Partnering together is an important approach Microsoft Partners use to build their businesses and improve the quality of service they provide for their customers. For the third time since 2007, IDC and the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) partnered up look into exactly how much of an impact this has on partners’ business and revenue.

 
We sat down with IAMCP EMEA President Per Werngren and IDC Director of Software Channels Research Marilyn Carr who worked on this project to talk about the study and some of the incredible results. 
 
 

 

 
This study was a partnership between IDC and IAMCP. What are your roles in in these organizations?
 
IAMCP: I was the first Worldwide President that came from outside North America. During my tenure over 5 years I led the expansion from four countries to more than 40 countries and it was great fun. Today I take a back seat role and sit on the International board and I am President of EMEA, but I can’t resist starting chapters in EMEA and Asia Pacific because I still have a passion! I also lead the European efforts around IAMCP’s policy work trying to convince politicians and bureaucrats to improve the life of Microsoft partners.
 
IDC: I am director, Software Channels Research at IDC, part of a group that analyzes indirect sales in the software industry and the relationship between software vendors and their partners.
 
Why was this study done?
 
IAMCP: We wanted to measure the impact of partnering and showcase that partnering is the right path if you want to grow your company and your profits, and build deeper customer relationships. One of the most asked questions inside a board room is: How can we grow faster, and how can we increase our profitability? We wanted to present evidence of how you can do it. Because we had done it twice before we also wanted to see what had changed since the last study and curiosity is a great driver!
 
IDC:  Partner to partner networking has been a valuable tactic for many partners for several years. IDC started the P2P survey in 2007 in partnership with IAMCP to understand the details behind P2P activity and quantify the impact it has in the partner ecosystem.
 
What were some of the interesting results you saw from this study?
 
IDC: The survey revealed that partners with high P2P activity had significantly higher revenue growth.  It also showed that partners that are most successful in P2P relationships have a more proactive and strategic approach to mutually beneficial partnerships.  Finally, partners that are highly active in P2P are also very active in social media for business purposes.
 
IAMCP: We saw that partners who are betting on partnering outgrow the rest – 19% annual growth for those who are heavily focused on partnering, compared to 11% for the rest. It is just amazing, and makes a very compelling business case! IAMCP members get an average of 21.6% share of revenue though partnering, which is very high and a number that has been growing since past studies. We also saw that those who are successful in partnering use social media a lot – they are natural networkers.
 
What is the most powerful thing partners can take away from this?
 
IDC: IDC believes that P2P can be a win-win-win.  Partners on both sides of the equation do better financially, vendors get the advantage of better partner leverage and coverage, and customers get a comprehensive solution.
 
IAMCP: Partnering is once again proven to be the best path for growth. It is impossible to be great in several disciplines, so you need to specialize and partner with other specialists to build a team of the best partners possible. Customers are no longer looking for someone that is a ‘Jack of all trades’. Customers love a partner that is partnering friendly. By being able to help your customers in more than one area you are making a giant leap towards becoming the trusted strategic advisor. Also remember that partnering is a two way street – you need to help each other and have a long perspective where you help the ones that help you. That’s successful partnering!
 
 
We’re excited to see results that support the importance of partnering together. We will continue to discuss these results and share examples of partners who have found success in partnering together over the next several months, so continue checking back here on DigitalWPC for updates on this study, and examples on how Microsoft Partners can win by partnering together to meet their customer’s needs.
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