PartnerWorld membership profile. When you have completed the
application, you will be asked to sign an attachment that acknowledges your acceptance of the
initiative terms. Once approved, you will receive notification and additional details.
To get more details on the Value Advantage Plus initiative, refer to the following Web site:
IBM Customer Reference Database
The IBM Customer Reference Database (CRDB) is a valuable sales enablement tool available
from PartnerWorld for IBM Business Partners. This tool will enable you to use the experience and
success of customer-proven IBM solutions to help close sales. The CRDB contains information
about customers who have agreed to be a reference for one or more IBM hardware products
and/or software products. Each reference has a description of the customer, their business
needs, a description of the solution implemented and the benefits the customer received. Each
reference also has contact information for the IBM representative associated with the customer,
so you can get additional information if needed. It is easy to search for WebSphere Commerce-
specific references using the search tools provided.
Visit the following Web site to access the Customer Reference Database: http://www-
Business Partner Connections
Business Partner Connections is an online service exclusively for IBM Business Partners that
makes it easy to find other partners with complementary skills so you can team together to better
support your customers' requirements. Business Partner Connections provides tools to help you
build the necessary skills to successfully team with other Business Partners.
Visit the following Web site to access Business Partner Connections: https://www-
PartnerPlan is IBM's process for creating a joint marketing plan with IBM Business Partners. It
can help you reach agreement on revenue objectives and the marketing activities to achieve
those revenue targets, while fostering improved communication between you and your IBM or
distributor representative. Plans define how you and IBM can work together to achieve common
revenue targets and business objectives. It leverages and assembles marketing resources that
can help generate demand for your solutions and services and is often a prerequisite to qualifying
for IBM co-marketing funds.
IBM Business Partners with an IBM representative can request that their representative begin the
PartnerPlan process. As your plan is built, your IBM representative can give you access to your
PartnerPlan via the Web. If you need to learn who your IBM Representative is, contact
PartnerWorld Contact Services.
Typically, the planning process begins with a call from your representative to gather preliminary
information and your objectives for a work session. Business Partner sales or marketing managers
and executives, and your IBM and/or distributor representatives should plan to participate in a
focused marketing planning session to build a solid, executable PartnerPlan.
In the work session, the team begins with understanding your products, people, core
competencies and goals:
Revenue objectives are agreed upon and the team identifies eligible sources of co-marketing
funds for which the Business Partner qualifies.
Next the team identifies repeatable solutions that they expect will drive the most significant
portion of your revenues. The solution should consist of products as well as pre-sale,
implementation and post-sale services.
The team then defines key markets for those solutions and develops marketing action plans
targeted at driving revenue in these key market segments.
Within the action plans, an owner is identified who will be responsible for ensuring the action is
completed on time and achieves the expected results.
To get more information on PartnerPlan and how to get started with this process, refer to the
following Web site: https://www-304.ibm.com/jct09002c/partnerworld/mem/mkt/partnerplan.html
The PartnerRewards program provides eligible IBM Business Partners with incentive dollars to
assist in creating new market opportunities, support marketing efforts to win new business and
reward the Business Partners commitment to IBM. Participating Business Partners are eligible to
receive incentive awards based on eligible revenue and the completion of an approved
PartnerPlan. PartnerPlan is an effective tool that helps the Business Partner establish marketing
and sales goals to meet yearly revenue objectives.
The PartnerRewards program rewards the Business Partner with incentive bonuses based on
eligible revenue. Where applicable, Business Development Funds may also be earned and applied
to approved activities for demand generation and marketing enablement like co-marketing,
education/certification or equipment support.
Contact your IBM representative to learn more about your eligibility to participate in the
PartnerRewards program. For an overview of the co-marketing funding program, refer to the
following Web site: https://www-
Encore Event Solutions
Encore Event Solutions is a vendor service designed to provide IBM Business Partners with
options to showcase their products and services in a cost-effective manner. 'Events for Business
Partners' and 'Event management outsourcing' are two services offered by Encore Productions, a
full-service event management company that has been executing a wide array of IBM events for
over a decade.
There are two different approaches to getting Encore Event Solutions working for you:
Events for Business Partners: This economical package assists Business Partners in
showcasing their products and services at tradeshows, conferences and key events where
IBM is not participating. The service enables Business Partners to leverage the IBM brand and
their strength as a Business Partner, while gaining valuable sales leads and new revenue
opportunities. A complete turnkey solution includes end-to-end logistics, booth properties,
exhibit space, marketing support, and setup and teardown services — all under the IBM
Business Partner umbrella.
Event management outsourcing: Encore Productions offers IBM Business Partners a wide
array of event management services on demand for events worldwide — at the same deep
discount that IBM receives. Encore can offer research, planning, execution, reporting, project
management, discounted A/V services and speaker procurement as well as other customized
services. Outsourcing your company's event management services allows you to concentrate
on driving your revenue, while maximizing your impact and investment through professional
For an overview of Encore Event Solutions within the context of the IBM PartnerWorld site, refer
to the following Web site: http://www-
Campaign Designer is a Web-based resource that enables you to plan customized demand
generation campaigns and create high quality marketing materials using your company logo and
messaging. Campaign Designer can help you identify top prospects for your solutions and assist
you in determining the appropriate tactics to use in reaching these prospects. Get cost effective
campaign execution services and help with response management, lead tracking, and reporting
with Campaign Designer Marketing Link.
To get started with an overview of Campaign Designer, refer to this Web site: https://www-
Creating Successful Demand Generation Campaigns
This co-marketing guide, which works in conjunction with Campaign Designer, can help you plan
and execute fully-integrated marketing strategies in just 7 steps. These key principles of demand
generation were carefully formulated by IBM and our direct marketing agencies. With this guide,
you're well on your way to generating new leads, shortening your sales cycle and improving your
bottom line. It covers these key principles of demand generation:
1. Know your target
2. Develop product solutions based on the audience's business needs
3. Understand the sales cycle and choose the right tactics
4. Create a campaign plan based on maximizing your marketing dollars
5. Build your message
6. The benefits of Campaign Designer
7. Execute, measure and refine your campaign (using PartnerWorld Lead Management )
For access to this co-marketing guide, refer to the following Web site: https://www-
IBM provides a wide variety of marketing-oriented training materials on PartnerWorld that you
may find helpful in preparing to go to market with WebSphere Commerce. These range from
online courses available via PartnerWorld University to marketing ―how to‖ guides.
To link to the entry point for PartnerWorld marketing training resources, refer to the following Web
Additionally, the following links will provide more details on these tools and programs:
Marketing competency training paths provide you with a roadmap to education and skills that
can help you better market not only IBM products but your own as well
PartnerWorld University provides self-study online courses about marketing. In particular, the
Sales and Marketing College.
Marketing "How to" Guides provide how-to information for direct mail, seminars and multi-
tactic marketing campaigns
The following external Web site provides several online recorded demonstrations of WebSphere
Commerce in action: http://demos.dfw.ibm.com/solutions/commerce/?S=DF
The SMI kits provide links to downloadable Flash demonstrations, including the WebSphere
Commerce Demo Center, a package of Flash modules that demonstrate many of the capabilities
of the product. Internal ONLY
PWSW – You will need you IBM BP ID/PW – if you cannot get to these directly then copy and
paste these to you internet search line.
WC V6.0 Mega Deck ppt
http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/tividd/software/saleskits/V227365O87155H39/KEY_36.html scroll to
WC Demo Center
Voice/Flash Demo Center
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/commerce/ External for flash demos and other V6.0 ppts
WC FLASH Demos and demo scripts
Other links located at this site:
Brochures and other deliverables
Case Studies and References
Ideal demonstration platform
The WebSphere Commerce Developer Edition, running on the lightweight test server using a
Cloudscape database provides an ideal platform upon which you can create and run your own
demonstrations of WebSphere Commerce, using a laptop.
You do not need to be a developer, or have development skills to use this as a platform for your
As you work with WebSphere Commerce, you will certainly have questions along the way. This
section of the document provides guidance about various organizations within IBM that are
available to help answer your questions throughout the sales, implementation and production
phases of your projects.
Techline is IBM’s pre-sales Technical Sales Support organization, helping you to sell IBM products
and services. The Techline service offers technical sales support to entitled Business Partners to
help design, propose and configure customer solutions based on IBM products and services.
Partnerline - 800-426-9990
The following table shows the criteria for partner entitlement to the Techline services:
PartnerWorld organization Entitlement requirement
PartnerWorld for Systems & Services: Premier and Advanced Business Partners
PartnerWorld for Personal Systems: Premier and Advanced Business Partners
PartnerWorld for Software All Business Partners who have purchased a
Of particular interest to WebSphere Commerce business partners is that through the Techline
services, a capacity planning service is available. This service will help you to determine the
hardware capacity requirements for WebSphere Commerce solutions.
More details, including contact information for Techline can be found at the following URL:
Rapid Value Assessment “ROI” Tool
IBM SOA Business Value Assessment Toolkit provides a set of interview questions to
be used with both the customer LOB and IT management at key stages in the IBM
Signature Selling Methodology. The resulting output delivers ROI business cases, key
process models, and a SOA solution proposal.
To access the WC ROI specific tool, assuming BP’s have a Partnerworld User ID/PW:
1. Business Partners will send a note to email@example.com and ask for ROI Tool (IBMBVA for
2. Once receive personal ROI tool ID, BP’s can then download tool from PWINS – again, they
must use both their ROI tool personal ID and PW ID to gain access to online version; once access
granted, they can download to their desktops.
Solution Starting Points
A Solution Starting Point is the core technical deliverable of IBM Solutions Builder Express
Portfolio onto which a Business Partner can add customization and services. Each Solution
Starting Point features detailed information to expedite solution implementation and deployment.
Solution Starting Point Core Components
Solution architecture with suggested IBM middleware, hardware specs and development tools
Reusable implementation assets
Product installation, configuration and integration instructions
Sample code, scripts and data
Guided tour of solution
Demo toolkit containing reusable
Overview presentation with customer benefits and pains, architecture and product
Multimedia screen captures and/or video clips of key solution features
Solution Starting Point Accessory Components
Detailed customer engagement task descriptions and service hours
Suggested additional services opportunities
Solution Starting Point Installer (SSI)
Solution Starting Points are oriented around six key SMB solution areas: Business Integration,
Business Intelligence, Content Management, e-commerce, Infrastructure and Portal/Workplace.
In particular, at the time this document was created, the following solution starting points specific
to WebSphere Commerce were available:
Easy creation of an e-commerce Web site for retail
B2C e-commerce Analytics
Business partners that are members of PartnerWorld for Software and who have purchased the
Value Pack for Software option are entitled to access the solution starting point assets.
To get more information on solution starting points, refer to the following URL: https://www-
Self-help and problem determination resources
The best way to ensure a smooth implementation is to take all measures possible to avoid
problems. While this sounds like a lofty idea, the WebSphere Commerce support organization
provides resources to help you avoid certain problems. Using these resources will help you
minimize the risks of running into problems and requiring support assistance. Additionally,
resources are available to help you with problem diagnosis.
Subscribing to support bulletins
There are two bulletins to which we recommend you subscribe, "My Support" and the "WebSphere
Family Support Bulletin‖. My support will automatically send you a weekly e-mail about
WebSphere Commerce and any other IBM product you sign up to receive. The e-mails will identify
any new "Flashes", as well as fix packs that have been released or updated. The WebSphere
Family Support Bulletin is sent every other month and contains news about WebSphere
Commerce. This news can be found in other on-line sources, but the bulletin is a single document
which lists, for example, all news about fix packs and end of service updates.
Information about how to sign up for these services can be found by clicking the ―Sign up for
Flashes/Bulletins‖ link under the ―Communicate‖ section of the WebSphere Commerce product
For example, if you visit the support page for WebSphere Commerce – Express: http://www-
You will see a screen similar to the following and the link to get details on how to sign up is shown
in the highlighted area:
Figure 3: WebSphere Commerce - Express Support Page
IBM Support and Downloads
This site offers avenues to support by product, downloads and drivers, publications, trouble
shooting, opening a service request, other tools, etc. It can be accessed at the following URL:
Searchable Technote database
A Technote is similar to a frequently asked question. In other words, a Technote is a relatively
short document that includes a problem statement and a suggested path to problem resolution.
Technotes are maintained in a searchable database.
You can search the database of Technotes, solve a problem and locate manuals, white papers,
fixes, APARs, etc. by accessing the WebSphere Commerce support page specific to the edition of
WebSphere Commerce with which you are working: http://www-
Preparing to call support: Gathering information
In subsequent sections, you will find information about contacting support for both pre-production
and in-production support questions. In either case (pre- or in-production) you can make your
initial contact with support run as efficiently as possible by doing the following:
1. Examine the references listed in the Self-help and problem determination resources section to
determine if information about a similar problem or question already exists.
2. If information is not readily available, gather the following checklist of background information
before contacting support:
a. WebSphere Commerce version and edition
b. Indication of latest fix packs, APARs, or Commerce Enhancement Packs applied
c. Configuration information (1-tier, 2-tier, 3-tier)
d. Software stack (operating system, DB2, Oracle, use of LDAP, etc)
e. Store model used and inventory type
f. Information about recent customizations that may be applicable
g. Detailed description of events that lead to the problem (for example, if someone had
to reproduce the problem, what steps would be required).
3. Additionally, gather the following types of diagnostic information:
h. SystemOut.log file. As an example, in the Windows environment using the default
installation paths, this can be found in
i. Trace.log file. As an example, in the Windows environment using the default
installation paths, this can be found in
j. If using WebSphere Studio Application Developer, gather the output from the
k. Collect any customized JSP files or Java code that may be causing the problem.
l. Configuration files. For example, collect your instance_Name.xml file.
m. If possible, collect screen shots of the steps leading to the error and the error itself.
With this information gathered, a support analyst will be able to help you diagnose the problem
and resolve your issue efficiently. Note that in some cases, you may be asked to enable tracing
on particular components of WebSphere Commerce and then reproduce the problem in order to
get a more detailed log of activities leading to the problem.
While you are working through developing WebSphere Commerce solutions, you are bound to
have technical questions. When this situation arises, you should use the Developer Technical
Support Center through PartnerWorld to gain access to a team of WebSphere Commerce
consultants that are able to provide ―developer to developer‖ support.
This team of consultants provides assistance with answering ―how to‖ types of questions along
with resolving issues when the product may not function as you would expect. In answering your
questions, the team will work with you to do such things as directing you to documentation that
might address the issue, providing more detailed documentation if existing information is
insufficient, creating sample code if required. The team will also replicate errors in an IBM lab to
help diagnose a problem and then work with the product development team to create and test a fix
before you apply it to your system.
The support can be accessed via the Web or telephone options. To access this support through
the Web channel, do the following:
1. Visit the PartnerWorld Web site: http://www-
2. Select Develop and Port under Technical Shortcuts.
3. Select Solve development problem.
To access this support via telephone, do the following:
1. Call 1-800-426-9990
2. Reference your PartnerWorld member number or user ID. Indicate that your query is with
respect to WebSphere Commerce
These support services are available for questions that arise before your customer goes into
production. Geographic coverage includes voice and e-mail support for partners in North America
and e-mail support for partners outside of North America. Hours of operation are 7:00AM to
7:00PM CST (note problems can be captured after hours through e-mail and voicemail and
addressed on the next business day).
Production (Post Sales) support
While the Developer Technical Support Center offers assistance at any stage before your
customer goes into production, you and your customers will continue to have support questions
once a site goes live. Once the customer is live, you and your customer should use the
WebSphere Commerce Support organization to address both ―how to‖ questions and product
Depending on the arrangement you have with your customers, they may other contact you in the
case of a problem and then you contact support on their behalf, or your customer may contact
support directly. You can access the WebSphere Commerce Support organization either through
voice or electronic options, as follows:
1. Call 1-800-IBM-SERV
2. If you are calling on behalf of your customer that is in production, reference their customer
number to open a Problem Management Report (PMR). If your customer calls on their own
behalf, remind them to use their customer number.
3. Use Electronic Service Request (ESR) at the following URL
https://www-304.ibm.com/jct03004c/support/mysupport/us/en/Main (right side box)
4. If you are submitting the problem on behalf of your customer that is in production, reference
their customer number to open a Problem Management Report (PMR). If your customer
submits the problem on their own behalf, remind them to use their customer number.
The WebSphere Commerce Support organization provides support 24 hours a day, 7 days per
week, with worldwide coverage. The support queues are staffed from 8:00AM – 8:00PM EST,
Monday through Friday, but a Duty Analyst or Duty Manager can be paged to respond to issues of
a ―severity 1‖ level at any time.
1-800-426-9990 - PWSW PMR, and other support, number
http://www-1.ibm.com/partnerworld/pwhome.nsf/weblook/index_us.html PWSW PMR e-mail
support. firstname.lastname@example.org and state that you wish to open a PMR and then give the details.
When you sign-in with your PW User ID/PW, in the left navigation column, select Technical
>next screen under Technical Shortcuts > next screen select Entitled Technical Support. . It
should list the remote e-mail support topic and that is how you access PWSW PMR support via
e-mail. Any questions, problems, or slow response, call the number above and ask for the DUTY
When a PMR is opened, you will be required to assign a severity to the issue. The severity relates
to the business impact of the issue. Use the following table for guidance to determine what level of
severity to assign:
Severity Definition Example
Severity 1 Critical situation: Production system is Unable to start WebSphere Commerce
Severity 2 Severe impact: A software component Problems loading new catalog data,
is severely restricted in use, causing thereby restricting your ability to sell those
significant business impact. products.
Severity 3 Moderate impact: A non-critical You require assistance with implementing
software component is malfunctioning, a customized command.
causing moderate business impact.
Severity 4 Minimal impact: A non-critical software You require assistance in planning for an
component is malfunctioning. Or the upcoming migration.?
request is non-technical in nature.q
ESR – Manager PMRs on-line
IBM® provides the Electronic Service Request (ESR) tool to electronically submit and manage
Problem Management Records (PMRs) on the Web for more control over your PMRs.
Assist On-Site Tool (AOS)
Live Remote Assistance. With our live remote-assistance tool, a member of our support
team can view your desktop and share control of your mouse and keyboard to get you on
your way to a solution. The tool can speed up problem determination, collection of data,
and ultimately, your problem solution.
Virtual Innovation Center – Porting support
The Virtual Innovation Center provides resources that enable mid-market Business Partners to
build technical, sales, and product skills with IBM software products early in the product lifecycle.
Any independent software vendor, systems integrator, solution provider, value-added reseller, or
existing IBM Business Partner is eligible to participate.
Participants of the VIC have access to the following services at no charge:
Build sales and technical skills by taking the online education courses
Participate in online forums
Report product issues
Take part in online competitions to test your knowledge with different IBM products
Get assistance when porting projects
Talk to our e-mentor or subject matter experts via our chat rooms
Learn about best practices and tips for different IBM products
Access online sales and marketing resources customized by product and Industry
With respect to WebSphere Commerce, the Virtual Innovation Center provides support for
WebSphere Commerce – Express and WebSphere Commerce Professional Edition. For more
information about the Virtual Innovation Center, refer to the following URL: http://www-
and click the Register or sign-in link to access the Virtual Innovation Center.
From our WC Marketing Team:
I am pleased to advise that the WebSphere Commerce V6 Feature Pack 2 Sales Enablement
Education was deployed into the Virtual Innovation Center on October 31st and is available to the
Business Partners. You will be prompted for your IBM BP PW User ID/PW upon entering the site
In addition to the formal product documentation, there are other sources of information about
Analyst Papers, Brochures and White Papers
All of the client-ready materials such as white papers, analyst evaluations and research papers,
brochures and data sheets for WebSphere Commerce are posted on the external Web site. Visit
the Library page to view the set of collateral appropriate for your audience: http://www-
Technical Inforation and Tutorials
A very useful launch pad for sources of information related to WebSphere Commerce is the
Commerce Zone portion of the WebSphere Developer Domain. There is no fee or registration
associated with this site. The site acts as an entry point to WebSphere Commerce information for
Resources available on the Commerce Zone include:
o Information roadmaps
o Links to documentation
o White papers and tutorials
o Support information
o Useful downloads
Figure 4: WebSphere Commerce Zone in developerWorks
Newsgroups & Q&A
There is a WebSphere Commerce forum available on a developerWorks site that mirrors the
Technical enablement resources
A critical component to ensuring you have a successful WebSphere Commerce engagement or
implementation is ensuring that you have the right technical skills for the job. There are a number
of avenues, both formal and informal available for building WebSphere Commerce technical skills.
WebSphere Training and Technical Enablement
See the Training Paths and Roadmaps site for detailed information on both distance learning and
hands-on/lab classes. Also, the BPTE site will have those available for free to business partners.
IBM BPTE – free classroom and on-line education for business partners
WC V5.6 & V5.6.1 Information Center – HELP
WC V6.0 Information Center – HELP
WC Version Comparison Charts by Function – What’s out of the box
WC Developers Zone
Training Paths or Roadmaps – public classes which are fee based
IEA Training Site: Phase 3 includes seven lab exercises plus one viewlet. (under
New Features > Web 2.0 Store Model > Web 2.0 Store
opic=/com.ibm.iea.wcs/wcs/wcs6_coverpage.html. Use the maximize button in the
upper right corner of the IEA frame. There are bubbles with words in them to
describe what is taking place as the demo moves along). The presentations are
narrated as well as in PDF format also. The IEA materials may be viewed at the
From the left hand scrollbar, choose "WebSphere Commerce" and then choose
"Feature Pack 2 (V22.214.171.124)."
WebSphere Training and Technical Enablement (WTTE) is part of the IBM Software Group and
delivers a comprehensive portfolio of education services to help customers successfully deploy
and integrate IBM's WebSphere Application and Integration middleware products to their
WTTE offers multiple courses for WebSphere Commerce. Each of the courses has a pre-
requisite knowledge requirement of the student being familiar with the material contained in the
WebSphere Commerce Information Center.
The formal course offerings are either classroom courses, or distance learning courses. WTTE
provides a roadmap of the WebSphere Commerce curriculum to help you determine which
courses apply to you, and what prerequisite courses would assist in your learning. Use the
following URL to reach the WTTE site and then select the IBM WebSphere Commerce curriculum
For an introduction to all aspects of WebSphere Commerce, take the WebSphere Commerce V6.0
Introductory course. This is an on-line e-class that introduces ―What’s New to V6.0‖. There are
hands-on lab classes you can attend that are for the Systems Administrator and/or the Developer.
In addition to those education offerings, IBM Software Services can create and deliver customized,
engagement-specific, training offerings. Contact your local business partner representative for
Education Centers for IBM Software (ECIS)
In order to reach out to a wider audience, IBM has a program whereby qualified business partners
become authorized to teach IBM courses. In order to become qualified as an ECIS business
partner, the partner must pass a rigorous training and selection program. Once qualified, IBM
provides all materials and courseware to the business partner ensuring that the same level of
quality education is delivered regardless of whether the instructor is an IBM instructor or an
instructor from an ECIS business partner.
To get information about business partners qualified to deliver this course in your area, refer to the
following Web site: https://www-
Virtual Innovation Center
In addition to providing support for partners that would like to port existing applications or write
new applications to run on WebSphere Commerce (as outlined in Virtual Innovation Center –
Porting support on page ), the VIC also provides education materials for WebSphere Commerce.
The education offerings include both technical education modules to help you implement
WebSphere Commerce solutions, as well as sales education modules.
Learning how to migrate your customers’ existing sites up to the most recent version of
WebSphere Commerce is a very useful skill. By encouraging your customers to move up to the
most recent version of WebSphere Commerce, you will be opening the door for them to maximize
their return on investment by leveraging the new features and functions that become available in
each new release.
In order to ensure that best practices are followed during migration projects, the IBM Technical
Support Organization (ITSO) has created a Redbook entitled ―Keeping Commerce Applications
Updated WebSphere Commerce 5.1 to 5.6 Migration Guide‖ (publication number SG24-6320-00).
This book can be found at the following URL:
In addition to this book, the WC V6.0 Information Center site, under Migrating, Configuring and
Installing, will lead you to the Migration documentation that covers migration from V5.5, V5.6, and
V5.6.1 to V6.0: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/wchelp/v6r0m0/index.jsp
IBM Software Services for WebSphere Training Engagements
IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW) offers technical, product-specific services for
WebSphere software products. These services include skills transfer, implementation, migration,
architecture and design services, as well as pilot workshops and education.
The following are just a few of the service offerings that would be of interest to business partners
getting started with WebSphere Commerce solutions:
WebSphere Commerce Design Workshop
WebSphere Commerce Architecture and Design Workshop
WebSphere Commerce Application Developer Mentored Workshop
WebSphere Commerce Center of Excellence
For a complete listing of ISSW services offerings, and more information about the preceding
offerings, refer to the following URL: http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/websphere/services/
In addition to the predefined offerings, customized training sessions on other topics can also be
created. Inquire through the Web site to build a customized offering to meet your specific needs.
WebSphere Commerce Certification
A professional certification offering is available for WebSphere Commerce Versions. For more
details about this certification, and all WebSphere training and certifications by product, refer to the
following URL. Under Training and Certifications in the left-hand blue column, select Certification,
Product tab, select WebSphere, then scroll down to Commerce : https://www-
When getting started with the product, you should refer to the Information Roadmaps section of
the WebSphere Commerce Information Center. Information roadmaps provide guidance, to
different types of users about key tasks they must perform, recommended reading, appropriate
tutorials to follow, and more.
The following information roadmaps are available:
JSP page designer
Line of business user
Information roadmaps organized by user roles within starter stores
WebSphere Commerce Zone in developer domain
The WebSphere Commerce Zone provides many useful articles and tutorials that will help with
developing skills in particular topics of interest. Much of the content of this site is contributed by
WebSphere Commerce practitioners, so the content on the newest versions expands after the
version has been available for some period of time.
Solution Starting Points
IBM PartnerWorld offers a number of Solution Starting Points, which are packages of resources to
help you get started with various IBM Solutions. There is one specific Solution Starting Point for
More details about this offering are available through the following URL: https://www-
ution+starting+points&Search.x=30&Search.y=4 (scroll down to see all of the SSPs)
developerWorks is an online resource that provides information and tools for individual software
developers. On this site, you will find articles, sample code, tutorials, tools and discussion forums.
For WebSphere Commerce developers, the developerWorks site is useful in providing information
for the supporting products and technologies that make up the WebSphere Commerce solutions.
For example, developerWorks has very thorough introductions to XML and Java, including
overview information and tutorials to get started. This is useful for WebSphere Commerce
developers, as both XML and Java are key technologies used in WebSphere Commerce.
developerWorks can be accessed at the following URL: http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/
Redbooks, Articles, Tips
Sales Center - Deploying and customizing
Sales Center with Computer Telephony Integration
Customizing the e-mail template to add dynamic tags in WebSphere Commerce -
Migrating WebSphere Commerce to the SOA foundation tooling: Part 2, Getting WebSphere
Commerce and WebSphere Process Server talking -
Migrating WebSphere Commerce to the SOA foundation tooling: Part 3, Migrating a
business process to WebSphere Process Server -
Developing a Payment Plug-in Using the New Payment Component of WebSphere
Commerce Server Version 6 - http://www-
Customizing WebSphere Commerce Accelerator -
Solving memory problems in WebSphere applications -
Solving performance degradation problems in WebSphere applications -
WebSphere Commerce best practices: Using pattern generation to produce visuals -
Improving the quality of WebSphere Commerce customizations - http://www-
Creating a Business Context in WebSphere Commerce - http://www-
Scanning Your Customer Code for Internal WebSphere Commerce APIs - http://www-
Implementing Filtered Staging by Store ID in WebSphere Commerce - http://www-
Getting Started with Commerce Module for OmniFind Discovery Edition Customization
101 - http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg247358.html
A little tip learned at the Summit last week from Joe Speed regarding mobile access to a WC site.
If you want to test a site for mobile access readiness, attached is a site that Joe uses to test that
"The ready.mobi testing tool evaluates mobile-readiness using industry best practices &
standards. The free report provides both a score (from 1 to 5) and in-depth analysis of
pages to determine how well your site performs on a mobile device."
IBM does not endorse or support this site. It is strictly a helpful tip.