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IAMCP’s Gandalf and Forefather: We’ve Come a Long Way!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019


The IAMCP celebrates its 25th Anniversary and takes a walk down memory lane with founding father, Bob Marsh


Two people looking at the camera Description automatically generatedWhether you’ve been an IAMCP member for the long-haul, or are a recent addition to the IAMCP family, you know that you’re part of a powerful organization that is present in more than 40 countries and gives you access to over 2000 Microsoft partners around the globe, with whom you can collaborate to serve your customers and grow your business.

But it wasn’t always like that. From being barely-known to becoming a major Microsoft ally, the IAMCP has earned its stripes, mostly through the dedication of its founders to the partnership vision they created.

We caught up with one of our greatest supporters and forefathers, Bob Marsh, to hear his perspective on the early years.


A little background:

Once upon a time, Microsoft was just one of many technology providers and had enormous competition in the marketplace.

So, in 1994, when Sam Jadallah, Microsoft Corporate Vice President from 1987 and 1999, wanted to impose certification on partners to allow them to use the Microsoft name, there was significant push-back. After all, who was Microsoft? Move forward 25 years, and Microsoft is a household name, with a roster of successful partners around the globe!


Bob Marsh helped make that happen.

Our beloved Bob Marsh fell into the IAMCP relationship quite by accident. Hired by Microsoft to get teams ready for product launches 6 – 9 months ahead of the official launch, so that partners were ready and informed about product capabilities, was Bob’s key role.


But, one pivotal afternoon in the early 2000s, Bob’s manager, Raul Bandeira, asked him to facilitate a dinner meeting with a group of IAMCP partners in Redmond, VA, because his colleague had a conflicting engagement.

And Bob just listened. He heard, and saw, the IAMCP vision, and asked to be assigned to manage the relationship from the Microsoft perspective.


Microsoft loves feedback. And Microsoft listened.

Under Bob’s leadership, the the IAMCP worldwide board came into Redmond on a quarterly basis, and Microsoft collaborated by bringing in the product team in to present forthcoming products.


This gave the board the feeling that they were part of an inner circle and could return to their respective countries and ready their local members in advance of any launch.


The Secret Society

A self-proclaimed “bad boy”, Bob acknowledged that all of this was done without any official authorization – Microsoft didn’t really believe in the IAMCP channel at that time.

This “underground network” gave the IAMCP members, worldwide, a leg-up and advance notice as to what would be happening in the channel in the coming year.

Some key accomplishments:

  • With a quiet nod from management, Bob initiated the “Registered Partner Program” which featured the key offering of a Microsoft Action Pack Subscription, where a Registered Partner could get around $30,000 worth of MS software licenses for internal use and customer demo use for just $195 per year, as a subscription. This was coupled with local quarterly briefings covering technical and marketing topics to help enable local partner success. These sessions were provided worldwide in 26 languages. Bob added the first Microsoft Hands-On Labs in 1999 to support the launch of Windows 2000 Server, replacing Windows NT Server.
  • Within a couple of years, the IAMCP had restructured to map Microsoft’s model, and had an international Board of Directors, Regional Boards, National Boards, and local chapters with Boards acting locally. This gave each level of Microsoft’s sales & marketing organization a peer-level with whom to partner within the IAMCP.
  • Then the impossible happened: the IAMCP leadership made it to the big stage at Microsoft’s Big Tent Event for partners, known over the years as Microsoft Fusion, Worldwide Partner Conference, and now, Inspire.

"It was truly inspiring to see Per Werngren, then IAMCP WW President, on the Big Stage. Within Microsoft, it was a serious milestone in your career to ever make it to the Big Stage. For me, it A close up of a person wearing glasses Description automatically generatedwas a real milestone to see an organization I had helped strategize and grow make it to the Big Stage.“ – Bob Marsh



Fun fact about Bob Marsh: Bob’s IAMCP name is Gandalf. Characterized in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it’s meaning is of Norse origin and implies “wand elf” or “wizard”, and Bob Marsh has certainly been a wizard for the IAMCP.


Thank you, Bob, for all your endeavors in helping the IAMCP become what it is today, and HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY!



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Have you seen Petey, the IAMCP Gnome?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Petey is packed and ready, passport in hand, and eager to travel the globe!

And he’s been busy; in just a few months, Petey has covered a lot of ground. Here’s a quick peek at his most recent travel destinations:

  • February – Boston, MA Chapter Meeting
  • April – Virtual Chapter Meeting
  • April – Las Vegas - to get a sneak peak of our 25th Anniversary Party Venue
  • May – EMEA AI Event – Madrid Spain
  • June – Long Island Chapter Meeting
  • June – New York City Chapter Meeting
  • June – Boston Chapter Meeting – 25th Anniversary Chapter Celebration and Boston Chapter D&I Launch

Plus, he traveled with Tyler Bowman from Velosio on a trip that started in Long Island, went to New York city and ended in Boston! He loves our sponsors too!

Where next? Well that’s where you come in. All you have to do is request a Chapter visit and Petey will be happy to oblige.

And, of course, he’ll be at Microsoft Inspire, as well as the SoCal 10th Anniversary Party in October!

Petey is a pretty fun guy to have around – and he can help you get your chapter featured in a forthcoming newsletter.

He’s willing to travel the globe, so invite him for a visit and get to know him better!

You can follow Petey on Twitter @IAMCPGnome. He has “likes” on Twitter from Tracey Pretorius, Katie Quigley, Toby Richards, and other MS staff, as well as interactions with IAMCP Members and chapters.


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From The WIT Network: in between MS cloud, new communities, events, and virtual mentor circles

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019


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Lots of news coming from the WIT Network! For one, three of its members have been selected for the Women in Cloud (WIC) Microsoft Cloud Accelerator 2.0 Cohort.

The Accelerator provides women-led cloud start-ups with access to Microsoft technology tools, mentorship from executives, networking opportunities and more, and only twelve companies were selected for this prestigious program.

Here are the three nominees from WIT and what they said about their companies:

Gail Mercer-Mackay, Mercer-Mackay Solutions (and Board Member of The WIT Network)

“The solution we are building is a marketing content and campaign management solution specifically for the technology industry (i.e. Microsoft partners).”

Sarah Haggard, Tribute (and Partner to The WIT Network)

“Tribute is a modern mentorship app for the workplace that connects employees through shared life experiences and stories.”

Madinah Ali, Safe PC Cloud (and The WIT Network Atlanta community lead)

“Safe PC Cloud's vision is to be the leading IT solution and Managed Service Provider (MSP) in the world when it comes to providing the ultimate customer experience.”

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New: The WIT Network Central Canada

On June 13th, with a skyline view from the Ernst & Young venue, The WIT Network Central Canada (GTA) kicked-off!

The Central Canada community co-chairs, Joanne Shields and Nympha Lee, held a pre-Raptors soirée Women in Tech of all Ages, at all Stages of Their Career.

The WIT Network COO Corinne Sharp and WIT Canada Country Lead, Lidia Feraco, introduced the evening’s inspirational speakers - Fawn Annan, Gail Mercer-MacKay and Stefania Villeneuve. 

With the event sponsor, Checkpoint, and over 200 members, The WIT Network Toronto community is off to a terrific start!

Learning together: The WIT Network Columbia & IAMCP Columbia

On May 28th, The WIT Network Columbia community was invited to an event with IAMCP Columbia at Visión Software. The training examined frequent errors made in business relationships and the importance of empowering women into more leadership roles.

"We are happy to contribute our thoughts on the transformation of companies to being more inclusive," says Claudia Gomez, The WIT Network Colombia community lead.

The WIT Network Virtual Mentor Circles

The WIT Network is busy with setting up virtual mentorship circles that will focus on topics supporting:

  • Development: Help women to develop and advance their careers in the industry.
  • Retention: Provide needed support to help women stay in the field when they are facing the difficult challenges inherent     in the industry.
  • Build: Help women in the network meet others, build business opportunities and connections and grow the ecosystem.

Visit the WIT Network’s website to learn more and either sign up to be a mentor or to be mentored.

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From Wheelchair To Walking… To Living His Dream

Posted By By Aileen Provan, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The remarkable story of a man’s recovery and the company who helped him get there.



If you’re a parent, you can probably relate to the chaos of life with a busy job, a commute and several young children, each requiring transportation to their various extra-curricular activities.

Add to that the challenge of being a part-time single parent, sharing custody with an ex-spouse. A hectic schedule, to say the least.

So, imagine yourself at the end of one such day, electing to take your children to a restaurant so that you can feed them more quickly, then having the unthinkable happen. A stroke.

That’s exactly what happened to young father, Francisco Gonzalez. During a restaurant dinner with his young children, he suddenly started to lose control of his right side and fell over in his chair, diners all around watching him and wondering what was happening.

Although he didn’t know it in that moment, Francisco was having a stroke that would prove to be debilitating - right in front of his children.

The beginning of a nightmare

That was just the start of Francisco’s nightmare. He recanted his experience in the hospital, aware of the emergency team working frenetically around him and thinking that his time was up.

“I told myself to just take a breath. And then another, and another. I kept going and today I’m still breathing!” said Francisco.

But, when he awakened in the hospital, Francisco had lost the use of his entire right side and had suffered damage to his speech, making communication almost impossible.

As a freelance programmer, Francisco’s future looked dim.

And things were about to get worse

The need to work to support his young children fueled Francisco’s fierce battle for recovery, living in a wheelchair and working diligently every day to recover mobility and speech, and enduring grueling physiotherapy treatments, with the hope of eventually returning to work.

And recover he did. If you were to talk to Francisco today, you wouldn’t have any idea that he’d had a stroke.

Feeling ready to enter the workforce again, Francisco started to contact recruiters for employment opportunities. And things seemed to be going well - until he mentioned his stroke. Imagine his humiliation, thinking that he had a chance at a job – a chance to support his family – only to receive no further communication or response to his follow-up efforts.

“I was afraid,” said Francisco. “I didn’t know if I would ever work again, or how I would support my children. Ever since I first touched a computer, I knew that I wanted to be a programmer. In just one year, with my divorce and then the stroke, I felt that I my life had been turned upside down; I had lost everything and I was losing hope.”

An angel in corporate clothing

It’s been said that angels appear in many forms. For Francisco, his appeared as a gift from his past.

In a spur of inspiration, he reached out to the company for which he had worked as a freelancer, Barcelona-based TOKIOTA, to discuss the possibility of a full-time role with the organization. Always pleased with the quality of his work, the principals agreed to talk to Francisco and considered a lighter role for him, such as testing. They tested him to ensure that he could achieve the required objectives – and his results were perfect. Francisco demonstrated that he still had excellent software development abilities and TOKIOTA welcomed him back in a full-time capacity.

“Paco, as he’s known to us at TOKIOTA, has been a colleague and friend for many years. We are a family at TOKIOTA, and we were all affected by what happened to him, so it wasn’t really a question of whether or not we should help, but how we could help him. Welcoming Paco back was a good decision for all of us, and we’re happy to have him as part of our team again. TOKIOTA didn’t have a particular diversity and inclusion policy before this situation occurred; it was just a part of how we operated naturally, which is a reflection of our inclusive culture.” - Toni Alarcón

Although Francisco has not recovered the use of his right hand, he can still code with his left, making it possible for him to continue the pursuit of his passion, utilize his skills, and make a decent living.

“I can’t believe what TOKIOTA has done for me. I am living my dream, doing what I love, and I can support my family again. Thank you, Toni Alarcón, Diego López-Pajares and my whole TOKIOTA family – you have made me whole again! And for anyone in a situation like mine, I have only one message: never, never give up. Never.  – Francisco Gonzalez

What does “Diversity and Inclusion” really mean?

“We are all different and, to us, that means opportunity. The chance to share and learn from different perspectives, to see things differently, and to grow together, makes us much more effective as a collective group. We can all benefit from embracing others, both in our personal and professional lives, and I encourage other companies facing situations such as this one to open their minds, eyes, and hearts to the scope of opportunity for all,” said Toni Alarcón.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Francisco’s inspiring story! How are you embracing diversity and inclusion in your organization? The IAMCP would love to share your story – you can submit your D & I experience to:


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10 Tips on How to Benefit From Social Media at Inspire 2019

Posted By By Jon Rivers, Tuesday, July 2, 2019


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You may or may not be a social media butterfly but, to many, networking at a conference where there are thousands of attendees can be overwhelming. Using social networks successfully during conferences like Microsoft Inspire can help you connect with other people. Here are 10 tips that will help you be successful with social media during Inspire.

1.     Build an online presence. While you’re posting during the conference, make sure you're including the hashtag #MSInspire, as this will allow you to enhance your online network

2.     Meet new people. Did you catch a tweet from a like-minded attendee? Then message them and plan to connect at one of the meeting places throughout the conference.

3.     Trade Contact Information. Instead of worrying about business cards, make sure to have the LinkedIn Mobile App installed so that you can take advantage of the “share contact” feature. To connect, tap on the three dots at the top of the screen to the right of the search entry, then either one of you can share your code, while the other does the scan function. Now, if there is a bigger group, you can use the “Find Nearby” option by clicking the “People” option at the bottom of the screen and then clicking the “Find Nearby” button which will then list everyone who is nearby. This option uses your device’s Bluetooth to help with the connection.

4.     Connect with speakers. Was there a speaker that you liked? Connect with them on social media, as that will allow you to set up a simple channel to communicate and listen to what they have to say.

5.     Keep learning and posting. If you don’t think your skills are up to par on social media, watch what others are doing - but don’t stop posting yourself. Remember to use the hashtag #MSInspire when posting.

6.     Different view. Hey, you can’t be everywhere, and even when you are, it’s hard to consume all the fantastic content that is being delivered. I find it fascinating to watch and listen to what others have to say through their social feeds. Personally, I like to utilize tools like Tweetdeck to set up channels for topics I want to listen to.

7.     Stay relevant. I know it might seem tough to post and learn at the same time, but I always find it a great way to help with my note-taking.

8.     Share information. Looking for the best place to eat in Las Vegas? Chances are, someone has already been there and has tweeted about it.

9.     Stand out from the crowd. As Inspire is combined with Microsoft Ready this year, an estimated 40,000 people are attending, so social media gives you quick access to the ones who are utilizing it, as well as the people who are not participating.

10.  Have fun. We are all utilizing social media in a business environment, but it doesn’t mean we can’t sprinkle a little fun and personality into our posts as well. So be sure to have some fun along the way.

Make sure to follow me @jon_rivers and the IAMCP during the conference as we will be sharing a lot of valuable information on our social channels.

Drop us a note and let us know how your social media experience went at the conference.


About the Author

Jon Rivers is an acclaimed expert within the Microsoft social community for his leadership in helping partners develop their social brands and strategies.

Jon is the president of Marketing Monarchs, which looks to overcome partners digital marketing challenges by leveraging the power of social platforms, maximizing their social footprint, and ultimately driving more leads.

Jon has been tapped as a speaker at many Microsoft-focused events and has been a Social Media Ambassador for conferences like Microsoft Inspire.

He also serves on various boards including the IAMCP; IAMCP US MarCom Chair, Tampa Chapter President, Directions NA Board of Advisors, CMA

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D&I: Unconscious Bias - how to recognize it and make changes to counter it – and a new Advisory Board

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A close up of a logo Description automatically generatedDid you know that we are all biased? Even when we think we’re being objective, we all have unconscious biases, which impact how we see and interact with others — it's our brains' way of dealing with an overload of information.

Brain researchers estimate the human mind takes in 11 million pieces of information per second through our senses, meaning that much of the information we process is unconscious.

That’s why D&I is pleased to bring a Microsoft developed training programme on ‘Unconscious Bias’ to IAMCP members. This course will help deepen our understanding of unconscious biases, how they influence behavior, and how they impact us all. We will also learn numerous actions we can take to help counter bias in our work environment.

The course begins with a brief introduction to unconscious bias, followed by scenarios that will help you to explore bias and what you can do about it through video scenarios, interactive exercises and opportunities for reflection.

This training is offered free of charge and you can take it here.

And just one quick favor: once you’ve completed the training, please share your feedback at this link.

Thank you for your participation and commitment to a culture of Diversity and Inclusion!

NEW: The D&I Advisory Board

The D&I Advisory board is a newly developed part of the D&I committee, and is comprised of D&I Practice Leaders who will complement what the IAMCP leadership has in enthusiasm and drive with their knowledge and experience.

 How this group will help us strengthen the D&I commitment:

  • Brainstorming on how we can make an impact on our partner communities and roll out programs for them to use
  • Sharing their internal policies, and their unique perspectives and experiences from applying them in the workplace

One of the key initiatives of this board is to help create the D&I playbook for our members to use as motivation and guidance for setting up their D&I practices.

The D&I Adv board has two members on board and we will continue to grow this team of experts. Please welcome Estelle Jackson from Poly, and Pam Cory from BitTitan:

Estelle Jackson - At Poly, Estelle is responsible for fostering and nurturing a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility and fairness, where all voices are heard, respected and valued. The philosophy Estelle brings to Poly is to embrace all perspectives, honour all differences, and ensure all employees have equal access to opportunities that contribute to their full potential and encourage retention of their skills and perspective. 
Estelle supports 68 countries across the globe in their Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging efforts - both driving change locally and enabling the business to be a catalyst for change globally. Poly owns its data and uses it to be creative in its approaches to recruiting, retaining, motivating and engaging with employees.

Pam Cory - Vice President of Global Marketing at BitTitan, Pam has 15+ years’ executive experience developing global go-to-market and digital excellence for technology companies. She served on committees for Women in Tech at DellEMC and is involved in local meet-ups; serves on the board of HeyMentor, a non-profit organization helping low income students access college education; and is a mentor at Seattle University for international MBA students.


Inspiring examples

 This month we are presenting several inspiring examples of companies that stand out as truly inclusive organizations: Columbus UK, Omni, and TOKIOTA.


Read their stories and get inspired!


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Ready for Inspire

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Few highlights to help you plan your networking, learning, and overall experience at the premier conference for Microsoft partners from Debra Pfundstein, IAMCP@Inspire Chair.


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With Inspire 2019 currently taking top-of-mind place for Microsoft partners around the globe, we thought we’d share a few highlights to help maintain the momentum of excitement and get you prepared for all the events you don’t want to miss.

Inspire 2019 takes place in Las Vegas, NV from July 14-18. This gathering of Microsoft partners is a spectacular experience and the premier event for the growth of Microsoft partnerships. It brings together thousands of attendees from 130 countries around the world for a week of networking and learning — all with the goal of increasing partner profitability and accelerating business growth.

This year the corenote speaker lineup will include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, President Brad Smith, Executive Vice President Judson Althoff, who leads Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business organization, and Corporate Vice President & “Channel Chief” Gavriella Schuster, who leads Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner organization.

Can’t make the session you want to see in person?

No problem; you can watch the keynotes live, beginning at 8:30 a.m. PT on Monday, July 15 here.


Other Featured Speakers

Simon Sinek

Optimist and best-selling author leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.

Rebecca Alexander

Author, psychotherapist, disability rights advocate, and extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf.

Jacqueline Jones

Head of Strategic Partnerships for Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at LinkedIn.

Polly LaBarre

Bestselling author and champion for humanizing organizations.

Dr. Kendrick Wong

TalentSmart’s Director of Training, focused on helping others develop emotional intelligence skills.


What’s different from last year?


Your Microsoft Inspire experience has been enhanced in a few key ways for 2019. Here’s what’s new:

  • Microsoft Inspire and Microsoft Ready expos are now one centralized expo—giving you more access to Microsoft employees, sponsors, and other partners than ever before
  • A revised schedule ensures you have more time to network and make valuable connections
  • Simplified schedule and event experiences so you can take in every bit of the conference more easily


IAMCP Special Events

  • Follow and watch the IAMCP Social Channels for the Executive Lineup
  • Must log into the account to register
  • Registration will be live this week – watch for email from Sergio Baptista, International IAMCP President for details
  • NEW FOR 2019 - Present a Best Practice in the IAMCP Inspire Booth Theatre
  • Scheduled networking events @Inspire for IAMCP Members
  • IAMCP Int’l All Members Meeting - Guests welcome – IAMCP Booth Lounge July 14 at 5:30 p.m.
  • IAMCP Networking Events:
  • Americas July 15 at 5:00 p.m.
  • APAC – July 16 at 5:00 p.m.
  • EMEA July 17th at 3:00 p.m.
  • Volunteers Needed: volunteer your time at the IAMCP Booth, or other Inspire activities – click here.

Any questions – visit us at the IAMCP booth and talk to us!

Also, visit the for updates.


Inspire Features

  • The MyInspire scheduling tool – take advantage of this feature to plan your time to your greatest advantage
  • Plan the sessions that interest you the most. We’ll single out “Tech for Social Impact” that is taking place on July 16th with 3 different sessions, talking about Microsoft’s commitment to help nonprofits advance their missions through digital transformation – plus, how you can engage. You can find out more by visiting its booth in the #MSInspire Community Zone
  • Core notes will take place on Monday & Wednesday of the conference
  • The Microsoft WIT Luncheon focusing on diversity and inclusion and co-hosted by IAMCP will be held on Wednesday – registration is required so register here as soon as possible using this code: IAMCP19
  • The One Celebration Party will take place Wednesday night @Las Vegas Fair Grounds
  • Queen + Adam Lambert will be performing
  • The Hub closes at 5pm on Wednesday, Conference ends Thursday after lunch
  • And, if you missed the “Know Before You Go” webinar, you can still view it here

Brand-Building Sponsorship Opportunities

There are still a few sponsorship opportunities available, and what better way to get your brand noticed at Inspire?!

Contact to find out which opportunities are still open and find out what will work best for your organization.


Congratulations IAMCP on our 25th anniversary!

Help IAMCP Celebrate around the globe and let the world know who we are! Celebration ideas:

  • Record a video –test the sound so we hear you!
  • “Why did I join IAMCP?”
  • “What value has IAMCP brought to me and my business?”
  • “What does IAMCP/Partnership mean to me?”
  • “Tell us your IAMCP success story”
  • Wish IAMCP a Happy 25th Anniversary!
  • Share who you are and where you’re from in each video
  • Take pictures of your members at a landmark that represents your chapter
  • Provide artwork / images of what partnership means to you
  • Where were you in 1994? Share “then and now” stories and pictures
  • Write a poem or short story about “What Partnership and IAMCP means to you”
  • Record your chapter singing “Happy Anniversary”
  • Share your success stories, written or in videos
  • New Chapters' in 2019 – celebrate with a picture and story of your local startup
  • Send historical chapter pictures and videos
  • Share partnership stories - videos and email
  • Tell us a joke
  • Anything else you can think of!!

Send your submissions to: and we’ll share them with the world!


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Debra Pfundstein

2019 International IAMCP Inspire Chair

President, Channel Development Consulting Solutions

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How a Canadian IAMCP member is using family values to foster diversity and inclusion

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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“We are proud of the diversity and inclusion our company has developed, borrowing from our family values as an independently owned and operated company.” – Diana Powell, Human Resources Specialist, Omni Technology Solutions

It’s no secret that embracing a diversity and inclusion practice within the workplace makes a company stronger by exposing the team to different perspectives, thought processes and skill sets.

With Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) a key factor in the IAMCP’S 2019 strategy, we are pleased to highlight companies around the globe who are demonstrating D&I practices within their organizations.

In this issue, we are showcasing Omni Technology Solutions, headquartered in Edmonton, AB, with locations throughout North America and Europe, and parent company of Riva CRM Integration and Identity Maestro.

What does diversity look like at Omni Technology Solutions?

Here’s a snapshot of the organization’s diversity statistics: 

  • Gender: 25% of Omni’s employees are women, with the majority working in STEM-related roles such as Software Development. In addition, women represent 30% of the company’s Senior Management team.
  • Cultural background: Omni’s employees represent over 20 different nationalities, with over 18 nations represented in the Canadian HQ alone. Despite being a Canadian-founded organization, less than 50% of Omni’s employees are Canadian.

A family-run business, Diversity and Inclusion have been at the core of Omni’s values since the company’s inception and it prides itself on embracing cultural, ethnic, religious, and all diversity.

Ensuring the “right fit”

Omni’s hiring practice is so rigorous that, even prior to determining a candidate’s technical fit to a specific role, the company strives to ensure a fit with the organizational culture, making sure that both the corporate environment and the company values are clearly explained. And the values are strong:

  • Bring your passion;
  • Build the future;
  • Be part of the solution;
  • Lead with integrity;
  • Deliver customer delight;
  • Improve daily, and;
  • Have fun!

Omni endeavours to ensure that, in its hiring practices, offers and processes remain as open and transparent as possible and has implemented policies and practices to prevent discrimination during the hiring process and in the workplace.

The senior management team leads by example and employees are encouraged to embrace all aspects of diversity and to share in cultural celebrations amongst the team, as well as social events that help build relationships.

In addition, Omni does not practice location discrimination, so everyone is welcome to apply, regardless of their geographic location. This has resulted in Omni being the first employment position in Canada for many staff members, with most eventually becoming Canadian permanent residents and a few even obtaining Canadian citizenship!

And it doesn’t stop there!

Omni’s dedication to diversity and inclusion seems to know no bounds. With fully wheelchair accessible offices, gender-neutral washroom facilities, and a flexible remote working policy to support family life, or those who need to visit family overseas for extended periods, Omni enjoys a high employee retention rate and exceptional employee satisfaction rates in internal surveys.

And the diversity continues to grow!

Attracting – and retaining - international youth

In a drive to attract international students and intentionally increase cultural diversity in the organization, Omni partnered with the AIESEC program, a global platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential.

AISEC is a non-political, independent, not-for-profit organization, run by students and recent graduates of higher education institutions. Over the last few years Omni has hired several international students through this program, all of whom remained with the company post-contract.

WIT is alive at Omni

Recently, Riva executive members supported female employees by founding Omni WIT, which has 30 members representing areas such as technology development, marketing, human resources, sales, and support.

While in its infancy, Omni WIT is focused on creating and supporting its internal network, and will soon focus on how to expand that to empower and educate those in the surrounding communities. As a part of this initiative, the women at Edmonton HQ were invited to an International Women’s Day: Balance for Better Networking Event to celebrate Women’s Day 2019. You can read more about that event and see the pictures here.

Fostering the Diversity and Inclusion vision

Our employees are on board with our company values; they are open to differences and are encouraged to improve daily. To aid this, Omni is investing in a new program to help everyone lead with integrity. New training will be offered to employees to educate them about harassment, bullying, and unconscious bias and give them keys and actionable insights to prevent such situations. 

“Continuously accepting and celebrating cultural, religious, age, and gender diversity allows us to bring and consider new ideas that a less diverse team might not have considered. Diversity allows us to draw on a variety of personal, educational, cultural, and professional perspectives within a team to continually innovate. An inclusive environment allows everyone to be secure in sharing their unique perspective. This helps Omni, including Identity Maestro and Riva CRM Integration, remain leaders in their fields.” – Diana Powell

About Omni Technology Solutions

Omni Technology Solutions, Inc. is a software application development company headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Omni is the parent company of Riva CRM Integration and Identity Maestro and has locations in the US, Canada and Europe. The Omni group of companies (Omni) employs 125 staff with 80 based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Omni is a Microsoft Gold Partner, and a proud member of IAMCP.


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GDPR Kicks Off a New Era of Privacy Compliance

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 28, 2019

GDPR Kicks Off a New Era of Privacy Compliance

By Ryan Risley – Advocacy Chair IAMCP Americas


Exactly a year ago, as many in the tech sector know, the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) went into effect.

In addition to impacting businesses and consumers worldwide, this wide-reaching new regulation is also helping to spur the development of new privacy regulations in the United States. Just one month after the GDPR went into effect, California enacted its own new digital privacy and security law. In 2019, we could see Congress take action on this issue as well.

As state and federal lawmakers weigh regulatory action, it will be critical for technology professionals, enterprise customers, and consumers to be part of the discussion. Our shared goal should be sensible policies that protect consumers, treat businesses fairly, and enable ongoing data innovation. On the other hand, an unwieldy patchwork of rules could drive up costs and undermine the growing benefits of data analysis.

The GDPR at 1 Year

It is still too early to fully assess the impacts—positive and negative—of the GDPR. While thousands of companies in Europe and worldwide have taken steps to comply with the GDPR, others have taken a watch-and-wait approach. Regardless of the mixed record on compliance, the GDPR has raised awareness about the increasing need for data protection.

I recommend that the Microsoft solution partners work with the IAMCP (International Association for Microsoft Channel Partners) to their clients to take all necessary steps to comply with the GDPR—not simply for the sake of legal compliance, but also to provide greater privacy and security protections to their own customers. This approach can enable companies to strengthen trust with their own customers, and it can also serve as a competitive differentiator for the customers.

Complying with the GDPR now will also mean that your company is ahead of schedule in meeting state compliance such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act, which goes into effect in 2020.

Supporting GDPR Compliance with the Microsoft Cloud

Meeting privacy, security, and compliance requirements is not simply a task to be completed and a box to be checked. It involves ongoing services as well as developing, deploying, maintaining, and updating software and hardware.

The tasks of complying with the GDPR and many other regulatory requirements are strongly supported by Microsoft cloud services and solutions. Microsoft has dedicated hundreds of engineers to work on GDPR compliance.

The features and functionality of Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Office 365, and Windows 10 can help enterprises comply with the GDPR. Microsoft also maintains the infrastructure and expertise to meet the ongoing evolution of IT compliance requirements.

An Appeal for Regulatory Optimism

I am an optimist about the ability of privacy regulations to benefit both businesses and customers. A privacy baseline that all businesses must adhere to fosters trust in technology. Without trust, we’ll see technology adoption falter—and in turn, the benefits that technology brings will slow. Given technology’s growing role in addressing a range of challenges, we cannot put trust on the back burner.

Technology professionals and customers must also not sit quietly and wait for government to singlehandedly develop new digital privacy policies. We should all claim a seat at the table, raising our voices about what makes sense—and what doesn’t. Lawmakers are often not tech-savvy, and it’s important for tech professionals and users to share their informed views by participating in advocacy programs such as Voices for Innovation and the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners

Find your voice, get engaged and help tell the story.



Ryan Risley serves as the Americas Advocacy Chair of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP). He is a member of VFI’s Advisory Task Force and he is the past president of the IAMCP’s Washington D.C. chapter. He is Partner and CTO of Wipfli LLP CPAs and Consultants, and leads the firm’s Worldwide CIO Advisory Services Practice. 



Tags:  GDPR  IAMCP  Microsoft Partner  VFI 

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Turning the popular phrase “More women in senior roles” into reality

Posted By Aileen Provan, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

With 2,000 employees worldwide, Columbus UK developed a number of initiatives that help women to increase their visibility and apply for senior positions


With Diversity and Inclusion as one of the IAMCP’s key strategic mandates this year, Columbus UK is leading the charge in raising the bar for equality in the workplace. And the organisation isn’t just talking the talk; Columbus UK has made Diversity & Inclusion part of its overall growth strategy, demonstrating examples of the principle and providing its employees with standards that they can embrace and to which they can aspire.

It was under the guidance of Mary Hunter, Managing Director at Columbus, the winner of the 2018 IAMCP Leadership Award for Women in Technology, and Global Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion, that Columbus started to create more opportunities for women to take senior roles.

For instance, male leaders within Columbus are mentoring women in their teams with the objective of increasing the number of female applicants to more senior positions.

New job opportunities are now listed on Women in Technology boards to encourage female applicants.

And with over 2,000 employees worldwide, Columbus is currently in the process of formalising a global diversity and inclusion programme. The programme will be conducted through the corporate employee training portal, Columbus Academy, making the initiative available to all staff around the world, and its main objective is to raise awareness on a global level.


“I have had experiences in my career where I haven’t been given the same opportunities as my male colleagues and have had to work harder to prove my worth, often taking the jobs no one wanted.  I also haven’t been given the same title and recognition as my counterparts, and I proved my position through consistent results and determination before demanding the title and sticking up for what I believed was rightfully mine.” – Mary Hunter, Managing Director of Columbus UK


Here’s how Columbus conducts its Diversity and Inclusion strategy:



  1. International Women’s Day 2019 workshop for all female Columbus employees and the partners of male employees, focussed on the empowerment of women through the sharing of success strategies to overcome workplace challenges.
  2. Women in business luncheons and events in the UK and globally, to raise awareness and provide opportunities for women to share their own journeys and inspire others. 
  3. Flexible work hours in support of family life and to enable women to return to the workplace while juggling family responsibilities to actively encourage parents to continue working.
  4. Motivational speaking to inspire confidence for all to feel empowered in their roles and to build a team ethos of an army of leaders.
  5. An open-door policy and a safe, confidential environment where employees can speak openly about personal or professional challenges and find non-judgemental support to achieve resolution.
  6. A shared diversity mind-set that everyone on the team is a valued member and brings their own experiences and viewpoints to every situation, delivering more innovative ideas and results.
  7. A global graduate curriculum in its 8th year of operation and a local apprenticeship programme to help those looking for their first job roles in a STEM career.
  8. A diverse employee base: in the UK office alone, Columbus’s employees represent over 20 nationalities and 30% of the team is female
  9. Deeply committed to driving change through STEM education, it’s difficult to fill roles due to a shortage of applications and so they are leading the way by going into schools to share knowledge and help to educate the next generation.


A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generatedDiversity and Inclusion is not just something that organizations need to think about, but rather make it the strategic starting point for their growth plan; it has been shown that businesses which embrace diversity and drive it are more competitive and more successful. I continue to fight for diversity in all forms and I push for female equality so that others don’t have to go through the same experiences that I have. I believe that I can truly make a difference in our industry for the next generation and that keeps me driving my goal to inspire more change.” – Mary Hunter


It is clearly Columbus’s mission to continue to support, promote and grow diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The objective is to ensure that all team members can reap the benefits of an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and able to participate to reach their full potential – because Diversity and Inclusion is in everyone’s job description.


Tags:  D&I  Diversity & Inclusion 

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