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Partnering for Success in a Global Economy

Posted By Administration, 15 hours ago

An IAMCP Members’ Guide to International Partnering 

 

 

By Paul Solski

The benefits of partner-to-partner (P2P) relationships are no secret to IAMCP members. In fact, we have seen success stories from around the globe where members have formed alliances, both locally and internationally, to provide innovative customer solutions and win business.

The forging of local partnerships often takes place through IAMCP chapters, where members have the opportunity to get to know one another, learn about respective skill sets and form a bond of trust.

International partnering can be much more challenging, however, with the obvious complications of distance, familiarity, and cultural differences.

Challenging, but with the right groundwork and approach, IAMCP members are poised for great success through partner knowledge- and skills-sharing on a global level.

 

Key Factors to Consider Before Attempting an International Partnership

There are two phases to this section: firstly, considerations prior to launching internationally and, secondly, considerations in forming an international partnership.

Before Launching Internationally

It’s important to evaluate your success in your domestic market. Simply put, it is much easier, cheaper and faster to grow market share in a market where a company already has a presence, is familiar with the way business is done, and has existing contacts and people that know their competitors, the industry and potential clients.

Good indicators of being ready to expand internationally include:

  •  Having established a profitable business locally
  • Having a significant domestic market share (e.g. 10%)
  • Having developed an existing partner network in your home country
  • Experience in selling and winning against global competitors
  • Some experience with selling and supporting international clients
  • Willingness to invest in activities and resources in a new country for 12 months, even without generating new sales there.
  • Having a notable number of international brand name client references (at least 3)

Forming International Partnerships

Consider which of the following two scenarios best describes your business:

a)    A company with packaged repeatable software IP, such as an ISV

b)    A company with specific professional services expertise such as an SI, MSP, or VAR

For ISVs, the main objective for building international partnerships is to achieve increased scale in sales, marketing and support. This can be best achieved by levering international partners who already have the people, premises, infrastructure and local contacts that can be applied to these areas.

To maximize the impact of partnerships there has to be a thoughtful matching of partners. When evaluating potential partners, consider:

1.     Their ability to reach their target customers and build a pipeline

2.     Their ability to sell, implement and support customers

3.     Their willingness to invest in training and resources to create the desired scale

Beyond the individual attributes of partners you are considering, it’s also important to:

  • Assess the market opportunity and ROI for specific countries you are considering
  • Define the GTM (go-to-market) strategy for each country – direct or indirect, industry specific or horizontal
  • Define meaningful differentiators to competitors already in your identified target markets
  • Identify the right partners for your target industry segments
  • Define a clear business case for partners to justify in partnering
  • Prepare a complete partner program that enables you to ramp partners up and rapidly enable them to become self-sufficient.

 

Barriers to Success – And How to Overcome (or Avoid) Them

One of the keys to partnering success is having a thorough understanding of the target market.

A market that isn’t dominated by a single competitor is more open to best-of-breed solutions and therefore to international solutions. Where there is a dominant single competitor, it’s more likely that there is a vast ecosystem of partners and customers who have a preference for the dominant competitor, e.g. SAP in Germany, or Dynamics NAV in Denmark.

Cultural considerations are another important factor and need to be taken into account.

How is business done? Are customers open to foreigners or do they have a preference for doing business with locals? Do customers expect to be wined-an-dined or is it strictly professional? Do customers or partners expect “gifts” to do business with you and is that acceptable to your company (and government) policies? Which factor dictates the purchase: price or value?

Underestimating the cost and time for success can be a key financial trip-wire.

It takes time to gain sales momentum in a new country, especially if the GTM is through partners. Expect to invest approximately 3 months to recruit and activate a partner. Then, the sales cycle for a particular solution has to be added before the first partner sales are realized. An expectation of 12 months to build a customer opportunities pipeline and sales momentum is realistic and should be factored into your projections.

Even if an ISV solution is in the cloud and sold through partners, anticipate the need for at least three resources in a new country: the Business Development Manager, the Pre-Sales Specialist, and the Technical Implementer. Then there are expenses for a serviced office, communications, and travel, etc. to consider. In the US, a three person subsidiary may cost $500K per year.

Approaching an international venture as a long-term investment, vs. an opportunistic one, should be part of your partnership strategy and planning process.

Ability to offer meaningful differentiation to drive customer appeal and business growth.

When considering dealing with an outside entity, international customers and partners will want an answer to this question: “Why would I buy/sell your foreign solution when there are already good local ones available?”

Having meaningful differentiation is a must. This can lie in features, capabilities, TCO (total cost of ownership), or ROI (return-on-investment). Price can be a differentiator, but is not always a good one as it can be associated with inferiority of products or services.

Ideally, your solution will address the needs or “pain points” of certain types of customers who are currently underserved.

The ability to form effective partnerships - the engine that drives increased scale. There are two types of partnerships to consider: re-sell and co-sell.

In re-sell partnerships, an ISV can leverage partners’ resources and contacts - the primary revenue drivers. The ability to clearly state “what’s in it for the partner” is a key success factor in the formation of re-seller partnerships.

 

Co-Sell partnerships with other partners, and with industry leaders such as Microsoft, can help to identify more opportunities, build more credibility for your brand and enable you to offer clients more complete solutions.

 

Developing Your International Partnership Strategy and Business Case

Your partner strategy should be based on building a partner network that is able to deliver complete solutions to specific target customers with the highest value. Therefore, defining the target customers in terms of industries/verticals, customer segments (SMB, MM, Enterprise) and the optimal solution is a pre-requisite to engaging with potential partners.

 

With your strategy in hand, it is then about recruiting the right partners based on the three key criteria mentioned earlier.

 

Your business case will define the market opportunity for partners – i.e.  (target customers) x (likely to buy) x (sale price) x (retained margin). A multimillion-dollar per year market opportunity is necessary for your proposition to be compelling to partners.

Defining the ROI for potential partners is equally as important. Your prospective partners will need to know how much they should expect to invest in people, training, marketing and support. Justification of this with the retained margin on sales and maintenance are important elements of your business case.

There are also strategic elements of a business case to consider from the partners’ perspective, such as the ability to cross-sell other products and services, become more strategic to their clients by becoming a trusted advisor, and improving their ability to compete with other partners.

 

Leveraging The IAMCP for Success

IAMCP partners are well-poised to succeed because, through partnerships, they can sell better solutions to more customers.

Many partners focus on an area in which they have become experts, for example partners who have developed practices in Microsoft Dynamics, Sharepoint or security. However, customers often look for complete solutions that may include all three components. An individual partner offering only one of these components may not be as attractive to a customer as a consortium of partners that can provide a complete, integrated solution that they undertake to deliver together for an agreed price. The advantage to a customer is that there are no surprises or disappointments. Often, when the partner who has the relationship with the customer takes the lead, there is just a single invoice to pay, one throat to choke and no finger-pointing.

IAMCP partners can also identify and address more opportunities. Each IAMCP partner is prospecting for clients in their local markets and customer types. By partnering, instead of prospecting in one location, you can prospect nationally, and even internationally, to identify more opportunities.

Also, you can prospect more diverse customers because, through a consortium of partners, you can collectively sell more diverse solutions. This has the potential to have a significant impact on the businesses of all the partners within the partnership.

 

Appealing to Foreign Companies

Partners can appear more attractive for both re-sell (with ISVs) and co-sell (with other partners) partnering opportunities by demonstrating a clear focus and leadership in particular customer segments, and solutions that solve specific business challenges.

This can be achieved through specifically targeted messaging on your website, featuring customer references and case studies, articles and blogs, and by engaging in social media discussions.

You can also use various databases and tools, such as the IAMCP’s INDEX, to profile your company and solutions expertise and make it easier for other IAMCP partners to find your organization.

In addition, you can establish visibility by engaging with Microsoft solution, industry, product and field teams to increase your opportunity to be recommended to other international ISVs and partners.

 

Globalization - Partnering in a Global World

As our world “gets smaller”, there is an expectation to be global and many customers today expect that their technology providers are global – especially when dealing with Microsoft partners.

Therefore, answering questions about providing services and support in other countries need to be a part of your story in appealing to other IAMCP partners internationally.

The IAMCP itself can be a part of this story when partners engage together. With 4,000+ partners across the globe, in most major countries and across all Microsoft technologies, the IAMCP forms a common foundation for the delivery of solutions to customers worldwide.

For example, if a partner in France is bidding a Dynamics CRM sale to a winery which also sells its products in the United States, there are ample IAMCP partners within the U.S. who can provide implementation, maintenance and support for the solution at the local level.

It is becoming easier than ever to go global!

With the growing expectation that technology partners can provide solutions globally, the technology, tools and partnerships are arising to make that easier. A good example of this is the transition from on-premises to cloud computing. With Microsoft Azure, the platform and applications are available anywhere in the world, and even data security and privacy issues are addressed. 24/7 support is commonplace with support centers located across multiple time zones.

The shift to globalization is here – embrace it!.

 

About Paul Solski

Paul Solski is Managing Director and Founder of AIM International, which specializes in enabling software companies (ISVs) to expand their market reach, build partner channels and win new clients in targeted vertical markets both domestically and internationally.

Paul is also the President of IAMCP Seattle.

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A Glimpse in the Rear-view Mirror… And what lies on the road ahead for 2020

Posted By Administration, 15 hours ago

 

 

As 2019 drew to a close, we took a moment to consider what the IAMCP achieved over the past year and draw up some goals and plans for a dynamic year in 2020. Here are some of the highlights from the past year:

 

  • Internally, we have reorganized the Americas to include Canada, U.S. and LATAM. The Americas and EMEA boards have undergone some changes, with terms ending and new executive members being elected. You can read more about the changes here.
  • The Membership platform has now been unified to better serve our Member base.
  • Our Marcomm team has worked throughout the year to improve our image, increase our presence and communicate more frequently and clearly with our Members. You might have noticed an increase in the frequency of our newsletters and, within each issue, an escalated focus on the various committees within the IAMCP, and updates on their respective mandates.
  • A key component of our brand presence is the re-vamping of our website, to be launched shortly (watch for an announcement). You will find it better organized, easier to navigate and more relevant to its users, both Members and visitors alike.
  • Of course, one of the biggest highlights of 2019 was our 25th Anniversary, celebrated around the globe and, most especially, at Microsoft Inspire with our anniversary party.
  • The IAMCP made a huge splash at Inspire this year with a global and impactful presence. The P2P Awards were a special highlight, with many submissions of powerful partner-to-partner stories. You can read about them in our upcoming eBook, “Teamed Up for Success”, which celebrates the partnership solutions of our winning partners across all regions.
  • The IAMCP is actively engaged on the Microsoft P2P Program, powered by the Workspan technology, with partners from the Americas and India being first on the platform.
  • Along with our increased global presence comes greater engagement of Microsoft execs in IAMCP events, most notably the SoCal 10th Anniversary and fundraising event with Gavriella Schuster, as well as events in the Americas and EMEA.

 

So, Where Do We Go From Here?

 

As we kick off 2020, we have some exciting goals to achieve that will make the IAMCP stronger and benefit our Members in more ways than ever before. This year we intend to:

 

  • Achieve a dramatic increase in Membership and grow our net new members in larger countries.
  • Expand our geographic reach to include new countries which haven’t benefited from having an IAMCP chapter yet. Let’s strive together for 20 in 2020! We’re already off to a great start, with new chapters poised to launch in Turkey, Malaysia, and Ghana.
  • Focus on compliance and transparency across the organization to make us better, stronger and consistent.
  • Increase awareness and encourage usage of the tools that are available to members, such as the Thought Leadership Blog where Members can share their expertise to educate others in the form of a blog, which the IAMCP can help you write (simply email Marcomm at intl.marcom@iamcp.org)

 

We wish you all the very best in 2020 – to your prosperity!

 

The IAMCP International Board


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Celebrate Diverse Groups Diversity & Inclusion Calendar of Events in 2020

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 21, 2020

S No

Date/

Month

Global/US only/

EMEA only/APAC only

Event Title

Short description

Relevant URLs

1

Jan 4

Global

World Braille Day

 

Celebrating the birthday of Louis Braille and his method of writing words and music used by blind people around the world.

https://globaldimension.org.uk/calendar/

2

Feb 1

Global

World Interfaith Harmony Week

Spreading harmony and tolerance among followers of the three monotheistic faiths and all the worlds religions

 

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/world-interfaith-harmony-week/2020-02-01/

3

Feb 21

Global

International Mother Language Day

Promoting linguistic and cultural diversity.

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/international-mother-language-day/2020-02-21/

4

Feb

Global

LGBT History Month

Celebrating the lives and achievements of the LGBT community

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/lgbt-history-month/2020-02-01/

5

Feb

US

Black History Month

Recognise contributions of people of the African diaspora

 

6

Mar 8

Global

International Women's Day

 

 

7

Apr

Global

Autism Awareness Month

 

 

8

May 9

European

Europe Day

Celebrating the creation of the European Union

 

9

May 17

Global

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia

 

 

Campaigning for a prejudice-free world

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/international-day-against-homophobia/2020-05-17/

10

Aug 19

Global

International Youth Day

Celebrating the experiences and voices of young people.

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/international-youth-day/2020-08-12/

11

May 21

Global

World Day for Cultural Diversity

 

Enhancing our understanding and acceptance of different cultures.

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/world-day-for-cultural-diversity/2019-05-21/

12

Sep 26

European

European Day of Languages

A day to celebrate languages and language learning.

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/european-day-of-languages/2020-09-26

13

Sep & Oct

US only

Hispanic Heritage month (Sep 15 - Oct 15 )

Recognise Positive Contributions of the Hispanic community to enrich the US society

 

14

Oct 10th

Global

World Mental Health Awareness day

Global reminder on the importance of acknowledging good mental health and supporting those with mental health needs

https://www.who.int/mental_health/maternal-child/en/

15

Oct 4

Global

International Dyslexia Awareness day

 

 

16

7-13 Oct

UK (Europe)

Dyslexia Awareness Week

 

Promote Dyslexia awareness through articles, interviews with successful professionals with Dyslexia

https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/support-us/awareness-events/dyslexia-awareness-week/daw-2019

17

Oct 13

 

World Sight Day

Raising awareness about the problems, prevention and treatment of blindness.

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/world-sight-day/2020-10-13

18

Nov 13-19

UK

Inter Faith Week

 

Aims to strengthen inter-faith relations and increase understanding.

 

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/inter-faith-week-scotland/2020-11-13/

19

Nov 14

Global

Global Entrepreneurship Week

 

A celebration of enterprise and entrepreneurial people.

 

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/global-entrepreneurship-week/2020-11-14/

20

Nov 16

Global

International Day of Tolerance

Encouraging respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/international-day-for-tolerance/2020-11-16/

21

Nov 19

Global

International Men's Day

 

 

22

Dec 3

Global

International Day of People with Disability (UN sanctioned)

Promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations%27_International_Day_of_Persons_with_Disabilities

23

Dec 5

Global

International Volunteers Day

Celebrating the contribution and achievements of volunteers.

We all are volunteers at IAMCP:)

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/international-volunteer-day/2020-12-05/

24

Dec 18

Global

International Minorities Rights Day (UN sanctioned)

Increase awareness about the right of minorities to

· enjoy their own culture

· practise their own religion

· use their own language

freely and without any form of discrimination

https://web.archive.org/web/20120106024749/http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/minorities.htm

25

Dec 20

Global

International Human Solidarity Day

 

Developing a culture of solidarity and a spirit of sharing in order to achieve social justice and combat poverty

 

https://globaldimension.org.uk/event/international-human-solidarity-day/2019-12-20/

 

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SoCal’s charity initiative raised over $100,000 USD for children

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 26, 2019

Time to give back: with a fundraising drive IAMCP SoCal helps two prominent local charities – Children Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and Orange County Ronald McDonald House

 

A group of people standing in front of a store Description automatically generated

 

When IAMCP members collaborate, we're always a powerful team. But when IAMCP Members come together to raise funds for charity, we're an indomitable force.

The IAMCP SoCal 10th Anniversary celebration was such an event, with members coming together to raise over $100,000 for CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) and the Orange County Ronald McDonald House (RMH)!

CHOC is affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, the regional pediatric healthcare network includes a 316-bed main hospital facility in the City of Orange, and a hospital-within-a-hospital in Mission Viejo. CHOC also offers many primary and specialty care clinics, over 100 additional programs and services, a pediatric residency program, and four "centers of excellence" - the CHOC Children’s Heart, Cancer, Neuroscience, and Orthopaedic Institutes.

CHOC will be using the funds to help implement new technology in its Seacrest Studios, an in-house multimedia broadcast center, such as the Surface Hub „collaboration kiosk“, which will connect with another one at the RMH house so that parents can easily commuicate with one another.

Microsoft HoloLens, an untethered mixed reality headset, will be introduced to help children keep their minds off their treatments. With the assistance of the Microsoft's Justin Slagle and his team, the hospital is also looking at ways to can help the staff with better technology through Surface Hub and Microsoft 365 to assist with staff productivity and better ways to enhance guest satisfaction.

 

Ronald McDonald House Expansion

Orange County RMH is currently undergoing an expansion and is considering how technology could play a role in the upgraded facility.

 

 

A rendering of the RMH expansion

 

Said Noel Burcelis, Executive Director of the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, “We are excited to explore the possibilities of how we can use the funds to enhance guest experience of families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Orange County.” 

This could involve providing products for entertaining the patients and siblings who stay at the House in the proposed Teen Room, or using technology to improve the guest check-in experience and decrease the stress of the “admission process.” In addition, RMH is considering using funds to attain products that could assist staff in collecting, analyzing, and reporting on guest data. 

“This truly is an exciting opportunity for our charity to use technology to further our mission of providing care, comfort, and support to families with seriously ill children.” – Noel Burcelis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                            The kitchen at RMH

 

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Expanding Partner Opportunities with a Winning P2P Strategy

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 16, 2019

 

Expanding Partner Opportunities with a Winning P2P Strategy

Andosi rejoins IAMCP to win the IAMCP Americas Gold P2P Award

Dart hitting a dart board on the balls eye. P2P

 

Andosi, a Boston-based IAMCP member and direct CSP, has a great deal of experience with partner-to-partner (P2P) relationships. In fact, the organization has made P2P part of its business strategy, embracing the benefits that partnership can bring to all participating parties – including the customer.

 

A True Culture of Collaboration

Andosi first joined the IAMCP Tampa Chapter in 2009, but later left the folds of the organization. After a hiatus, Founder and CEO Tom Karpowich renewed his interest in 2016, recognizing that the IAMCP embodied the spirit of collaboration that was an intrinsic part of Andosi’s culture.

“We came back to the Tampa Chapter because it promotes a true Partner-to-Partner (P2P) culture of collaboration,” Karpowich says. “We also opened a Boston office, and our team in that region was already heavily involved in the IAMCP Boston Chapter.”

Karpowich cites two main benefits for maintaining an active membership in both the Tampa and Boston groups.

“Actively participating in IAMCP events gives us the opportunity to meet other Microsoft partners and establish relationships that can turn into business opportunities,” Karpowich explains. “We get the chance to understand each other’s strengths, and this leads to referring business to each other in our respective areas of expertise.”

Another major benefit of IAMCP that Karpowich appreciates is the education that the monthly meetings provide. “The partners give great overviews of new technical features that have been added to existing Microsoft solutions and the capabilities of new Microsoft solutions,” says Karpowich. “This helps us expand the value of the solutions we deploy for our customers.”

 

Resource for Identifying Required Expertise

Karpowich regularly attends meetings hosted by the Tampa Chapter and participates in panel discussions. He also plans to give solution presentations in the future. In the Boston Chapter, Andosi is well-represented by Senior Account Director, Sandra Knight, who is the chapter president and a member of the board of directors for IAMCP North America.

With the internal team including many Microsoft Dynamics CRM experts and clients from across the U.S., Andosi regularly utilizes the IAMCP Partner Portal. This helps identify ideal partners with which to collaborate on customer projects requiring other Microsoft expertise, and partners with resources in other geographic locations.

“One of our clients required professional services at a satellite office in the West Indies,” Karpowich points out. “The portal enabled us to quickly identify a viable partner based in that area, and the project went very smoothly.”

 

Partners Respect Each Other’s Territory

When Andosi turns to the IAMCP Index Partner Portal, Karpowich knows the members are trustworthy. “Other partners won’t upset our existing customer relationships, and we don’t step on each other’s toes when it comes to interacting with clients,” he says. “Every partner respects one another’s territory.”

Karpowich cites how any Microsoft solution provider that joins IAMCP does so because they are open to forming partnerships with other solution providers.

“Any time we need a partner—whether it’s for a particular set of skills, additional resources, or a presence in another geography—we turn to IAMCP first,” Karpowich says. “We still go through the vetting process to evaluate if we are a good match for one another, but the membership base provides an ideal starting point.”

 

Collaborative Efforts Pay Off with IAMCP Americas Gold P2P Award

Andosi’s active participation in IAMCP and the many joint-partner Microsoft Dynamics 365 projects that the solution provider has participated in were rewarded in a big way in July 2019. IAMCP awarded Andosi the Americas Gold P2P Award during the Microsoft Inspire conference in Las Vegas.

With this award and the many successes Andosi has enjoyed through collaboration projects with other IAMCP members, Karpowich plans to continue expanding the firm’s IAMCP activities.

“By giving presentations and participating in the IAMCP P2P marketing program, we can increase our presence in the Microsoft market,” Karpowich says. “This will not only bring in more potential business for us, but also expand the value we deliver to clients—by giving them access to a wider range of Microsoft expertise. There’s so much IAMCP partners can do by working together.”

 

About Andosi

With offices in Tampa, Boston, Indianapolis and Kentucky, Andosi is a Microsoft Gold Partner in Cloud Customer Relationship Management and ISV as well as a Silver Partner in Cloud Platform. The firm’s experience with Microsoft Dynamics and business management goes deeper than just concepts—the executive team has worked with Microsoft Dynamics GP since its inception. Since then and for more than two decades, Andosi has watched, learned and played a role in the growth of Dynamics GP and its transformation into a powerful business system.

 

Andosi IAMCP Activity at a Glance

(2016-2019)

13 joint projects with IAMCP members

$500K+ in total revenue  

 

Tags:  IAMCP Microsoft Partner  Microsoft  P2P 

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The WIT Network Sparks Empowering Conversations at Microsoft Ignite and Looks Ahead to 2020

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Image

The WIT Network has been recognized as an important part of the Microsoft Partner ecosystem – and endorsed by Gavriella Schuster – who attended our happy hour at Inspire earlier this year. The WIT Network hosted another amazing Happy Hour on November 6th at Microsoft Ignite. Attendees were able to interact with, and be inspired by Ann Johnson, Corporate Vice President of the Cybersecurity Solutions Group, at Microsoft. A big thank you to Nintex who not only sponsored the event, but let us hold it in their booth.  

One of the hot topics of discussion at Happy Hour was The WIT Network 2nd Annual International Women’s Day Conference taking place in Munich, Germany, on March 8 and 9, 2020. Planning is in full swing for this year’s conference, the theme of which is “Believe. Achieve. Celebrate.”

Mark your calendars and be prepared for two days full of inspiration and actionable advice to help guide us all on how to live our best lives and make a positive impact in the world.

More details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned here for more information and to register. If you’re interested in receiving great publicity and sponsoring the IWD conference, please reach out to The WIT Network President, Christine Bongard.


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Dyslexia is a gift that’s helped me in business

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The story of Carlene Jackson, who turned dyslexic challenges into an advantage, became an entrepreneur, and launched a successful tech organisation

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) isn’t limited just to visible minorities, or those with different religious beliefs, or sexual orientations.

 

Just ask Carlene Jackson, CEO of UK-based tech company Cloud9 Insight, a Microsoft Gold Partner which has provided more than 600 UK businesses with cloud-based CRM software systems.

Growing up with dyslexia, Carlene faced many learning challenges throughout her schooling. But she also learned coping skills and realised that dyslexia, often considered a disability, gave her a distinct advantage in that it enhanced her creativity.

In fact, many well-known and tremendously successful entrepreneurs are, or have been, dyslexic; Richard Branson, Lord Alan Sugar, Anita Roddick, Walt Disney and Henry Ford were all reportedly diagnosed with the condition, and research suggests dyslexia is disproportionately found among entrepreneurs. 

"Dyslexia is a gift that’s helped me in business," says Carlene. "If you're dyslexic, you can never truly fail, because you simply accept that succeeding first time may not happen so you’re going to have to find a way around the problem. You learn differently, see the world differently and these things are very useful when you're an entrepreneur.” 

How can businesses benefit from embracing Dyslexia?

Much of what takes place in the workplace is now being automated and many people are questioning what role human beings will play in industry. If you can create a rule for something then it can probably be automated. There are going to be a lot of robots in the office soon, efficiently following rules. But, for a business to be truly successful, this will need to be married with creativity – and if there’s one thing that doesn’t follow rules, it’s the process of creativity. 

Creativity is about innovation, taking leaps into the dark and daring to fail; it’s about breaking rules, not following them. Many dyslexic entrepreneurs are successful because they don’t follow the rules of their industry and instead look to create completely new models which change the game for everybody. 

Workplaces need creative people and so can benefit greatly from welcoming people with dyslexia and autism, as well as other natural rulebreakers. Just because someone’s brain is wired differently, doesn’t mean they can’t perform a major role. 

Businesses that recruit and work with rulebreakers will have opportunities to solve problems that automated software and bots cannot. 

Carlene’s path to success

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Jackson moved to Brighton at a young age and entered the corporate world. She learned sales at IBM and moved into the growing field of customer relationship management (CRM) software. Carlene self-identifies her greatest strength as sales strategy. She quickly understands customers, connects with them, drives change and helps companies set a vision.  

But it was when cloud computing began to emerge that Jackson saw the chance to realise her ambitions and become an entrepreneur. She recognized the potential of cloud technology early in her career and went on to build a thriving consultancy business with 20 staff. 

“My brother is a serial entrepreneur, and encouraged me to stop making millions for others and make it for myself. Microsoft, at that time, was getting lots of attention with a cloud-based CRM solution for the UK market, which had previously only been on-premises. I saw opportunity there, so I seized the moment to start a new business focused on Microsoft Dynamics, and have never looked back since.” – Carlene Jackson  

Carlene talks passionately about partnering with Microsoft, staff and apprenticeships and how a ‘learning difficulty’ has made her a better entrepreneur. 

Staff development has always been a key driver for Jackson, with her skills winning her several industry awards for investing in people. “I’m proud of the fact that many of the people I have recruited have not worked in the tech sector before and I have coached them to the success they have achieved. I am passionate to help people fulfil their potential and dreams – being an apprenticeship provider will help Cloud9 Insight achieve this even further,” said Carlene.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. It is a lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.

People with dyslexia find it difficult to recognise the different sounds that make up words and relate these to letters. Dyslexia isn't related to a person's general level of intelligence. Children and adults of all intellectual abilities can be affected by dyslexia. 

The exact cause of dyslexia is unknown, but it often appears to run in families. It's thought that certain genes inherited from parents may act together in a way that affects how some parts of the brain develop during early life.

About Cloud9 Insight

Founded in 2010, Cloud9 Insight has 20 staff and is also an award-winning apprenticeship provider. The company is on target to reach £2m turnover in 2019 and has gained over 600 clients in the small-medium business (SMB) sector. Cloud9 is also an apprenticeship provider to the tech industry and received government accreditation in Autumn 2019.  


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10th Anniversary Congratulations to IAMCP SoCal!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 13, 2019

IAMCP SoCal brings the Microsoft ecosystem together in celebration – and raises over $100,000 for charity.


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October 24, 2019 was a big day for Microsoft, IAMCP and the local partner community, with the 10th Anniversary celebration of the IAMCP SoCal Chapter bringing together Microsoft Partners from across the country, along with 42 Microsoft Execs, Field Sellers and OCP Team members.  


The event was full of education for partners, feedback for Microsoft, a focus on Diversity and Inclusion, and a huge drive for GIVE, which resulted in a generous total donation of over $100,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Ronald McDonald House!


Some Event Highlights:

 

  • Over $100,000 raised for Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Ronald McDonald House!

  • Sweepstakes featuring a Porsche Macan giveaway and over 40 mentoring opportunities for partners with Microsoft Execs, Field Sellers and Partner Team

  • Partner of the decade awards, honoring: IAMCP SoCal Area Diversity & Inclusion Partner of the Decade - TaraByte Solutions; IAMCP SoCal Area Member of the Decade - Dave Seibert; IAMCP SoCal Area Most Partner Friendly Member - PartnerSource Solutions; IAMCP SoCal Area Partner Choice Award - Manish Bhardia – Think AI; and IAMCP SoCal Area Partner of the Decade - 6th Street Consulting

  • A VIP Reception at which Challenge medals were given to all guests, Moscow Mule Copper Mugs given to all, honoring our friend Tom Castiglia who passed away earlier this year, and guests had photo opportunities with Microsoft execs

  • A celebration expo featuring 38 exhibitors

  • A suite of partner 101 sales and marketing tracks

 

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  • Executive Roundtables with David Smith, Beth Cavanaugh, and Brent Combest

  • Many partner side sessions

  • An outdoor expo, refreshing for many exhibitors that are normally inside for the “typical event expo”

  • A Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) panel, with moderator, Sarah Geoghegan, SoftwareONE and SoCal WIT Network President; Dave Shah, Skyworks; Rodney Campbell, Microsoft; Heather Newman, Creative Maven; Seppy Azadi, Korn Ferry; and Beth Cavanaugh, Microsoft

  • Special highlights: Goodwill Staffing Services, which helps place people with barriers to employment, and the WIT Network

  • A donut wall (yes, you read that right!)

  • IAMCP Party Tattoos

  • LinkedIn Head shots by the Microsoft Retail Store


The presentation of the Porsche Macan (2 Year Lease) was made at the end of the evening. And the winner was… Jon Stypula, President of Dynamic Consulting!


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But Jon decided to donate the $25,000 prize to the selected charities, instead of taking possession of the car, which helped in achieving the $100,000 stretch goal for giving at the event! Congratulations and thank you Jon!

Another highlight in giving was when Justin and Alexis Slagle were presented with a plaque showcasing the sponsorship of an Adopt-A-Room program through the Ronald McDonald House Orange County from the IAMCP SoCal Partner, showing their appreciation for everything that was done for this event.


What the attendees said:

 “I left the party thinking I want to do more with Microsoft.”

 “That night changed the definition of what it means to be a Microsoft Partner. Pretty cool!”

 “The event deepened my understanding and love of Microsoft.”

“I came away with way more respect for Microsoft as a company. I don't view them just as a giant in the industry, but a company who employees a compassionate, caring and supportive team.  A company that cares about their partner's success.  A Company that does everything with class.”

 “Never in my career have I had the access to such great executives from Microsoft.

“The access we got to the Microsoft team was unparalleled from any Microsoft event I've attended.

“The sense of community was prevalent throughout the event. The camaraderie and inclusiveness of all attendees was infectious.”

“I don't have many words left to express what amazing event it was. I loved every single presentation, but the two that really were my favorites were: 1) Brent Combest’s partner profitability, sharing how he evaluates each partner and 2) The D&I panel discussion - I walked away with so many new things I learned, not only to apply to business, but also things I could be much more mindful of as a parent when talking to my kids.”


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Next Steps:

Let’s keep the momentum going!  Stay engaged with your local IAMCP Chapter and build more P2P success stories!  


Read more about the event:

LinkedIn (148 posts): https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/iamcpsocal10/

Twitter (278 total tweets): https://twitter.com/search?q=%23iamcpsocal10&f=live

See the entire event in pictures - there are nearly 700 that tell the full story: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgLQKsU5--Ohn_FGEsiKHtaHi2ihKw?e=cnrDF5

 

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IAMCP P2P success story A Success Trifecta – And A Gold APAC P2P Win

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 7, 2019

 

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Intelegain Technologies, a global company with four locations in the U.S., India, Singapore and Australia, has been providing customers with expert technology solutions for over 15 years. But when a customer needed a solution that fell outside of Intelegain’s scope of expertise, the company’s CTO, Neeraj Gargi, had to get creative – and he turned to members of his local IAMCP chapter, India West to solve the customer’s problem.

Wonderchef, a rapidly expanding premium kitchen wares distributor selling in India and exporting to APAC, was experiencing difficulties with its on-premises MS Dynamics ERP solution, necessitating an immediate migration to the cloud in order to reduce maintenance costs, resource efforts and time. But the company simply couldn’t afford to be out of commission for the 5-7 days downtime that the migration would require.

 

Despite Intelegain’s expertise in Azure Migration and Implementation, the company needed external support to deliver the complete fail-safe hybrid cloud solution in a time frame that would involve minimal impact to the customer’s business.

 

Building on relationships that had been formed over several years through IAMCP chapter meetings, Neeraj approached two partners: Mumbai-based Graftronics and Sunbridge of Pune region. With the team’s combined expertise, a solution was born that would see the migration of the customer’s datacentre to a new facility during a period when the volume of billing transactions was highest. This challenge was further impacted by a rapidly-approaching deadline on the existing lease at customer's facility.

 

And the result?

With Intelegain leading the customer relationship and the set-up of the infrastructure on Microsoft Azure, Graftronics handled the on-premises appliances and facilities such as routers, VPN connectivity and firewall, etc. Meanwhile, Sunbridge brought in its expertise in Dynamics, ensuring that the Dynamics NAV Migration took place with virtually zero downtime.

 

“IAMCP has given me great confidence to work in the Microsoft space and share expertise with other partners. This solution has illustrated how impactful Partner-to-Partner relationships can be for all parties involved and I know that I have support from the MS community when I have a challenge.” – Neeraj Gardi

 

The entire process was seamless for Wonderchef, with Intelegain as the single point of contact, eliminating the need to co-ordinate with multiple partners and mitigating the risk of communication gaps.

 

In just two weeks from the diagnosis of the required solution, the migration was successfully completed in under 3 hours, outside of productive working time, and without disruption to the operation of the business.

 

A picture containing indoor, table, sitting, wall Description automatically generatedWhat does the P2P APAC Gold win mean for Intelegain?

 

“Winning this award is a tremendous honour for Intelegain,” said Neeraj. “There was lots of competition with great solutions and it’s fantastic to be recognized by an international community – especially at Inspire, where everyone is watching. We’re going to keep on partnering – and next year we’re going for the global award!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building on the success of the Wonderchef solution, Intelegain is now working with partners from different regions, including China and Africa. And the company is committed to the power of P2P relationships, with four guiding success principles:

1.         Trust your partner

2.         Be Transparent

3.         Be Reasonable

4.         Be Honest

 

Because IAMCP membership is all about community and great success opportunities!

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Moving into the “Business Central Era” is easier with partners at your side

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 30, 2019

 

Klaus Fander CEO of acadon from Germany and the IAMCP International Board treasurer is sharing his professional insight about Microsoft’s directions in Business Central and the new development environment announced at Directions EMEA.

By Klaus Fander

 

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The Directions EMEA Vienna conference is the leading trade fair of the European Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Community. Last week, 2,370 partners from across Europe met in Vienna to discuss the latest trends around Microsoft Business Apps / Business Central. 

As at the worldwide partner conference "Inspire" in July, Microsoft confirmed the roadmap: Business Central should become more user-friendly, i.e. easier to introduce, use and expand. Therefore, the current release ("BC15") replaces the Windows client with the Web client. With this step, installation on computers is no longer necessary and the look & feel has been adapted to the modern Office 365. This makes it much easier for users to navigate and quickly trigger the desired actions.

Also, the twenty-year-old development environment ("C/SIDE") will be replaced by a modern state-of-the-art environment based on Visual Studio Code and Azure Devops. This allows partners to make their industry solutions and customizations more secure and modular. In the future, customers will be able to create smaller customizations much more easily by themselves. These are retained during the update and require practically no migration effort.

The decisive market advantage of the old "Navision" is thus elevated to the new "Business Central" era: the simple adaptation of a comprehensive standard solution to the individual needs of the customer. Of course, it is necessary to use the current version. But once this step has been taken, future updates will be straightforward, users will benefit from easier operation and the use of new functions of the industry solution, external modules or individual adaptations will be faster and cheaper. Our customers can also benefit from the simple connection to other Microsoft cloud services such as Power BI or Artificial Intelligence.

For us as a Microsoft partner, the transition period means a great deal of effort, because our ISV solution and our customer solutions have to be migrated at the same time.

In this respect, it was logical that IAMCP was represented as an official community partner at Directions EMEA for the first time this year. 

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The exchange between partners is more important than ever. As members of the IAMCP, we benefit from the high willingness to cooperate and provide mutual support. This gives us more time for the individual requirements of our customers and we can support them to transition through the digital transformation even faster.

At the same time, the cooperation between BC partners and partners from other workloads allows us to offer our customers more holistic solutions.

If you are not yet a member as a partner, register - so that your customers are ahead of their competitors!

Klaus Fander is the CEO of acadon, a Microsoft-Gold-Partner with more than 30 years of experience in more than 1000 projects. Based on the international standard products of Microsoft Dynamics 365 (NAV / Business Central), they offer integrated and customer orientated services such as acadon-industrial-solutions for the timber (lumber) and packaging industry.

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more Calendar

1/23/2020
IAMCP NorCal Chapter meeting

1/23/2020
IAMCP Chicago Chapter Monthly Meeting: Microsoft Products approaching End of Life

1/23/2020
IAMCP DFW PRESENTS: MICROSOFT PARTNER TO PARTNER COLLABORATION

1/23/2020
IAMCP Atlanta - January Meeting

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