Microsoft Partners find support
A new chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners is coming to Utah with the help of Kevin McMillen, the CEO of the Park City-based RyanTech and Ryan Redmond, the CEO of Customer Dynamics in Salt Lake City. The IAMCP Utah Chapter was created this month with McMillen stepping into the president position and is scheduled to hold its first event, a membership drive, on June 29 in Park City.
"This chapter is not about a bunch of geeks hanging out drinking coffee and talking about computers," McMillen said. "This is about having a unified voice with Microsoft, about being a part of the community through education and growth."
IAMCP operates as a nonprofit that supports Microsoft Partners’ interests, with 35 chapters throughout the United States.
The organization provides support to Microsoft Partners through membership meetings, social networking events and local websites, all efforts to link Microsoft Partners to one another and also to industry news.
Microsoft Partners are independent companies that offer Microsoft-related products or services. Partners will provide services on behalf of the industry giant in tech-related fields such as software and technical support. Microsoft partners also have 24-hour access to Microsoft Support. In return for participation in the program, partners have access to services and tools from Microsoft.
For the smaller tech companies offering support to Microsoft or taking advantage of the program’s benefits, it can be hard to navigate how to work with such a large company, McMillen said.
"It does take a considerable amount of effort," he added. "Microsoft is this really large company and there is so much information, so much to know. You could spend your all of your time trying to figure out the nuances."
But for those who cannot afford a full-time Microsoft Partner liaison to do the work for them, joining a chapter could answer the harder questions such as protocol and licensing with such a large company.
McMillen and Redmond were recently on a radio talk show discussing Microsoft Partner issues and the formation of the IAMCP Utah Chapter. It was there that the two founders got a taste of the potential impact a chapter could have, where a Microsoft Partner told them how important their discussion had been.
"This man had been Microsoft partner for 14 years," McMillen said. "He came up after the discussion and told us that for more than a decade he’s been trying to figure out the maze that comes with being in the Microsoft Partner program, and that we just gave him every answer he ever needed."
The IAMCP Utah Chapter membership drive is scheduled for June 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Park City Waldorf Astoria restaurant Smoke’s. For more information about IAMCP, visit http://www.iamcp-us.org.
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