It’s been a busy couple of weeks for our team. The first week of the month we flew to Washington, D.C. for our WPC 2014 site visit that was highly productive and energizing. Then, last week I traveled to Brussels for the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners Summit for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). It was a tremendous experience seeing the collaboration of over 25 IAMCP EMEA Chapter Presidents with key Microsoft LCA (Legal and Corporate Affairs) representatives and several EU parliament members.
The work that is being done by IAMCP in the EMEA region stands as a worldwide best practice on a number of fronts. The close collaboration between IAMCP and Microsoft LCA in the EMEA region has shown to be a strength of influence in the legislative arena as, together, they’ve worked to overcome blockers that impede industry growth and continue to advocate for legislative conditions that benefit small and medium sized businesses in our industry.
Day one of the summit opened with the EMEA Board Meeting, then continued with a policy discussion regarding the transformation of industries and related services technology. It was apparent to me that the partnership between Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs and IAMCP is mutually valued and that the challenges that partners are facing are understood by Microsoft.
Later that day, we discussed the results of a study outlining the development of digital solutions in areas of competition in Europe. The data provided by Boston Consulting Group shows that “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can achieve high growth rates and that the potential revenue growth is $770 billion in the US, Germany, China, India, and Brazil combined. This growth would add 6.2 million new jobs in those countries alone.” Microsoft’s response indicates that “SMEs represent up to 75% of all jobs in some economies”; therefore, the opportunity for Microsoft growth is huge, especially since survey results indicate that Microsoft is the brand that small businesses trust to power their growth.
We concluded the day with an insightful roundtable discussion from the perspective of the SME on digitizing European industries and related services. It was a dynamic conversation featuring several high-profile SME Europe committee members and European Parliament members. The partner perspective was heard: there is more work that needs to be done to increase the speed of legislation to benefit partners and our industry. In addition, legislators need to increase opportunities for entrepreneurs and create a landscape where it’s easy for SMEs to do business.
Day two of the summit proved to be beneficial and included a brainstorming session of best practices among IAMCP chapters that uncovered topics and activities that can be scaled worldwide. They included examples around involving members when they are geographically remote, how to increase awareness and education around social media and digital marketing, chapter funding best practices, and incorporating focused app development opportunities for partners to drive the ecosystem.
To close the summit, there was a discussion around what’s next for IAMCP, particularly relating to Community Marketing. I was impressed by the thought leadership that the EMEA region displayed and the focus they have around identifying measurable commitments that benefit both local chapters and Microsoft especially around the Partner Experience, Cloud Acceleration, and evangelizing the benefits of being a member of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).
Thank you to the EMEA region and Per Werngren, President of IAMCP EMEA, for hosting such a productive summit and for inviting me to be a part of it. In Per’s words, “The EMEA presidents meeting was a great success. I want to thank Microsoft for providing a representative to join us in Brussels and to collaborate with us in our endeavors. The insights are extremely valuable for us and we deeply value the commitment we’ve received.” I am excited to share more regarding the insights with other IAMCP regions and chapters so that together we can continue to add value for partners and help each other grow and profit. The IAMCP continues to be a community of partners that serve as catalysts for innovation and advancement within the partner community and for the industry! It’s exciting what can happen when we all join in and collaborate together.
To learn more about the IAMCP and how you can get involved, visit the IAMCP website to learn more about a local chapter near you. If you’re not already a member, I invite you to attend a chapter meeting and join today!
SME roundtable meeting kicked off with words by Nadezhda Neynsky MEP, Member Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament; President of the SME Europe of the EPP.