Creating synergies between Microsoft and partners

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The Mumbai Chapter of International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), the pre-eminent global networking platform for Microsoft Partners, organised the first IAMCP Annual Conference, in Mumbai recently

The Mumbai Chapter of IAMCP has marked 10 successful years of serving excellence among the Microsoft partners’ community. Whereas, globally, IAMCP is celebrating 25th anniversary. IAMCP – which has over 4,000 partners across 40 countries – is slated to organise its worldwide conference in July 2020, which will set the roadmap for Microsoft partners globally, in terms of focus areas and business growth.

The Annual Conference in Mumbai identified the differentiation of the Indian market, through insightful engagements and charted-out the India-specific areas of focus, advantages, opportunities and business agenda for Microsoft partners in the country. The one-day knowledge-intensive conference witnessed deep deliberations by distinguished speakers including Rajiv Sodhi, General Manager, Partner Ecosystem, Microsoft India; and Suresh Ramani, President, IAMCP India.

IAMCP India Directions
In his opening keynote address, Ramani said, “The primary objective behind organising this conference is to provide value to partners, and help them grow with this community. Currently, there are five IAMCP chapters in India and more will be formed. IAMCP is a great platform for P2P interactions; however, more importantly, it is to be noted that IAMCP is a self-helped community, with a vast knowledge base. We organise sessions on cutting-edge technologies and build relationships with the Microsoft team. Partnerships are a crucial and integral part of IAMCP, which can help your businesses with international expansion.”

Ramani further informed that IAMCP India has formed an all-India legal body, Association of Cloud & Technology Service Providers. Giving an example of special initiatives such as Partner Azurification, Ramani said that IAMCP India has planned various upcoming initiatives in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and other locations.

At the conference, Ramani launched the a new P2P initiative, IAMCP India ISV Club, wherein the association will publish a catalogue of ISV solutions and P2P engagements on its website. Any active partners in India, with its own IP, can join this club.

Microsoft India Directions
Setting the focus of Microsoft India and the importance of IAMCP, Rajiv Sodhi General Manager Partner Ecosystem – Microsoft India, stressed on the need for partnerships. He said, “We can’t do partnerships alone, thus IAMCP is of great importance to us. We believe in local communities, and we engage with city-based chapters and partner communities in order to address their concerns and support them. In the next 12-18 months, IAMCP India will scale up and form many more chapters across the country. The SMB business lies in various cities, not just in the metros. These local SMB companies will need engagements with partners, and IAMCP is well positioned to cater to that.”

Stressing that digitisation and digital transformation are different, Sodhi shared several Microsoft initiatives and technologyuse-cases in India. He said, “We live in an Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge world – this combination boosts digital transformation. Technology has a huge role in workforce, customer experience, operations and product transformation, which are the key pillars of digital transformation. Microsoft Cloud powers all of the above. Our platform approach is a key differentiator. This is important as it requires trust among our partners. Our second differentiator is the partners, themselves. We help partners build their solutions, and take their products to the market. Moreover, we partners to sell their products, services and solutions. We have created a co-selling model worth US$ 10 billion globally.”

A key highlight of the conference was the fireside chat between Ramani and Sodhi, wherein Sodhi answered numerous queries of Microsoft partners and re-affirmed Microsoft’s commitment to the channel community. Sodhi said, “We will always be partner-led – 97 per cent of our revenue is generated through partners. Customers are getting tech-savvy, so we are investing in digital sales. But partners have a role to play here as well, in terms of deployment, training and certification.”

Sodhi reiterated that Microsoft’s first priority is building skills among the partner community. He is trying to ensure that every architect from Microsoft spends time in engagements with partners in each chapter of IAMCP.

Responding to Ramani on advice to the partner ecosystem, Sodhi urged partners to pick one of Microsoft’s three cloud and become highly successful in that. He said, “Today, it is not about breadth, but depth. Partners should focus on providing lifetime value to customers. In the cloud world, up-selling and cross-selling is important. Customers may always ask for morem and that’s where P2P interactions play an important role, helping partners cater to customers’ needs.”

Furthermore, the conference featured a plethora of industry speakers across sessions. Some of the other speakers include Anand Jethalia Director – Microsoft 365 Marketing – Microsoft India Modern Workplace; Munesh Jadoun, CEO, ZNet – An RPtech Company; Rustom Hiramaneck, Country Head – South Asia, Acronis International; Murali Avanamuthu Founder, Director – CETAS Information Technology; Aditee Rele, Director – Cloud Solutions, Microsoft India; Dixit Roy Mahidhara, Director – Enterprise Sales, Citrix; Geeta Gurnani, Director – ISV and Next Generation Partnerships, Microsoft India; Suvrata Gayan, Director – Partner Recruit Programs & Communications, Microsoft India; Jyotil Mankad, Director & Business Head, Ingram Micro; Chetan Shah, Vice President, IAMCP India, among others.

Attended by over 155 people, the event served as a platform to maximise the business potential of members through peer-to-peer interaction, member advocacy, community outreach, growth, and education—while enhancing members’ ties
to Microsoft.

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