How long have you been involved with IAMCP, and what is your role now?
I first joined nearly 10 years ago and after a long break I rejoined about three years ago. Soon after that I joined the UK board to help organize events and expand the UK chapter. After moving to the US last year, I became the Communications Chair for IAMCP International helping coordinate the global communications for IAMCP.
What would you say has been the most valuable thing you’ve gotten from partnering with IAMCP?
It’s all about the people. It’s an old saying that you do business with people you know, like and trust. Without easy ways to meet people and grow relationships, that becomes a hard task. With IAMCP you’re able to meet people in the Microsoft ecosystem and build relationships that you’re able to grow into real business. We’ve had many members meet business partners through the IAMCP and been able to partner with each other to win business that they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. For example at my company Mimecast we’ve had many partners meet us through IAMCP and sign up to partner and do business with us.
IAMCP had more of a presence at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference than ever before. Why was that important, and what were some of the activities you were involved with?
It was great to see IAMCP having an even bigger presence at WPC this year. As a community driven organization, to quote Lincoln, IAMCP is "by the people, for the people" making it unique in the way we can help members of the Microsoft Partner community. We saw that at the First Time Attendee lunches held this year for partners attending WPC for the first time. I remember my first WPC experience in Denver being overwhelming and struggling to make sense of the conference without any help. I’m glad to say the hundreds of first time attendees that came to the lunches got valuable advice and connections brokered by IAMCP- hopefully empowering a much better WPC experience and building relationships for years to come. In addition the golf tournament, Women In Technology luncheon and the Executive roundtables really delivered great networking and relationships.
One of the aspects of WPC that Partners consistently say is the most valuable is the opportunity to network with other Partners. How does IAMCP help Partners carry that through the rest of the year?
I still have strong relationships that I built from WPC in Denver and Houston nearly 10 years ago. But, you’re right, WPC is only one week a year, and it’s essential that peer networking is not just a one-off activity, it must be year round. WPC should be the icing on the cake not the foundation. This is why the IAMCP is so important, with networking available at local, regional and international chapters happening year round. Most local chapters are meeting monthly to really accelerate those relationships and learning.
If you had to sum up why you believe it is so important for Partners to invest in joining IAMCP in two sentences, what would it be?
The peer to peer learning, development and networking opportunities delivered by the IAMCP are enormous. It enables you to take your head out of the day-to-day and really grow your knowledge, network and partnerships.