CompTIA's ChannelCon conference, one of The VAR Guy's Top 100 Channel Events, is generating plenty of buzz today. Following keynotes from CompTIA President Todd Thibodeaux and Geek Squad Founder Robert Stephens, The VAR Guy is now heading off to meetings with Intronis, Carbonite (CARB), Synnex, Tech Data and Xerox. Here's a preview... and teaser alert for additional meetings tomorrow.
So what's on tap for today?
1. Todd Thibodeaux: His keynote was chock full of movie snippets -- Jaws ("You're gonna need a bigger boat"), 2001 ("Open the pod bay doors, Hal") and plenty more. Weave them all together and Thibodeaux challenged attendees to accept the fact that IT service providers need to change as fast as the technology landscape.
2. Robert Stephens: The Geek Squad founder spoke quite a bit about harvesting excess capacity, whether it's an on-demand IT work force (Geek Squad) or extra compute cycles. Some of his best nuggets: Look outside the IT industry for truly great ideas you can steal. Examples: Geek Squad outfits were based on NASA flight control geeks of the 1960s and 70s. The Geek Squad mobile (Volkswagen Beetle) was chosen because it communited a sense of reliability, cost-effectiveness and fun. ("Don't take yourself too seriously.") He predicted Google Glass will become a business tool, as users show remote IT administrators "what they're seeing" during support calls.
4. Carbonite: Another noteworthy Top 100 Cloud Services Provider, Carbonite is linking its cloud services to appliances and also preparing to announce earnings this week. Meeting recap later today.
5. Synnex: So how is CloudSolv performing with channel partners? And what's next for the distributor's mobile partners? Meeting recap later today.
6. Tech Data: The distributor is hosting a TDCloud conference next week in Tampa Bay. The VAR Guy will get a preview later today...
7. Xerox: Can a recently hired channel marketing wizard make Xerox the de facto standard for managed print services among MSPs? Meeting recap later today.
Bonus: The VAR Guy has additional meetings -- including a timely sit-down with Dell -- on Wednesday. Stay tuned to this blog entry for more updates.