CompTIA Breakaway Day 2: Twelve Rumors in the Hall
Amid the BYOD and cloud services waves, who is the one person VARs should hire? The VAR Guy got the answers from Verizon VP Janet Schijns, plus insights from Panasonic VP Sheila O’Neil, VMware VP Doug Smith and Cisco Systems VP Raja Sundaram this morning during a CompTIA Breakaway Channel Chiefs panel. Here’s a recap plus a boatload of rumors heard in the hallways.
The chatter included…
1. One Big Hire: Schijns told attendees to hire a pricing expert who understands how to examine your business, determine your costs for service delivery, and then price cloud and IT consulting services accordingly.
2. BYOD Meets VDI: Smith described how VMware is a bring your own device (BYOD) company, allowing employees to use their personal devices on the job. That opens the door for virtual desktop integration (VDI) — where partners will help customers to access any application from any device.
3. Think Experience: Cisco’s Sundaram told attendees to really think about the customer experience while managing endpoints, applications and data center convergence projects.
4. Don’t Forget Business Devices: Even as consumer devices flood corporate networks, Panasonic’s O’Neil reminded attendees that specialized rugged devices remain the go-to choice for many vertical market applications (emergency first responders, construction workers, etc.).
5. Bandwidth Boogeyman: The big fear in the room during the panel discussion: Big service providers will begin to charge more as customers consume more data (downloading videos, etc.) Verizon’s Schijns reminded attendees that not all broadband connections will run up big charges (example: WiFi). She also hinted that Verizon will be making some new announcements that more specifically help consumers and business users.
6. Red Hat Channel Power: Red Hat North America Channel Chief Roger Egan has quietly assembled a more experienced, larger channel team. The VAR Guy got all the details a few hours ago. Stick around and perhaps you’ll (definitely…) see a new blog (leaking all the details).
7. Invading DreamForce conference: What if a certain software company (example: ConnectWise) saw the opportunity for one of its investments (example: Quosal) to extend beyond VARs and MSPs to help Salesforce.com users to speed the customer sales proposal process? And what if that vision emerged at Salesforce’s massive DreamForce conference? You’ll get the details soon on The VAR Guy’s sister site, MSPmentor. Tip of the hat to Quosal CEO Kent McNall. His vision goes far beyond the traditional IT channel. And ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini apparently is a believer in that vision. More soon.
8. Mobile Device Management Pricing: Level Platforms was one of the first MSP software providers to introduce mobile device management capabilities. Next up: Helping VARs and MSPs price those services, according to VP Dan Wensley. Official announcements soon…
10. New Partner Program Coming: CTera, which offers cloud-based storage and data protection for SMBs, is preparing a new channel partner program…
11. That’s A Big Deal: Roaring Penguin, the anti-spam and email filtering specialist, has quietly built an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) relationship that has deep reach into the MSP market. Who is the secret OEM? The VAR Guy is gagged… for now.
12. He Looks Relaxed: Synnex Senior VP Bob Stegner looked cool, collected and relaxed. You could almost hear him humming Smokey Robinson’s Cruisin’ during our Tuesday afternoon meeting. One reason: Stegner is plenty happy about hiring U.S. Marketing VP Mary Ellen Grom, a ScanSource veteran who is preparing some new moves at Synnex.
That’s all for now. The VAR Guy thanks CompTIA for the open door to Breakaway. Great conversations, and great location at the Aria Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. (Next year’s event shifts to Orlando, The VAR Guy has heard…)