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IAMCP Kicks It Up a Notch

In January, the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) inducted a new board of directors that is putting plans in place to take the organization to a new level.

With 80 regional chapters around the world and a rapidly growing number of Women in Technology (WIT) communities, the IAMCP already has an established presence in the channel. The current board has committed to providing relevant education and enablement initiatives that support all Microsoft partners, with special emphasis on representing and adding value to the unmanaged partner community. 

As the newly elected president of the IAMCP, Gail Mercer-MacKay led a recent planning session in which the IAMCP set out a five-year plan to take the organization to a new level of influence representing the broad spectrum of Microsoft's channel partners. Following a theme of "IAMCP is Open for Business," Mercer-MacKay and the rest of the board have made structural and operational changes to increase the transparency and impact of the organization.

"IAMCP International is open for 'partner-to-partner' and 'partner-to-Microsoft' business. We are excited by the growth we have seen in the past year. New chapters have formed and new communities (like IAMCP WIT) are broadening member reach and impact," Mercer-MacKay said. "Members tell us their IAMCP membership has helped them grow their business, with returns that range from 2 percent to 30 percent or more. I would urge any Microsoft partner who is not a member to find out more about us. Attend a meeting or register for a webinar and find out how we can help you."

Initiatives for the Coming Year
Demonstrating value to both members and sponsors is the driving force for the renewed energy of IAMCP's board. Some of the initiatives the board is undertaking for the coming year include:

  • Quarterly webinars to provide exclusive content and insights to members.
  • Increased involvement and presence at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC).
  • Broader communication with membership.
  • Promotion of the IAMCP Partnering Maturity Model (.DOC here), a concept outlined in the whitepaper written by past IAMCP president Per Werngren, that provides guidance for partners on developing their business models.   

In response to a survey of members, one of the year's early initiatives will be a social media education program. "Even though many of our members are socially savvy, they don't feel that they are fully leveraging social media to help their business," Mercer-MacKay said. "We're going to provide training on the specific steps they should be taking."

Growth of WIT
One of the high notes for the IAMCP over the past couple of years has been the growth of the WIT communities, which are a subset of the regional chapters. Currently, there are 20 WIT communities, with a goal that every chapter will have an active WIT community by year's end. Three quarterly WIT-sponsored webinars have been well-received, with over 150 registrants each. With an increasingly prominent presence at WPC, the WIT panels and luncheon are very popular, providing women in the channel encouragement and support.

Chapters Making an Impact
To help guide the direction of the organization, the IAMCP board is looking to build on the success of standout chapters like Southern California (SoCal) and Spain.

With a 20 percent growth in membership, SoCal chapter President David Gersten attributes much of the draw to the "Partnering for Success" program. SoCal's 102 members, representing over 65 companies, take partnering past simple lead sharing to include introductions, mentoring, joint marketing, joint product development and more.

"Partnering is the No. 1 reason why people join IAMCP in SoCal," Gersten said. "It 100 percent aligns with the connect/learn/grow concept and direction of the Microsoft channel."

[Click on image for larger view.] The annual social event of the IAMCP Spain chapter in May 2014 in Marbella, Spain.

Spain's IAMCP chapter has experienced an impressive 44 percent membership growth over the past 14 months. "What members value the most is doing business with each other, not just networking," said Jose Maria Moreno, president of the Spain chapter. "And many benefit from a better relationship with Microsoft considering that many of them are unmanaged."

According to Moreno, IAMCP members are growing their Microsoft business 2.5 times faster than non-members as a result of working together and building a tighter relationship with Microsoft. As the chapter has grown in membership, they've seen a corresponding interest and level of involvement from Microsoft.

With a refreshed set of goals, the IAMCP hopes to achieve a greater presence and influence in the channel. Through a focus on member training and enablement, the goal is to revitalize their relevance to partners. The move is well-timed. Microsoft continues to look for effective ways to reach the broader, unmanaged partner community and IAMCP is in a good position to provide that connection.

What benefits do you get from your IAMCP membership? Leave a comment below or send me a note and let's share your story.  

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Posted by Barb Levisay on March 11, 2015 at 11:24 AM