From a new administration to continued M&A, 2017 promises to be anything but boring.

Lorna Garey

January 12, 2017

2 Min Read
Businesspeople celebrating

Lorna GareyWelcome to 2017! As we polish off the eggnog and hit the gym, the outlook for partners is cautiously optimistic.

A recent tech employment survey by Dice’s DHI Group shows optimism about hiring and the incoming Trump administration, with 35 percent of respondents anticipating an improved economy and 19 percent expecting corporate tax reform to have a favorable effect. Also on the “leap of faith” list, M&A fever hit big in 2016, with CenturyLink buying Level 3 Communications and Windstream snapping up EarthLink, among other deals. That means partners are able to offer a wider selection of products and services with less supplier-management overhead.

On the other hand, Steven Ostrowski, CompTIA’s director of corporate communications, told Channel Partners in December that competition is also on the rise.

“We’re seeing a whole new type of ‘channel’ company,” said Ostrowski. “You’re seeing a surge in SaaS companies. Digital agencies, marketing firms, accountants and other nontraditional partners are selling or recommending IT solutions today, a development that has upended the traditional competitive landscape.”

We’re here to help. In 2017, watch for much more business-focused coverage. From our new MasterMinds column to an expanded reports selection, we’re ready to help you navigate a changing business landscape. Oh, and if you’re doing business outside the United States, or considering it, take part in our new Going Global: The Channel’s Expanding Horizons survey, which we’re doing in collaboration with our partners at 451 Research. You could receive a gift card and be interviewed for a cover story running in our spring issue.

And, advice and ideas aren’t just on our site and in print. Plans for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo are well underway. We expect more than 5,500 supplier and channel professionals to converge on Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, with festivities kicking off on April 10 with our annual Women in the Channel and First-Time Attendees networking receptions. We’re also welcoming our new sister publication, MSPmentor. Senior content director T.C. Doyle is busy programming a brand new education track aimed at helping attendees break into four red-hot verticals: education, retail, financial services and health care.

Also for the first time, we’re presenting a pre-con Business Success Symposium, sponsored by Verizon and led by senior editor Lynn Haber. The idea is to help solution providers, MSPs, cloud specialists and telecom agents navigate a dizzying array of opportunities and challenges. Don’t miss speakers including Mike Schmidtmann, speaking about the good side of opportunism, as well as CompTIA’s Carolyn April, Theresa Caragol of Caragol Consulting, Luanne Tierney of Five Sky, Channel Maven Consulting’s Heather Margolis, Scott Kinka of Evolve IP and others.  

Our message: Be bold.

Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.

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