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Finding Your “Why?” And Why It’s Important

Posted By Pavan Jangid, Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2020

How the definition of self-purpose is important to business success leadership – and may be just as important for your team as it is for you.

By Simon Langdown


“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne, Author, 1930-2016

Why do you do what you do?

It may sound like a cliché, but finding your personal purpose is the key to satisfaction – in every aspect of life.

We all understand the importance of a well thought-out and defined strategy in the success of a business. Organisations that know why they do what they do are more innovative and successful than their competitors.

But how do we bring that concept to the personal level, enabling us to be more focussed, productive and fulfilled? How do we know if our personal “why” aligns with the “why” of the organisation for which we work?


And why is it important?

Let’s look at some employee engagement statistics

Worldwide, only 15% of employees are engaged with their work. Conversely, 71% of executives say that employee engagement is critical to their company’s success.

And a recent Gallup study shows that highly engaged workplaces saw 41% lower absenteeism

Read it and weep.

As a financial executive, team leader and self-professed “numbers guy”, those statistics matter to me.

At Microsoft Inspire 2019 in Las Vegas, Simon Sinek’s presentation, The Infinite Game, caught my attention and later that day, I revisited his TED Talk on finding your why – the most watched TED Talk of all time.

This was my epiphany moment, in the middle of Sin City – winning isn’t everything, especially when we all have different definitions of winning. I needed to realign my thinking.

I needed to find my “why?”.


So how did I do it?

With the help of our HR Business Partner, Gemma Thornley, I did my own soul searching to understand my purpose, particularly in my role with Seaton Partners, until I was ready to draft my “why statement”.

This was the challenging part. It requires one to make a simple, clear, actionable sentence that focuses on the effect YOU will have on others, expressed in affirmative language that means something to you.

The format is important, because it means you have no places to hide behind flowery language. It requires you to be authentic and honest. It’s easy to remember and that means you’re more likely to commit to, and act on, your promise.

This format is:

TO__________SO THAT__________.

The first blank represents the CONTRIBUTION you make to the lives of others. The second blank represents the IMPACT of your contribution. Our contribution is not a product or service, it is the driver for everything we do - decisions we make and tasks we perform that result in the impact we want to make.


My personal “why?” - and why it matters to me

"To use discipline to focus actions, thoughts and behaviour, so that we can unlock each individual's potential allowing recognition and success for all."

Expressed differently, this means that the impact I seek is to use discipline and self-discipline to help my team achieve the things for which they aim.

I have learnt that people want to be respected and valued by others around them for their contribution. Recognition, both as a member of a team and as an individual, is important. It also means seeing the difference between recognition and appreciation. Recognition is a process of being recognized, appreciation is a feeling, or an expression of gratitude, admiration or approval. Appreciation focuses on the value of a person, and can come from any direction - not necessarily recognition from the top levels of leadership down.

My “Why?” is an expression of wanting my contribution to make people feel like they belong – a key aspect of the human psyche.

As the famous American philosopher William James said, “The deepest principle of human nature is to be appreciated".


Ready for you and your team to find your “why”?

Here are some key questions that you can ask yourself, and guide your team through, to help define your purpose:

What are you passionate about?

Identifying what you really care about will help you to understand your true values – and whether or not they align with those of your organisation.

What are you good at?

You know you’re good at something! This isn’t the time to be modest. This is where you accept yourself and what makes you shine. It’s also where you’re most likely to be financially successful.


How does what you do help, or impact the lives of others?

Evaluate how your skills help to solve problems within your team or organisation. This is your innate value and where you are most likely to find focus and job satisfaction.

How will you measure your impact?

This is where you decide what you stand for within your organisation and how you draw the meaning from it that drives you to pursue it and hold yourself accountable, day after day.

Because, once we understand WHY we do what we do, we do it with passion and commitment – and THAT drives personal fulfilment.


About Simon Langdown

Simon Langdown holds the position of Financial Director & Company Secretary at UK-based  Seaton Partners Ltd, a Microsoft Gold Competency Partner with a global reach, delivering complete Microsoft Dynamics 365 business solutions. Simon has held financial roles in many types of service industries and is al

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2020: A Time for Change

Posted By Aileen Provan, Friday, June 26, 2020

A D&I wake-up call for companies everywhere

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If you think 2020 has been a weird year on an unprecedented scale so far, you’re right. And you’re not alone.

First, our friends in Australia knew raging fires that ravaged their land, stole their homes and decimated wildlife, along with hearts and souls.

Then, the world was hit by a virus that knew no boundaries and scattered us all into our homes like cockroaches when the lights go on. We were glued to televisions and internet news sites for updates on statistics we didn’t understand and learning to work in new ways, while home-schooling our children.

“The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the Microsoft ecosystem, affecting companies and their employees across the globe. In the IT world, we are innovators, yet some of the greatest innovations we have seen were in how people found ways to stay motivated, remain productive, maintain connections – and keep helping customers throughout this crisis.” - Sérgio Baptista, President, IAMCP International


And then.

Suddenly, George Floyd, a black man in the U.S., was horrifically killed at the hands of local police and the world halted.

And, across the globe, people stood up and said “NO! We will not tolerate this kind of treatment. We will not tolerate racism.”

Perhaps yours is one of the many companies that sent employees home in advance of violent protests near your offices. Or maybe your team was already safely ensconced in their respective houses, doing their best to stay connected and productive.

Either way, it’s safe to say that we’re all living in a different world and adapting to change on a global scale.

“These are times of drastic change and change can be uncomfortable for some. But the time has come for all of us to have real conversations about discrimination and racism. These issues impact all of us and it’s only by working together and being inclusive that the issues will be solved.” Frank Valdivieso, D&I Chair, IAMCP Americas


Where do we go from here?

Everyone has been affected by recent events. And everyone is talking about them. You can be sure that, whether around the water cooler or online, your team is discussing what’s been going on in the world.

George Floyd has been more widely recognized in death than he was in life and his story has spawned discussions everywhere.

And that’s why now is a good time for healthy discussion on D&I (Diversity and Inclusion).

But not solely on the subject of racism. It’s a good time to discuss all aspects of our human differences, not just in the workplace, but on the streets of our neighbourhoods and in our children’s schools.

Because many of us hold unconscious biases of which we are not aware. Discussion creates knowledge, which opens the gates of understanding, making our environments better for all.


We live in a biased world

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“From a young age we are taught right from wrong, based on the country in which we live, the culture and heritage of our surrounding area, our family, the teachers at our schools and universities who influence us and, of course even more today, the news and comments shared on social media.”  Mary Hunter, IAMCP Diversity, Inclusion and Culture Lead and Managing Director at Columbus UK, an organisation deeply committed to diversity and inclusion.

The IAMCP is delighted to help you start your organizational conversation through exclusive member access to Microsoft’s Unconscious Bias Training to support you in the thinking, development and/or enhancement of your diversity and inclusion strategy. 

The e-learning course can be accessed here: Unconscious Bias Training.

“In the first year of the D&I Committee’s existence, we focussed on “why?”– to help the community understand the meaning, relevance and importance of D&I for businesses. In our second year, our focus has shifted to “how?”, with all initiatives directed towards creating guidance on how our members can become more diverse and ethical suppliers.” – Sarika Malhotra, Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, IAMCP International

Look for more information on how the IAMCP is working towards effective change, coming soon.


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Leadership Goes Beyond June 30, 2020

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 24, 2020










Are we really open for business? What’s next for leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic?

By Aileen Provan

Join Jon Rivers (President & Digital Marketing Strategist, Marketing Monarchs, and IAMCP Tampa Chapter President) and Titu Sarder (President & CEO at Learning Library TV [LLTV] and NYC Chapter President) on Tuesday, June 30, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT for the next in a series of virtual conferences specifically created to facilitate senior leadership discussion on global business issues. Register here.

Leadership in an evolving world

Whatever your leadership style, you’ve likely had to adapt it to accommodate team engagement and productivity in a work-from-home environment.

For many leaders, this is a new experience that brings a fresh set of challenges, such as a lack of face-to-face connections with peers, employees and customers alike, as they strive to demonstrate leadership and calm, while keeping their teams motivated and informed.

What does the future bring?

Hear from a strong line-up of business leaders as they discuss the future of leadership – what leaders are facing, how it will look… and how they will have to adapt. See the speaker bios.

The speakers:

  • Todd Thibodeaux, President and Chief Executive Officer at CompTIA
  • Jeffrey Weber, Executive Director at Robert Half Technology
  • Linda Rose, M&A Coach, Business Consultant, Speaker, Advisory Board Member, Author
  • Per Werngren, Thought Leader P2P, Business Owner, Author P2P Maturity Model, Serial Entrepreneur & Investor
  • Jodi Rabinowitz, Licensed professional counsellor with a private practice in New Haven, CT

Plus, over 975 participants from the global business community.

A chance to win!

During the event on June 30, 5 lucky registrants will win an Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa. That’s right – 5!

Register today for an informative discussion forum - and a chance to have some fun. Because even in austere times, fun is important.

And there’s more to come!

Mark your calendar for the next event on Tuesday, July 28, which will focus on “Why and How the Cloud has Become so Crucial During the Pandemic”. Hear from speakers such as:

  • Tiffani Bova, Growth Evangelist at Salesforce, about Growth in the New Future
  • Amy Nenner, Chief People Officer at Noven Pharmaceuticals, on The Intersection of Management and Leadership
  • Joseph Landes, Chief Revenue Offer at Nerdio, on Why and How to Build a Cloud Practice
  • Paul Solski, MD at AIM International, on Global Expansion, P2P, and Packaging IP 

And many other leading experts - more details will follow soon.

Leading in the community

Leadership Goes Beyond make a donation on behalf of At-Risk / Disadvantaged Youths Charities from the proceeds of this event. 

What questions are keeping you up at night?

If you have topics that you would like to see covered in future sessions, or are interested in speaking about a senior leadership topic, the Leadership Goes Beyond Team would love to hear from you: info@leadershipgoesbeyond.com

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Overcoming the Pandemic Together and Scaling to Over 40,000 Users Globally

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 21, 2020

P2P success story

After they developed a crisis communication template for Microsoft Teams, BindTuning from IAMCP Portugal joined forces with partners - Insiso (UK), Claranet Portugal, DevScope (Portugal), Progel (Italy), SharePrime (Brazil), and C2C Online (Australia) - to create a solution localized by language and country-specific information 

By Aileen Provan

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and our world changed overnight, everyone had questions about what was happening. And for every question, there were multiple answers – some legitimate, many not. Some companies wondered about how to assist their employees, now working in remote circumstances, to maintain their productivity from a home environment with their families around. Employers wanted to communicate vital company updates, provide assurance, and a sense of protection. Also, they needed to help their workforce understand the scope of the outbreak and the impact on their lives.


That’s when the BindTuning team – founded by Beatriz Oliviera, a long-time IAMCP member and the current president of the Portugese chapter - recognized a global need and a way to help.


With companies struggling to communicate accurate facts to remote teams, BindTuning leveraged the power of Microsoft Teams to build a solution. Outbreak Preparedness Kit – a template built for Microsoft Teams – was originally envisioned as a tool to enable accurate communications, and quickly grew to much more.


Spreading fast

After its initial splash, the Outbreak Preparedness Kit quickly caught the attention of the media and other partners in the Microsoft ecosystem. With offers of partnership, starting with Insiso, and followed by Claranet Portugal, DevScope, Progel, SharePrime, and C2C Online, the Outbreak Preparedness Kit was localized both by language and country-specific information to serve people in different communities with relevant information.


“At Insiso we were seeking an opportunity to provide support and advice in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. When our long-term partners at BindTuning released their Outbreak Preparedness starter kit, this provided us with the perfect opportunity to both participate and collaborate with BindTuning in configuring the starter kit for distribution within the UK.” Ravikumar Dinakarkumar, Senior Software Developer, Insiso


With collaboration from partners in several countries – from Europe, South America and Australia, the template quickly took off – to the tune of 40,000 users, worldwide.


Localized kits currently available on the BindTuning app:

  • UK Kit – Insiso
  • Portuguese Kit – DevScope
  • Portuguese kit plus very specific content for customers – Claranet Portugal
  • Italian Kit – Progel
  • Brazilian Kit – SharePrime
  • Australian Kit - C2C Online

This rapid adoption rate is largely due to the fact that no coding or IT support is required, making it easy to setup. And, to sweeten the pot, the template is free to download and use for the first 3 months, to help companies get started while adopting austere measures in their businesses.


The Outbreak Preparedness Kit was released at the onset of the pandemic in early March 2020, the exact same time at which Microsoft generously announced a worldwide, free 6-month Teams subscription.


By leveraging the power of Teams as the go-to virtual workspace solution, the template provides companies with a crisis communication channel and a reliable information center for their employees, now working from home. What would have taken organizations weeks to establish and install is now ready-to-go in this pre-packaged solution that they can deploy in seconds and customize in minutes.


“It is rewarding to be able to bring our expertise together to help others, especially in times of crisis. Creating the template was the first step, but our partnership with other teams is the real crux of the success of this initiative. By enabling companies to deliver real-time, relevant information during this pandemic, we know that we are facilitating a value that many of us hold dear: human contact.” - Beatriz Oliviera, CEO of BindTuning and President of IAMCP Portugal.


The success that this partnership demonstrates lies in the country-specific data and translated content within the app, which open the potential of this product beyond the initial deployment. It could be white-labeled to content providers that issue reliable content about the pandemic (WHO, CDC, Government health organizations, etc.). Also, the app can serve as a resource beyond the current outbreak to support the needs of other events, like weather-related disruptions.


"At DevScope we strongly believe in the power of partnerships, where "one plus one" is more than just two. When BindTuning released its Outbreak Preparedness starter kit, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were helping our local customers gather data and PowerBI data for similar challenges. Making this content deployable in minutes made it way more useful for many more." - José António Silva, R&D Director, DevScope


Tags:  COVID-19  IAMCP  Microsoft  Microsoft Partner  P2P 

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COVID-19 Impact on Microsoft Insights and strategies for Partners

Posted By Pavan Jangid, Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2020

By Michiel van Vliet


Normally, I reflect on Microsoft earnings releases from a business and content point of view, looking at subtle changes that Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, might be making through a lens of the topics on which he speaks. I do that because Nadella launches concepts which then pop up in speeches, interviews, quarterly earnings calls and annual shareholder letters.


Satya iterates on these concepts and you see the refinement with each iteration. These concepts then become strategy. Then structure follows strategy, and finally other supporting processes get adapted to support the strategy and structure. This consistency means that, by studying what Nadella says, you can foresee where Microsoft is going over the next couple of years. There is no surprise. 


A world on the move

Thanks to COVID-19, we now live in an accelerated world that is rapidly transforming at the same time. Where we used to react in months, now we need to react within weeks and, similarly, weekly adjustments have become daily adjustments. I decided to focus this review of Microsoft earnings on the past and future impact of COVID-19 for partners. 


As Nadella stated in the Q3 earnings call on April 29th, “COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our work and life. We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. There is both immediate surge demand, and systemic, structural changes across all of our solution areas that will define the way we live and work going forward.” 


Summary of impacted areas of business going forward 

  • Certain Industries, like travel, tourism, retail
  • SMB Segment  
  • Transactional business 
  • Advertising 
  • New Dynamics projects 
  • Consulting business 


Summary of opportunities 

  • Accelerated digital transformation 
  • Healthy Azure consumption and increased usage across:


  • Windows Virtual Desktop,
  • Power Platform,
  • Microsoft 365, particularly in Teams and advanced security solutions 


IAMCP Covid-19 Impact Survey 

The IAMCP conducted a global survey on the impact of COVID-19 on its associates´ businesses at the end of March.  Here are some of the key takeaways from that survey:  


  • More than 90% of IAMCP partners see their business impacted and more the one third see their business impacted by more than 25%. 


  • The biggest impact is in a reduction of pipeline followed by cancellation of signed projects that have not started yet, and issues with customers allowing remote work for consultants.  



The impact of Covid-19 on Microsoft´s Q3 numbers 


Microsoft summarized the impact as follows: 


“In our consumer business, the landscape evolved quickly following our mid-quarter guidance update. The supply chain in China returned to more normal operations at a faster pace than we had anticipated. And, we saw increased demand from work, play, and learn from home scenarios, benefitting Windows OEM, Surface, Office consumer, and Gaming. This was partially offset by a significant reduction in advertising spend, which impacted our Search and LinkedIn businesses.” 


“In our commercial business in March, we saw healthy Azure consumption and increased usage across Windows Virtual Desktop, Power Platform, and Microsoft 365, particularly in Teams and our advanced security solutions. However, we also saw some changes to our sales dynamics particularly in the industries and segments most impacted by COVID-19. We saw a slowdown in our transactional business across segments, but particularly in small and medium businesses. In enterprise services, growth rates slowed as consulting projects were delayed. And on annual contracts in LinkedIn's Talent Solutions business, renewals were impacted by the weak job market.” - Amy Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Microsoft Corporation.


Microsoft included an additional slide in the earnings call addressing COVID-19 impact: 


  • Net revenue: Minimal impact to total company 


  • Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud: Increased cloud usage driven by remote work and learn scenarios in Microsoft 365 including Teams, Azure, Windows, Virtual Desktop, advanced security solutions and power platform. Slowdown in transactional licensing, particularly in small and medium businesses. Reduced customer advertising spend impacting LinkedIn revenue.  


  • More Personal Computing: Increased demand to support remote work and learn scenarios benefitting Windows OEM and Surface. Supply chain constraints in Windows OEM and Surface that improved late in the quarter. Increased engagement in Gaming following stay-at-home guidelines. Reduced customer advertising spend impacting Search revenue.  


  • Capital expenditures: Delayed cloud infrastructure spend due to supply chain constraints.  


  • Operating expenses: Reduced discretionary spend in areas such as travel and marketing.  


Current quarter impact 

However, this was this past quarter. What I think is most interesting is to see what Microsoft sees for the quarter ahead and the immediate future.  


Microsoft sees a higher variability in the range of guidance. However, for Productivity and business processes and Intelligent cloud, 80 percent of this revenue comes from the earnout on existing contracts and agreement renewals. The remaining 20 percent of revenue, primarily from annuity agreements and transactional licensing, is subject to more volatility in the current environment. This is in stark contrast to More Personal Computing where roughly 75 percent of revenue, across OEM, Surface, Search, and Gaming, is earned in-quarter and therefore will be more susceptible to the overall business climate. 


Positive impact Microsoft sees 

  • In Office commercial, revenue growth will continue to be driven by Office 365, with strong upsell opportunity, particularly to advanced security solutions. 
  • In Azure, revenue growth will again be driven by our consumption-based business, with continued strong growth across the customer base for Azure, but with some moderation in the most impacted industries and segments.  


Negative impact Microsoft sees 


  • Overall transactional weakness (all on-premises transactional licensing).
  • LinkedIn and Search ad revenue. 
  • In Dynamics a slowdown in new projects with longer lead times. 
  • In Enterprise Services, expect a low, single-digit revenue decline driven by continued delays in our consulting business. 


Some additional insights from the analysts’ Q&A 


Question on the monetization of some of the first responder help Microsoft is providing 


Satya Nadella: “Overall the approach we take is really to be there for our customers at their time of most acute need. We don't go in there with the mindset of what does it mean for our revenue. When our customers do well, we'll do well on a long-term basis, that's at the core of our business model.  


Amy Hood on expanding the customer base versus adding seats or consumption within that customer base: “We actually saw both this quarter again, the way you would have seen a little bit of weakness, I guess, in on-premises Office Commercial due to transactional weakness and maybe SMB. The one difference I will say is just because there was so much deployment done in the past 4 weeks, especially around Teams and some of the other workloads, there's certainly a distinction that a lot of that was expanding the footprint as opposed to deployment much faster than I think many enterprises had initially planned to do so.” 


Amy Hood on Dynamics: “As long as business applications like Dynamics 365 address the immediate pressing needs, these projects will happen because that's the way for economic activity to return. But at the same time, with business applications that have longer lead time in terms of implementation, people are probably going to take some more time to decide on it. But we think we are well positioned to capture the new scenarios with Power Apps, because we think about Power Platform and Dynamics as both what we do with business applications, and we feel that between these two, along with Azure, are well positioned to address what are going to be increasing digitization needs, where people don't have months to deploy or months to implement.” 


Amy Hood: “And I think that you would say that we've seen that in our pipeline and really in the customer demand scenarios. So, I think what we've seen is really more of a shift to some of these quick time-to-value deployments and a real change in terms of new, long lead time projects there, and I think that's probably not surprising.” 


Insights and strategies for partners 



There is a general impact on certain industries like travel, tourism, retail etc., which is affecting Microsoft customers and, of course, partners that work with customers in these industries. At IAMCP we have also seen the most impact on partners that have a customer base across these most affected industries. Partners will have to devise diversification strategies. 



As a segment SMB is more affected than Enterprise, and Microsoft is admitting this impact as well. At IAMCP we have seen strong continued business in the enterprise and a mix of impact in SMB. Most partners have been busy getting their SMB customers up and running in a remote working environment which has caused a spike in business, but we need to wait and see if that continues. Partners that focus on SMB will have to have a diversified portfolio of customers in order to balance the positive and negative impacts. Partners working in the enterprise space can see an increase in work as some customers have decided to accelerate their digital transformations (except for the most affected industries). 


Transactional Business 

Most transactional business is affected as customers will reduce spending where they can. However certain categories have seen growth in demand only restricted by supply chain issues (PCs, Office365 consumer). At IAMCP we do have anecdotal feedback that some SMB customers are reducing consumption of CSP licenses. On the other hand, there is feedback of growth in O365 CSP revenue from distributors because of the spike in home working.  



Microsoft sees a delay in new Dynamics projects and a longer lead time for closing deals. At IAMCP we have seen some Dynamics partners more impacted than partners that work on other parts of the Microsoft stack.  


Enterprise services consulting business 

Microsoft enterprise consulting business is a reflection of most project-based partner business, so if Microsoft foresees a decline in MCS, that is not a good overall sign. Then again MCS is working, in general, on mission-critical, leading-edge projects and less on pure cloud infrastructure projects.  


Where are the opportunities? 

Before going into detail on the opportunities, I would like to reflect on something I see as a milestone. Microsoft has been on a transformation to become a cloud company but more personal computing (to simplify = Windows) has been the biggest revenue generator all these years. Productivity and business process (Simplified = Office) was structurally the segment that generated most profit. In the figure below you can see that Intelligent Cloud is becoming the biggest revenue and profit generator (Simplified = Azure). This is an excellent trend for partners as this means more complex services will be needed long-term. 





In the short-term, Microsoft sees healthy Azure consumption and increased usage across Windows Virtual Desktop, Power Platform, and Microsoft 365, particularly in Teams and advanced security solutions. 


If you are a partner specializing in these workloads, you can see a short- to medium-term boost. Long-term, the secular trends of cloud, data and AI will be the most important drivers for business.  


Michiel van Vliet has been working for and with Microsoft and the Microsoft ecosystem since 1995 in several positions and within Microsoft Spain as Services Lead, responsible for the EMEA enterprise partner Team, working with some of the largest Microsoft alliances. In 2018 Michiel published a book on how to work with Microsoft called ´Refresh the Road Ahead´, and currently runs his own consulting business focussed on business and work transformation. Michiel is the president of IAMCP Spain, President of the IAMCP in EMEA and is a global IAMCP Board Member. 

Tags:  Michiel van Vliet  Microsoft; Microsoft Q3 results; strategy 

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The IAMCP Honors Autism Month: The Hidden Talent Pool

Posted By Aileen Provan, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A D&I story that will give you fresh ideas on how to attract new talent


If you’ve ever been out of work, or have had a reduction in your client base that made it difficult to make ends meet, you know how stressful and demoralizing it can be.

If you’ve had that experience personally, you can probably relate to the plight of the many out-of-work people with a disability who face an additional barrier to finding work. Perception.

The perception that they might not be able to do the job.

According to BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), 19.3% of people with a disability in the U.S. were employed in 2019. By contrast, the employment-population ratio for people without a disability was 66.3%.

Each April, the Autism Society of America celebrates National Autism Awareness Month to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change. The IAMCP is an organization that fosters diversity and inclusion (D&I) – and that’s why we’re sharing this story.

Another way of looking at things

Recently, during an IAMCP Chicago Chapter meeting held at the Microsoft office in Downers Grove, Illinois, our members heard a very different version of what employment reality could look like – and what’s in it for partners.


Joanne Callahan“Work is a fundamental human right. And there is a wealth of untapped skill sets and intelligence in our communities that companies are missing out on.”Joanne Callahan, the Working Together Chicago Program Director and an Occupational Therapist.

Joanne Callahan presented the IAMCP members in attendance at the chapter meeting with a viable talent sourcing alternative – one that even makes employee onboarding seamless and easy for the hiring organization.

Many questions were asked after Joanne’s presentation – perhaps you’ll have some of your own.



The program is run by Working Together Chicago (WTC), an organization that facilitates paid internship opportunities at local businesses throughout the Chicagoland area to help young adults with disabilities gain corporate experience.

WTC is a program of the Center for Independence through Conductive Education, an Illinois Not-for-Profit organization that helps those with physical disabilities to maximize their independence. The organization initially relied on the generosity of the Coleman Foundation, a Chicago-based grant-making group, to cover operational costs.  WTC continues to rely on corporate, private foundations, and personal donations for support, all which can be made on the WTC website.


How does it work?

Each employee is initially available for a 10-week paid internship, after which the employer has the option to retain the employee.

There are a number of steps to ensuring the right ‘fit’:

  • Each employee candidate is vetted for employability through the Illinois Department of Rehab Services, by establishing a “DRS” account, and working with a social services agency
  • Through the social services agency and WTC, employment opportunities are investigated
  • A meeting is held with the employer to establish needs and assess skills compatibility
  • WTC brings 2-3 candidates to interview for positions
  • Once the employer has made a selection, a Job Coach (for onboarding and staff education) and Mentor (for empowerment and job development) become a team, paired to support the employee throughout the internship period
  • WTC, along with the social services agency, work to support both the employee and the employer

“We take these rigorous steps to ensure a positive outcome for both the employer and the employee, and our team provides both parties with the support they need to succeed,” said Joanne. “Together we can do amazing things!”

And Joanne would know. At an early age, her own daughter, Mary Kate Callahan, contracted a virus that left her a paraplegic. Despite challenges finding suitable employment, she is now employed by a major player in the technology sector. Said Joanne, “Mary Kate’s only challenge is mobility. We are deeply grateful that her employer was able to see beyond the wheelchair to her skills and personality, giving her meaningful work and an opportunity to contribute.”

So, you don’t live in Chicago?

This initiative has been so successful that many other states are in discussion with WTC, and the organization has set a long-term goal of creating a national entity.

“We envision a world in which every different-abled person can work. People with disabilities are so worthy of employment, and together we can make this a reality.” – Joanne Callahan

IAMCP Members are encouraged to seek D&I opportunities such as this in their respective locations.





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Leadership Goes Beyond

Posted By Pavan Jangid, Thursday, April 16, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 17, 2020


How Leaders Inspire Today and Tomorrow in the COVID-19 Crisis: the first in a series of virtual leadership conferences

By Aileen Provan

What do we do in times of crisis, or change that is beyond our control?

We look to our leaders. We want to understand a collective direction. We want to work together, to collaborate for the greater good of all.

Throughout history, in wars, famines, or economic crises, we have seen great examples of leadership in times of strife. And we have seen great examples of humans coming together to help one another.

We are in such a time.

But, to whom do our leaders look for guidance on how to navigate uncharted territories and keep the ship afloat? How do they know which decisions are the right ones in an all-new world?

In hearing the questions being asked by many of their clients at the C- and VP-levels, two industry leaders formed Leadership Goes Beyond to address the burning question: “What’s relevant today, tomorrow, and beyond?”, particularly in this economic climate during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s safe to say that these are issues no leader was expecting, all without an end-date in sight.

Jon Rivers (President & Digital Marketing Strategist, Marketing Monarchs, and IAMCP Americas MarCom Committee Chair) and Titu Sarder (President & CEO at Learning Library TV [LLTV] and NYC Chapter President), each a leader in his own rite, brainstormed into the “wee hours,” and conceived the concept of a virtual conference suite tailored to the current needs of senior leaders.

Leadership Goes Beyond’s inaugural conference, “How Leaders Inspire Today and Tomorrow around the COVID-19 Crisis”, was held on Tuesday, April 14. This event was pulled together in just two weeks, with only a few days for promotion and drew approximately 60 registrants.

“The concept of a virtual conference is new to many; we’re all used to enjoying the personal, face-to-face connections that events usually afford us, so we were delighted to have so many participants for our first event. Some attendees created their own badges and posted images on social media, giving the conference the sense of a live-event environment.” – Titu Sarder

The event’s impressive speaker line-up discussed how a leader might tackle:

  • Employee motivation to deliver exceptional work – from a remote location, outside that person’s comfort zone, away from team connections
  • Showing leadership and establishing team connection with peers and direct reports in new circumstances
  • Maintaining the face-to-face connections upon which many companies rely


This accomplished suite of leaders addressed how principals will adapt, today, tomorrow and beyond to tackle those concerns. It discussed what the challenges will be, how they will present themselves, and how leadership will have to adapt to lead their teams effectively.


“We were very fortunate to have established relationships with business leaders who instantly understood what we were trying to accomplish at a high level, and developed informative presentations that dug deep into the issues of today. This was a classic example of people coming together to help others in tough times, and we are deeply grateful to each and every one of them for their invaluable input.” – Jon Rivers


What’s Next from Leadership Goes Beyond?

Maintaining the momentum, Leadership Goes Beyond is already planning the next virtual event, slated for June 11: “How the cloud is playing a vital role during the COVID-19 crisis”.

This event will focus on the transition of people learning to work from home and learn to rely entirely on cloud-based services, discussing questions such as: “Am I ready?”, “Is my business ready?”, “Is my customer ready?”


Leading in the community

After expenses, all proceeds of the conference will go to Meals on Wheels America, a program that is on the front line every day, keeping our older Americans safe and nourished in communities across the country. 


Got a Question? Have an Idea?

If you have topics that you would like to see covered in future sessions, or are interested in speaking about a senior leadership topic, the Leadership Goes Beyond Team would love to hear from you: info@leadershipgoesbeyond.com

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What is Social Selling?

Posted By Rebecca Little, Wednesday, April 15, 2020


How technology can help you continue to build your business, even during social lockdown


Do you find yourself doing business differently in this time of isolation due to COVID-19? Or do you find yourself wondering how to do business, with all your customers and staff working from home?

You’re not alone.

And that’s why now might be a good time to learn some new skills - and form different habits.

The IAMCP U.K. Chapter took the lead on just such an initiative and recently hosted a webinar on Social Selling, featuring the next era of innovation sales: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, presented by Matthew Quinlan, Senior Account Executive, LinkedIn.

Why? Because people buy from people. And in periods of isolation, social media can help us maintain, and even increase, our connectivity with others. It’s time to get social – virtually, of course!

There are still a lot of myths surrounding social media as a sales tool, but it is highly effective and helps people to connect with others by leveraging their own connections to grow their network and provide more customers with unique solutions.

5 Social Selling Myths - Busted

Myths can be barriers to success, so let’s break them down and open the sales floodgates.


Myth #1: It’s the responsibility of marketing

But anyone can do it! And it’s easy. Watch the webinar to find out just how easily you can make social selling a part of your daily work schedule – in as little as 20 minutes a day.

Myth #2: Social media doesn’t drive the pipeline

But connectivity DOES! Making more connections using your own network of contacts will help you increase your reach to people who genuinely want (or need) to hear from you.

Myth #3: You can’t track it

Oh, but you can. During the webinar, Rebecca Little cited a number of sources that you can use to gauge your level of social impact, one being Social Selling Index (SSI) from LinkedIn, which measures how effectively you are establishing your brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights and building relationships – and it’s updated daily.

Myth #4: It’s just online advertising

No, it’s much more personal than that. 90% of decision-makers say that they never respond to cold outreach. But when a personal contact introduces you to one of their connections, the response rate to your outreach averages 50%.

Myth #5: It’s only for millennials

Okay, we’ve probably all asked our son, daughter, niece or nephew for a bit of help when navigating new online platforms. But in reality, 66% of LinkedIn users are 30+, and 33% of us are over 50. And with 675 million members worldwide, your target group is there for mining.

“The key to social selling is to post relevant content often, follow others and share their content - and don’t forget to check for new opportunities daily.” – Matthew Quinlan

How Social Selling Works

In a platform such as LinkedIn, we each have our personal network of business contacts. LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps you to leverage those contacts to expand your network even further by:

  • Expanding your relationships
  • Acquiring new business
  • Maximizing your sales productivity

Sales Navigator’s filters provide much greater search flexibility than LinkedIn alone.

  • Updates information based on the type of business that you want to target
  • Allows you to follow people with whom you are not connected, based on the theme of their posts
  • Provides different information for everyone on your team, based on their filter criteria
  • Enables searching by lead or by account
  • Provides a warmer introduction opportunity

Fact: 90% of top sales people use social media as part of their sales strategy and 84% of C-level and VP-level executives use it for purchasing.

Ready to take the next step in growing your business? Watch the video – and let’s get social.


Rebecca Little is an IAMCP UK Microsoft Alliance Chair and a Director at ResourceiT, a technology channel marketing agency that has delivered thousands of projects to clients since 2003.


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IWD celebrations worldwide: Canada, Sweden, Germany, India

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 27, 2020

Events and conferences around the globe, attended by the members of IAMCP and The WIT Network


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“If we want to build a company that we can look back and be proud of, we have to be bold about our gender equality goals.” Said Paul Cosgrave of New Signature at the International Women’s day conference in Toronto, held on March 5th and organized by The WIT Network.


International Women’s Day, traditionally celebrated on March 8th, had many events and conferences around the globe attended by the members of IAMCP and The WIT Network. Let us take you on a journey across three continents: from Toronto, North America, across European cities of Oslo and Munich, to Asia and Coimbatore in India.




With over 400 attendees, 23 speakers, and an agenda packed with empowering and inspiring messages, The WIT Network’s International Women’s Day conference in Toronto was an event you didn’t want to miss. However, many that wanted to come had to miss the in-person event, because the tickets were sold out already a few weeks before the conference. Luckily, everything was live streamed – thanks to the sponsorship of a Digital Storytelling agency Mercer-MacKay Solutions – so, in reality, much more women and men were able to soak up the sessions of the fantastic keynote speaker line-up.


A person standing in front of a television Description automatically generatedTwo “cornerstones” of The WIT Network: Christine Bongard and Corinne Sharp kicked off the event. Energetic and inspiring figures such as Barbara Hardy from the US, whose work focuses on leadership, diversity, and inclusion, or Kate Wood from UK, who is passionate about engaging employees, both lit the audience. Sarah Haggard of Tribute presented a fascinating app for mentoring – a crucial discipline in generating new leaders, while Nicole Mumford, a CEO of AirGate and a mother of an autistic boy, spoke about neurodiversity and inclusion. There were many other speakers that shared their career paths, lessons learned, ideas and thoughts about gender equality, and inspiring leadership tactics. And while all of them won the hearts of the audience in different ways, attendees were blown away by young women in technology. A social entrepreneur Aisha Addo is making a difference through a number of impressive initiatives for women, and a teen prodigy Ananya Chadha, left everybody in awe while talking about brain-controlled prosthetics, remote control cars, and robots controlled by brain signals.


IAMCP was also attending the Toronto conference, through its Canadian and US representatives: John Zarei, Titu Sarder, and Jeffery Goldstein, as well as the content team from our International MarComm Committee.




On the same day, March 5th, only across “the pond”, another event was celebrating equality. SHE Conference 2020 in Oslo, Sweden, is Europe’s largest gender diversity conference and the agenda included many valuable sessions, panels and discussion, covering topics such as the global aspects of diversity and gender equality, diversity and inclusion as the future of business, and the power of the individual. IAMCP’s representation was also present at the event with a booth that was visited by many among the total of +2400 conference attendees.



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“The SHE Conference was a great place to brand the IAMCP. The conference itself had an impressive line-up of inspiring speakers and was absolutely “The place” to promote different D&I initiatives.” Said Susann Hauglie, Vice President and Treasurer at IAMCP Norway.




In Munich, The WIT Network joined forces with Microsoft Germany and organized a value-packed event with inspiring speakers in a wide range of backgrounds: from young entrepreneurs, to top managers and university professors. They shared their experiences and views on diversity, women, career paths and inclusion, while interesting workshops provided attendees with practical knowledge.


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Because the IWD 2020 campaign theme was drawn from a notion of 'Collective Individualism', Munich conference agenda had a lot of discussions about every one of us being parts of a whole and how our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on society.


“Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world. And this community we built is phenomenal! The energy in the room, the emotion throughout the day... I am touched and grateful!” Said Franziska Schaadt from the conference’s organization committee the day after the event.




Last, but not least, the celebration of the International Women’s Day in Coimbatore in South East India was not another conference. It was a very special celebration of women’s rights and equality within one company – Quadrasystems, a Microsoft partner and an IAMCP member – that turned well-known messages about “more female leaders” into action.


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“We believe in walking the talk. It was not just about empowering and inspiring words; we promoted two women to senior leadership positions, as members of an elite group who influence decision making and strategy at Quadra. We also inducted a new batch of women hires from leading campuses and laid the foundation for even more women leaders to emerge. We made sure we don’t just “say it”; we “do it”. To quote Cindy Gallop, words like 'hire', 'promote', 'pay', 'raise', 'bonus', 'invest in' and 'lead' matter much more than 'empower' and 'celebrate'.” Said Quadra’s Co-founder and Executive Director, and IAMCP International’s MarComm Committee Chair, Prashanth Subramanian.

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IAMCP and the global COVID-19 crisis

Posted By Jon Rivers, Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Keeping the IAMCP community together in uncertain times and moving activities online


By Aileen Provan & Iva Vlasimsky


With the coronavirus spreading across the globe at wildfire speed, the world has become one big quarantine zone. The virus outbreak is now present in every corner of the globe, causing many health and economic problems and limitations. Our community has chapters in over 40 countries worldwide and, unfortunately, none of us will be spared of the pandemic and its impacts.

“We recognize the risks and concerns posed by the COVID-19 virus and want to make sure we have a unified plan for keeping our members safe, while allowing them to stay engaged in IAMCP activities and P2P opportunities,” said IAMCP International President, Sergio Baptista.

Just as we are all advised to work from home by our governments and the World Health Organization, IAMCP will move all its activities online until the current situation improves.

While this change may be new for many organisations and businesses that need some time to adapt, we at the IAMCP have a slight advantage. Our IT sector is already well-versed in communication technologies and, therefore, prepared for remote working. Staying in touch with your teams and groups of interest, such as this association, conducting webinars and other presentations in the virtual space is something we all know well.

That’s why we are certain that our community moved online will successfully maintain its mission - to ensure a friendly environment for Microsoft partners who want to learn from each other, develop partnerships that generate new values, and grow together.

We are still moving forward with virtual guests and presentations at chapters all over the world. Let’s all work together to come up with creative solutions to keep our community active and vibrant during these trying times,” said Baptista.

Virtual community

Here is some advice on how to maintain your IAMCP activities:

  • Virtual chapter meetings - we highly recommend that all chapters worldwide move their monthly chapter meetings and other gatherings to a virtual format utilizing Microsoft Teams.
  •  Use the IAMCP calendar - we encourage you to use and bookmark the IAMCP events calendar because, as IAMCP members, you will have the opportunity to join other virtual chapter meetings. All IAMCP meetings will continue to be posted to the calendar as usual.
  • Join the US virtual chapter - as many of you know, we have a virtual chapter based in the U.S. that you and your members are always welcome to join for meetings. Find the link here.  

We are honored to have Gavriella Schuster as a guest in our next virtual chapter meeting scheduled for April 7th, 12- 2 PM Pacific time. She will reflect on the current situation and share early thoughts on FY2021. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity; register here so you don’t miss it!


Additional message from our Americas leaders

In keeping with guidelines from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), we are aligning our protocols with these key CDC prevention strategies:

  •  Plan ways to limit face-to-face contact between people at your organisation. Several ways to do this include offering workers the option to telework, replacing in-person meetings in the workplace with video or telephone conferences, and postponing non-essential meetings and travel.
  •  Review your process for planning events, programs, and services. Identify actions to take if you need to postpone or cancel events, programs, and services temporarily. Consider limiting access to your organisation from non-essential visitors.
  •  Plan ways to continue essential services if on-site operations are scaled back temporarily. Provide web- and mobile-based communications and services, if possible. Increase the use of email, conference calls, video conferencing, and web-based seminars.

Our members’ business advice

Because IAMCP is a community of Microsoft partners that help each other and exchange best-practices and ideas, our friends from Quadrasystems.net, India are sharing several useful tips for overcoming the upcoming challenges, based on their experience:

  •  The unique aspect of this crisis is the fact that only a collective effort can yield results. At Quadra, we realize that we need to not just support our families and businesses, but also take care of our communities and the society around us. No one is safe until everyone is safe.
  • We will undoubtedly feel the financial impact of these troubled times. Hence it is important to monitor cash flow and be prudent when it comes to expenditure and new investments, especially those with long ROI cycles.  Make sure that you have reserves to tide over the situation – and it is very fluid at the moment.
  • It is essential to evolve a remote working strategy. We have always had this in place at Quadra, and we even have a few senior employees who have been remote working for several years. Being in the technology industry, this may come easily to us, but the crucial aspect is to develop a system and process to manage and execute work remotely. This may be more difficult than just setting up a technology solution.
  • We need to evolve a business continuity strategy – how can we continue to keep delivering services to our customers – who depend on us to manage their technology infrastructure, even while we keep our employees safe.
  • If working from home is not an option, isolate your teams and senior leaders so that you can contain any possible impact. This is something we have already put in place at Quadra.
  • Devise means to stay connected even when working remotely – it could be as simple as video calls. Make sure that, as leaders, your presence is actively felt in every sphere. Your team needs this guidance more now than at any other time ever.
  • Customers will also empathise and be flexible – so it’s a great time to explore new ways of meeting them, such as over video calls.
  • Make sure that your financial systems run well, and payment cycles are monitored. We have always been disciplined about this in Quadra, but now we need to be even more well-planned.

Stay safe

As many of you are already practicing remote working, we compiled a short list of useful resources on how to make the most of it and how to overcome the typical challenges of working from home:

“We will continue to monitor the global situation and update you as needed. In the meantime, if you have any concerns, questions or need further assistance, reach out to us. And of course, stay safe,” said Baptista.

Take care of yourself and others, be responsible, and stay at home. The new global threat will have many consequences on our private and professional lives, on our businesses, families, and communities. However, if we stay responsible and kind, if we help each other and stay connected, we will overcome this and recover faster.

After all, that is something that every Microsoft partner and IAMCP member knows very well - that we are better and stronger together.   

Tags:  IAMCP  Microsoft  Microsoft Partner 

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