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Top tags: D&I  Diversity  IAMCP 25th Anniversary  Inclusion  Microsoft Inspire  MIST 


Posted By Administration, Monday, April 29, 2019


Following the exciting announcement of the official alliance between the IAMCP and The WIT Network, we are delighted to share our news and activities with IAMCP members and cannot wait to see the results of joining our two great communities even closer together.

You won’t be surprised to hear that the IAMCP, The WIT Network and Microsoft are all working hard to drive the D & I agenda. But did you know that, between now and the end of June 2019, you can get a reciprocal 25% off individual membership from either organisation – The WIT Network and the IAMCP? This applies if you are a member of one or the other. On July 1st, the discount drops to 10%, so take advantage of this offer NOW, before it goes away! Just email or to find out more.

International Women’s Day Conference

The Inaugural International Women's Day Leadership Conference, held on March 8th in Kansas City, was a day filled with inspiration, strength, practical takeaways, good food, new friends, laughter, a few tears, and so many stories. Kicked off by The WIT Network President Christine Bongard, the keynote was given by Barbara Hardy, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at NetApp, who asked each participant to unlock their untapped brilliance, and know it’s okay to do so, because we were “born for this.” Barb Was joined by many fantastic speakers including Kati Quigley from Microsoft, Kelli Kirwin, Director WW Software Sales at Cisco, Coco Brown, C-Level Advisor, Founder and CEO of The Athena Alliance, and Andrea Conner, President of ATHENA International. 

What was instantaneous? The connections and support that came together in the same place at the same time. Lisa MacKenzie, Director of our new partner, Women of The Channel, was so very right: together we shine brighter!


Webinar in the “Be Your Best” Series – Cracking the C-Suite Code with Cassandra Frangos

On our April 18 webinar, Cassandra Frangos, Author of Crack the C-Suite Code, and Consultant at Spencer-Stuart, along with Julie Simpson, CEO of ResourceiT Consulting, Global VP of the WIT Network and President of IAMCP UK discussed the nitty-gritty details of how to reach the top and stay there! Cassandra shared her insights, what prompted her to write her incredible book and opened up to answer burning questions such as:

  • How are boards of large companies addressing their desire to change – are we making any progress?
  • How can women working in organisations communicate better to get businesses to change?

In the Spotlight

  • The WIT Network, Germany:  To celebrate International Women’s Day, approximately 200 attendees (including ten supportive men) came together at the #BreakingBarriers Brunch in Germany. In addition, The WIT Network is building on the German community’s great success and next year The WIT Network Annual Women’s Day Leadership Conference will be held in Munich, Germany! Save your frequent flyer miles because you aren’t going to want to miss this!
  • The WIT Network, South Africa:  This new and vibrant community has a great idea they want to share.  They've asked women to bring their pre-loved bags to events and meetings so they can be passed on to others who maybe in desperate need. Other communities are jumping on the ‘bag wagon’ and pursuing this idea as another way to give back.
  • The WIT Network (and Wine), Long Island, USA: The WIT Network Long Island had its inaugural monthly Wednesday WIT & WINE Happy Hour event on February 20th, 2019 at The Melting Pot in Farmingdale, NY. Despite a snowstorm, there was still a great turnout! Sponsored by CompTIA, the community also had great local support from several male allies and supporters of The WIT Network from IT and Cybersecurity company, CCSI. Women, at various stages of their careers, attended leading to many insightful discussions.

Calling all women working in the IT industry, who are passionate about gender diversity! If you’d like to know more about The WIT Network, or connect with your local community, please contact us by emailing

We’d love to hear from you!



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Posted By Administration, Monday, April 29, 2019

“Our chapters are sharing the D & I message in their meetings. New Jersey and Boston Chapters in IAMCP US, and the Pune Chapter in India, have taken the lead, and other chapters are following suit. We are confident this will lead to many thought-provoking discussions on this topic amongst our members and will help create awareness,” said the new D & I Chair, Sarika Malhotra.

D & I is back with a lot of exciting news and a great team in place, with the intention to showcase the best business practices IAMCP has to offer, in terms of accepting differences, overcoming bias, and promoting participation.

Here’s the new D&I team:

  • Frank Valdivieso - IAMCP US, representing the Americas region
  • Bo Bauhn – IAMCP Sweden, representing the EMEA region
  • Koushik Ramani – IAMCP India, representing the APAC region
  • John Halsell – IAMCP US, representing the Americas region
  • Sarika Malhotra – IAMCP India, Chairperson

D & I Advisory Board

We are inviting D & I experts from within the Microsoft partner ecosystem to join our advisory board. The goals of the advisory board are to advise the IAMCP on putting in place a framework to:

  • Meet its goals of enhancing D & I across its member organizations;
  • Improve Diversity within its leadership teams; and,
  • Message D & I in the right manner and spirit to its members.

Please contact us at


D & I Implementation Stories

Our goal is to showcase D & I stories from across our member organizations. If you have implemented D & I internally, please share your story. If you have other success stories of individuals who have overcome bias, please share these with us, too. You can email us at


D & I Trainings and Webinars

D & I is pleased to bring a Microsoft-developed training program on ‘Unconscious Bias’ to the IAMCP. This course will help deepen our understanding of unconscious biases, how they influence behaviour, and how they impact us all. We will also learn numerous actions we can take to help counter bias in our work environment. We are in the process of getting the training program made available through ‘IAMCP University’ (yes, IAMCP now has its very own learning channel!), the brainchild of the MIST Committee. Very shortly, we shall share the details on how you can access the training and urge all members to participate.

Also, on the anvil is a webinar which is part of the ‘Ask IAMCP’ series. We have an exciting speaker lineup, so stand by for details on this event.


The New Jersey Chapter leads with D & I

The IAMCP New Jersey chapter welcomed their March keynote speaker from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Jackie Lue Raia, Director of Corporate Outreach and Training. Jackie is a dynamic speaker who reminded us that Diversity and Inclusion is a learned skill with many societal biases that need to be overcome. Group participants shared their experiences and the mistakes they made and how learning from these mistakes made them better people. Jackie made it clear that people make mistakes and should be comfortable exploring their biases with those whom they have hurt, with a view to changing future behavior. 

The key topic points from this session were:

  • The respective definitions of DIVERSITY and INCLUSION;
  • The inner-circle and the outer circle of DIVERSITY and INCLUSION;
  • How the movement of DIVERSITY and INCLUSION is everyone’s responsibility;
  • That Diversity is being invited to the party and Inclusion is being asked to dance; and,
  • Becoming aware of the biases we must deal with in order to move forward with D & I.

Participants also played a game using the Diversity Ball, during which they answered difficult, random questions related to biases they may not know they had and/or discrimination they may have faced.


IAMCP and The WIT Network Join Forces

In case you missed this news, check out the blog by Gail Mercer-MacKay, a well-known face in the IAMCP community.

The IAMCP and The WIT Network will continue to work at local levels to run joint in-person events and offer membership discounts. A great example is the Mumbai, India chapter, where all IAMCP events also have a correlating WIT session.

Tags:  D&I  Diversity  Inclusion 

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Posted By Administration, Monday, April 29, 2019

The vision for the MIST committee is to focus on proactive communication and strategic planning with Microsoft. Our main goal is to bring value to our members and, in turn, to our partner, Microsoft.


To accomplish these goals, MIST is focused on several key initiatives this year:

  •  To bring value to and empower our members through
    •  Education
      •  Competency Training
      •  Business training
      •  Professional skills training
      •  Sponsor product and solutions training
    •  Mentoring
      •  Online mentoring circles
      •  Updated release of the Partner Maturity Model
  •  To partner more effectively with Microsoft
    •  “Get caught doing good things”
      •  Track and report on
        •  Microsoft business IAMCP drives globally through better partnering
        •  How IAMCP is giving back in communities around the world
        •  How IAMCP is advocating for critical initiatives like
          •  Diversity and inclusion
          •  STEM education
      •  Share the IAMCP story with all Microsoft employees and partners
    •  Drive strategic initiatives together with Microsoft
      •  Cloud Adoption
      •  Digital Transformation
      •  AI
    •  Facilitate consistent, clear communication with Microsoft



 Meet the MIST Team


Neeraj Gargi – APAC Region – IAMCP India


Neeraj considers himself a ‘Born in IAMCP’ Microsoft partner. He started his journey with the IAMCP India West chapter in 2016. According to Neeraj, the IAMCP community played an important role in getting him acquainted with the Microsoft ecosystem. In 2017, he joined the India West chapter board as joint secretary. In 2018, the India board nominated Neeraj to be the International Board member representing the APAC region. Since joining the IAMCP International board, Neeraj has been selected to lead the IAMCP International Membership committee.


Neeraj is the CTO & Director of Intelegain Technologies. Intelegain is a Microsoft Certified global company with expertise in Application development, Mobility, Azure and Dynamics applications.



Cheryl Salazar – Americas Region – IAMCP US

Cheryl Salazar has worked in the technology channel for 30 years, in both Africa and the U.S. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1998, she joined Microsoft in Redmond and worked in various partner-facing roles including the Direct Access team, BCentral, partner and field marketing with Great Plains, Navision, Axapta and CRM v1, SMS&P and the U.S. Public Sector. She left Microsoft in 2010 to join The Partner Marketing Group, a technology marketing firm based in U.S., as a consultant. In 2018, she acquired the company with her business partner, Michelle Glennie. She is currently serving as Secretary for the US Virtual Chapter.

The team at The Partner Marketing Group are all technology channel veterans and specialize in building business and marketing strategies for technology companies worldwide. Working exclusively for the technology channel (VARs, MSPs, ISVs and Publishers), they assist with developing marketing and messaging that reflects each company’s unique IP and focus, helping them grow their businesses and their channels in their desired markets.


Michiel van Vliet – EMEA Region – IAMCP Spain

Michiel van Vliet has worked in the Microsoft ecosystem for 25 years. His first real direct experience with Microsoft goes back to running support for W95. He then joined Unisys where he first ran the EMEA Microsoft Practice, then the global Microsoft practice. Following that, he joined Microsoft Spain to run the services division and from 2010 to 2015 he ran the EMEA enterprise partner team for Microsoft. In 2015 he joined a Microsoft partner as CEO and in three years’ time the company more than doubled revenue and headcount and made finalist partner of the year in Spain. Since January 2019 Michiel has been the COO of Tokiota, one of Microsoft´s top partners in Spain. Michiel is the author of “Refresh the Road Ahead”, a book on Microsoft and how to engage with Microsoft, for which he interviewed 40 award-winning Microsoft partners in 20 countries, published in August 2018.

An IAMCP veteran, Michiel is currently the President of IAMCP Spain and represents Spain on the International board. His expertise, enthusiasm and global connections are a welcome addition to the IAMCP MIST Committee.


John Zarei – Americas Region – IAMCP Canada

John is co-founder of Point Alliance and today serves as the Chief Executive Officer. Directing the activities of the Cloud and Web services practice, John also plays an integral role in Point Alliance's overall business development and strategic planning. John has also been the lead concept designer of Point Alliance’s mobilextension SAAS offering and the Launch Pad for Web content management product.

John is a 25-year veteran of the IT industry, having worked with clients in a wide variety of sectors. He has a very hands-on approach to managing client engagements and truly believes in the value of customer service.

John has been deeply involved in Point Alliance’s Microsoft relationship ever since the company became a Microsoft Partner, shortly after its inception in 2004. He is currently the President of IAMCP Canada and represents Canada and the Americas Region on the International Board.


Randy Steinle – MIST Chair – IAMCP US

Based in Austin, TX, Randy has been an IAMCP member for over 16 years.  He served as President of the IAMCP Austin Chapter, and is currently the chapter Treasurer and Advocacy chair.  Randy has served as Secretary, Vice President and President of the US board and is currently the Past President for the US board and Chair of the MIST Committee on the International Board.

In addition to his IAMCP roles, Randy serves on the Advisory Task Force for Voices for Innovation (VFI) - a Microsoft supported community of technology professionals and everyday Americans who work together to shape public policies for our 21st century digital economy and society. Steinle was also selected as the “2018 Man of WIT” by the IAMCP Women in Technology members and currently serves on the board of The WIT Network - a community of professionals across the world who believe in making it easier for women to imagine, begin, and develop a career in IT.

Randy is the Vice President of Onsupport Corporation, a 26-year old managed services practice and Microsoft Silver partner. He’s also the Co-Founder of Cyber Trust Alliance, a risk management and compliance business focused on the healthcare industry.

Tags:  MIST 

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Posted By Administration, Monday, April 29, 2019

The International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) is excited to be Partnering with Microsoft to participate in this year's Inspire Partner Conference. Returning to Las Vegas and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for 2019, the Conference kicks off Sunday, July 14th, with the Welcome Reception in The Expo.


“Immediately following the Welcome Reception, the IAMCP will be hosting our annual party, and for 2019 we'll be celebrating a milestone, our 25th Anniversary,” IAMCP’s Inspire committee chair Debra Pfundstein announced.


New this year, Microsoft is combining their two biggest conferences into one huge learning and networking opportunity: Ready, Microsoft's Global Sales Conference and Inspire, Microsoft's Global Partner Conference. Bringing together over 40,000 attendees to these joint conferences, Microsoft is also expanding the size of The Expo and extending the conference by a full day. This year, the Expo will almost double in size and be open all day on Thursday, July 18th, ending after the Happy Hour at 6 p.m. This provides a full additional day of networking for the attendees. 


As in previous years’ Inspire Partner Conference, the IAMCP welcomes volunteers to help across a variety of opportunities. From assisting staff at the IAMCP Booth in the Commons Expo or at our 25th Anniversary Party, to participating as a member of our IAMCP Social Squad to amplify our message, volunteers will be needed. Please contact for additional information.


The IAMCP also has high exposure Partner Sponsorship Opportunities available for Inspire 2019. There are programs that will help from support of the 25th Anniversary Party celebration, to "Powering our Booth", to support of our philanthropic activities for the Rudy Rodriquez Scholarship Fund. We have opportunities available for all so please contact us @ for the conference sponsorship guide.


Have you met Petey, the IAMCP Partner-to-Partner Gnome?  He will be making appearances throughout the world, helping us celebrate our 25th Anniversary leading up to his appearance at Inspire. He may even make a few side trips to Vegas to ensure all our plans are in place. Tweet to @IAMCPGnome if you'd like Petey to visit your chapter and help celebrate our anniversary!


Coming soon you’ll see announcements about our annual P2P Awards Program and our Prometheus Awards Program which honors Microsoft reps who support our communities. More details will be provided about our 25th Anniversary Celebration and, for the first time in a while, there will be an opportunity for our members to present in the IAMCP Booth mini-theatre, to help promote maturity and partnership in the IAMCP.  


We do hope you'll be able to join us in Las Vegas this July, but if you can't, please consider hosting an Inspire Viewing Party at your local IAMCP Chapter office. Microsoft simulcasts the CoreNotes on the Inspire website in real time and it's an incredible opportunity to participate in this global community in a local way.


Back to the IAMCP 25th Anniversary - that's 25 Years of Partnership to celebrate and we want everyone to join us!  If you have a story to tell about celebrating partnerships, have pictures from your chapter meetings, want to record a video wishing the IAMCP a Happy 25th Anniversary, or want to write a poem or take a chapter picture in front of a local landmark, DO IT!!  Share those details with us at We'll be glad to share them with the world!



Make connections and get insider info that propels your business

Wherever you are in your journey as a partner, the relationships and knowledge you’ll acquire at Microsoft Inspire will make attendance a valuable investment in your future. Not only will you interact with other successful partners, industry leaders, and influential Microsoft experts, you’ll also attend product demonstrations and immersive training sessions, gaining critical insights you can use to your advantage in the fiscal year ahead.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this year’s community. Join thousands of partners from over 130 countries to find inspiration from shared experiences and unite with your peers as a powerful catalyst for business growth.

Register here for Microsoft Inspire!

Tags:  Microsoft Inspire 

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PLAY THE GIVERS’ GAME AND GIVE THE OPPORTUNITY: A chat with Per Werngren, previous chairman of IAMCP International

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 29, 2019

By Aileen Provan

As the IAMCP celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, we were fortunate to be able to sit down with our former Chairman, Per Werngren, to reflect on the evolution of our organization and hear about some of his memories over the years.

Q: Originally formed in 1994 as the Association of Microsoft Solution Providers (AMSP), the IAMCP, as it’s now known, has over 100 chapters, is operating in 40 countries, and has attracted over 2,000 members. Impressive stats! What was your role when you became involved and how did it change as the organization, and its needs, grew?

- I joined IAMCP through the Swedish chapter in the early 2000s and at the 2002 MS Fusion Conference (now Inspire), I was invited to join the international board meeting; this was my first encounter with the larger organization. In 2003, I was elected worldwide president and there was an important meeting which resulted in a plan to make the organization (only present in the U.S., Canada, Italy and Sweden) worldwide. My mandate was growth and, under my leadership, we expanded to include chapters in 44 countries, meeting people around the world. At the same time, I was running a successful business in Europe and it was extremely important to ensure that no favours were given to either my company, or my country. The IAMCP represented all 44 countries.

From there, we branched out to include Europe and started in Asia Pacific.

In the end, I stepped down in 2016 to allow fresh leadership and new ideas to take the stage, and in the last year, we have started a diversity program to encourage more female leaders within the IAMCP, along with people of varying lifestyles and backgrounds.

Q: How did the Microsoft ecosystem look to the IT industry at that time and what was the basis upon which the IAMCP was formed?

- The IAMCP started as a lobby group, helping Microsoft and its partners tell a story to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), which saw the organization as an evil empire that wanted to control the world and wanted to divide it into portions. The organization spoke about the impact that a corporate split would have and, today, Microsoft is seen as a good corporate citizen. That said, after the battle was won, the IAMCP became less relevant and was somewhat forgotten.

However, in the late 1990s, new energy was injected in the U.S. and Canada; the IAMCP was growing with new chapters, but it was still a North American entity. With newly injected talent, such as Bob Marsh of MS, the IAMCP was able to start garnering the attention of Microsoft.

Q: You travelled to many different countries in your role of opening new chapters. With this new concept of membership in a collective body, how were you generally received at that time?

- In the smaller countries, we were told that our services were not required, because they believed that everyone knew one another. But when we started to talk about growing international business, we got their attention. Also, the local Microsoft office in each country would give me a speaking slot where I could sing my songs and gradually people started to understand the opportunities.

In Europe and Latin America, we were initially perceived as being in opposition to Microsoft, so our message had to convey that it was good business in the Microsoft ecosystem to be part of the IAMCP.

Q: What do you think was the most important thing prospective members needed to hear in order to come onboard?

- We were able to provide an atmosphere where competitors could meet and discover how to do business together, through each other’s area of expertise; we fostered building trust between MS partners, helping them to understand that they had to see it to believe it!

Q: And has that changed today, or do you think the message – to address the pain point – is still the same?

- The message remains the same, but it’s only recently that it has become fashionable to be specialized. With companies focusing on specialized skills, it’s now easier to communicate within the IAMCP, as everyone is talking the same language. Specialization drives the need for partnering.

Q: We understand that, initially, Microsoft didn’t pay much attention to the IAMCP, yet now we see integration between both organizations and, more recently, with WIT (Women in Technology). What do you believe drove such change?

- I’m pleased to see WIT growing and proud that it was created within the IAMCP. Microsoft has always embraced diversity, but it has been hard for women in tech to get access to funding. Microsoft’s Allison Watson was very important to the IAMCP and helped grow the ecosystem.

Q: On the IAMCP website WIT page, there’s a wonderful quote from you about how WIT is driving diversity at all levels. It says: "You make IAMCP stronger. Because of what you do, we reach new groups and female leaders who are under-represented in our industry. We need your help to drive more diversity at all levels."

What are your thoughts on the importance of this in both the future of the IAMCP, and in encouraging young women to pursue a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and career?

- Society has changed and customers have changed. Women are more visible as leaders on the customer side; as a vendor, you need to mirror your customer landscape, so it’s important for vendors to be as diverse as their audience.

Plus, why say no to talent? Open up to recruiting those who are different, brighter and able to contribute in another way. We see women in marketing, rather than tech positions and by promoting STEM, we will have more women in the tech area. But it’s not all about tech, there are other ways to be a leader in this industry. I’m not tech, but I have been running tech companies since the 1990s – it’s not about technology; it’s about leadership!

Q: In your initial email response to me, you mentioned your passion for the IAMCP and I can really feel it – it’s your baby, and over your years of involvement, you must have seen a great deal of change as the organization evolved. What are the key highlights that stand out in your memory over this period?

  • LATAM – brought new people to the international board and introduced new dynamics;
  • IDC reports, which validated our worth as an independent party;
  • First time on the big stage for me and for IAMCP – recognition for the organization as a whole;
  • Speaking at the MS partner conference in India – I truly felt the opportunity for starting chapters in the largest democracy in the world; and
  • Speaking in Russia through a translator – a very different experience, which all worked out perfectly!

Q: And this brings me back to the stories about opening the various chapters around the world. Please tell me more about those events!

 - When we met with the Bulgarians, a two-day meeting started with lunch and vodka – this was hard for me to do and I had to change and simplify my speech for the audience, but in the end, they accepted my proposal. On the 3rd day we came back to Sofia and I was the guest of honour, invited by the local politicians to cut the ribbon at the opening of a sports venue.”

Q: Is there another particularly memorable scenario you can share?

- Sure. I was invited to Switzerland and was so late! I missed my flight, but MS picked me up; they joined for dessert and then they started bumping the table with their fists and I thought they wanted me to leave – it turned out that this is a cultural show of appreciation!

Q: Where do you think IAMCP will go from here?

- It’s time to celebrate the creation of something really successful and proven over long-time effort. Members have built successful businesses, in part due to their association with the IAMCP. It’s important to look ahead to the future, and it’s also important to celebrate where we’ve been and what we’ve done.

Also, facilitating the growth of partners in P2P, and in the promotion of female leaders within our chapters around the globe, will help the organization to expand. Through the D & I Program, we’re learning to mirror the world and that of our customers.

Q: Per, in closing, what is the single, most important message you’d like to deliver to current IAMCP members and those who might be considering membership?

- My old punchline: if you really spend time with IAMCP and go to meetings, it’s impossible for you NOT to get great monetary benefits from association with the organization. Best advice: give another partner an opportunity – play the givers’ game and don’t ask for opportunity; give the opportunity!

Many Members have built successful businesses, in part due to their association with the IAMCP. It’s important to look ahead to the future, and it’s also important to celebrate where we’ve been and what we’ve done. For me, it’s like seeing my children grow up!

We are grateful to Per for sharing his memories from the past and his perspective on the future of the IAMCP; thank you Per!

Tags:  IAMCP 25th Anniversary 

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