Session 1: The Partnership Ecosystem and the Case for Partnership

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Independent software vendors (ISVs) may choose to build partnerships to grow their business, but different partnership arrangements work for different organizations. When building your partnership strategy, it's important to evaluate the partner ecosystem and understand the opportunities available - then zero in on the right targets. Join Diana Kreklow and Gail Mercer-McKay to learn about the Microsoft partner ecosystem and how ISVs can think about a partnership strategy.

After you view this webinar, you'll have a good understanding of the software partnership ecosystem and the types of partners you might target, and you'll know how to decide if channel partnerships are a strategy you should pursue. Downloadable resources will help you take action right away.

Live Q&A

Do you have questions about the case for partnership? Join Diana and Gail live in the comments section for Q&A on Thursday, April 10 from 10am-11am, Pacific time (UTC -8:00)


 Download the companion guide: The Partner Ecosystem and the Case for Partnership 


About the presenters

Diana Kreklow
Enthusiastic and insightful, Diana cut her business teeth in sales and sales management at some of the world's best organizations including Microsoft, IBM, Attachmate and Computer Associates. Her responsibilities included the development and management of partnership strategies, business and solutions development, marketing innovation and performance reporting.  She enjoys working collaboratively with virtual teams, managing complex multi-partner engagements and developing partner and channel programs that deliver results.

Able to skillfully navigate the challenges facing both smaller partners right through to some of the largest ISV's, she has successfully built programs that include alignment with market leaders such as Microsoft, IBM Global Services, Accenture, and McKinsey Consulting. Her industry experience includes Financial Services, Distribution, Healthcare, Public Sector and Manufacturing.

Gail Mercer-MacKay
With over twenty-five years' experience, Gail Mercer-MacKay works as a leader in the Microsoft ecosystem helping partners create compelling marketing communications stories. Prior to founding Mercer-MacKay over seven years ago, Gail was VP Sales and Marketing for an ISV, taking the organization from start-up to a multi-million dollar software company with clients across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Gail serves as a Board Member at both the Canadian and International level of IAMCP – International Association of Microsoft Channel Partner and is a Business Advisor at the Research Innovation Center in Mississauga where she guides entrepreneurs looking to start and grow their business. She is the recipient of two awards for community leadership for her role as founder and director of "A Woman's Write", a program for patients suffering from mental health disorders at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Susie Ibbotson
As Vice President of Marketing & Channel for Navantis, Susie is responsible for managing and executing all marketing strategy and initiatives including the company brand, marketing campaigns, public relations and sales alignment.


ISV, Business



The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Plan on joining us tomorrow!


  • User profile image

    Looking forward to our first session tomorrow. Hope we get a chance for some great Q&A

  • User profile image


    I am a pretty small ISV and just trying to get started – should I be thinking about a channel right away or should I focus on making some more direct sales before I build my channel?



  • User profile image

    Great question. It is usually best to have some real world experience selling and acquiring customers first before you begin your channel strategy. Your channel will want to know that your product is market and field tested and customers will pay for it. No matter how cool your idea is, it is important that the idea can translate into real revenue (Think "Shark Tank" or "Dragons Den").

    If you are really at the beginning phases, you might want to think about having your customer pay in marketing instead of dollars.

    Get them to agree to a case study, testimonial, participate in an event. But remember to treat it like a contract and have them sign up to do this. Set the expectations on both sides. Your solution has value and their marketing has value. It is a good way to get traction and references at the same time.

    Good luck.


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