IBM (NYSE:IBM) has plans to launch a new Business Partner program to promote best practices and skills that will help clients move to new enterprise data centers. The new program will enable partners to specialize in the technologies that support this growing sector.

The program includes certification in consolidation and virtualization, energy efficiency, business resiliency and security. It will offer two tiers, with the higher level reserved for higher producing partners. It will also provide data center-specific marketing and sales benefits for partners that achieve specialization, such as co-marketing benefits, assistance with education, enhanced margin opportunities, pre-sales assessment funding, pre-sales technical assistance, and an emblem program.

In addition, IBM Business Partners that achieve specialization will be able to perform client assessments in areas critical to developing new enterprise data centers. For example, certified partners will be able to measure the energy consumption of a data center before and after projects to allow clients to track progress and claim energy efficiency certificates.