News

Changes Afoot at IAMCP

Microsoft partner member organization adjusts name, U.S. chapter lands new engagement model with Microsoft field.

A few things are changing in the IAMCP relationship with Microsoft.

The first change is cosmetic. The group formerly known as the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners is changing "Certified" to "Channel." The change reflects the new structure of the Microsoft Partner Network, which will retire the Certified Partner and Gold Certified Partner classifications this year.

At a more substantive level, the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners will now also have a different structural relationship with the Microsoft field.

Called an engagement model framework, it will come in two tiers. Of the 35 chapters in the U.S. IAMCP, 10 will get what is called Core Coverage, under which they will be assigned a Microsoft Engagement Team. The other 25 U.S. chapters will get Extended Coverage, which will involve a smaller Microsoft Engagement Team working with the three IAMCP regional leads.

The new model arose from a mutually recognized reduction in field engagement between IAMCP and Microsoft that started about 18 months ago, when the recession was at its worst.

 "This is a real recognition that the relationship we worked for over the years has really worked and is really delivering results for our members."

Howard Cohen, Communications Chair, U.S. IAMCP Board of Directors

"Up until about a year and a half ago, field engagement was terrific," Howard Cohen, communications chair for the U.S. IAMCP Board of Directors, said in an interview. "Over the last year and a half, all of those people who were partner-facing were really turned customer-facing. It became more and more difficult to do fundamental things, to work with Microsoft tactically to get things done. Even for the IAMCP chapter, which was usually the alternative that people would turn to when they couldn't get traction with Microsoft, it was even difficult for us to get traction."

The problems weren't universal to all geographies, and the IAMCP began discussions with Microsoft several months ago in a project called Consistent Touch, Cohen said.

"We're very happy about this. This is a real recognition that the relationship we worked for over the years has really worked and is really delivering results for our members," Cohen said.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.