Cloud in Focus at CompTIA Breakaway
If you choose to venture outside in Las Vegas next week, you are likely to be hit with blue skies and smoldering heat (around 104 degrees) without a cloud in sight. On the other hand, if you wipe the sweat off your brow and head into the Aria Conference Center, you are likely to see nothing but clouds.
The annual CompTIA Breakaway event is coming to town, and this year, everyone is talking about the cloud. Vendors are talking about it. Intronis will be there (we wouldn’t miss it) showing off some pretty incredible cloud backup technology and possibly hinting at some new capabilities that will be pretty exciting for both new and existing partners. Many of our integrated partners are going to be talking about cloud solutions as well, but that is just the beginning.
The CompTIA Cloud community meeting is scheduled for next Thursday afternoon and has almost 400 people registered so far. The agenda includes a rousing debate about the positive and the disruptive potential of the cloud on the channel – teams are made up of industry veterans like Tony Francisco, Jay McBain and Dan Shapero on the pro side and Dan Wensley, Wendy Frank and you guessed it, Ted Roller on the con side. What? Ted Roller and Dan Wensley on the con side? How did that happen? It was a coin toss folks, but the research we have done so far for this event suggests strongly that the cloud might just be a little disruptive to channel partners who aren’t ready to fully embrace the transition into the cloud as part of their MSP model.
Also on the docket for the meeting is discussion around a really exciting credential aimed at helping cloud vendors promote the strength of their offering, infrastructure, process and deliverables in an audited fashion. I have spoken to a number of vendors who think this kind of deliverable from CompTIA would have a positive impact on their business, and even more MSPs who would benefit from both knowing and marketing the fact that their vendors are CompTIA approved. The community is still working on this initiative, and will discuss it at Breakaway.
There are other cloud rumblings as well. CompTIA has created some really interesting training around the cloud and how to engage. There will be more information about these training programs at the event, but here is a short summary of each:
Executive Certificate in Cloud Computing Program (Foundations)
The Executive Certificate in Cloud (Foundations) allows solution providers to take advantage of the substantial business opportunities in delivering cloud solutions to customers, and helps them recognize the differences from selling traditional IT services. Workshop attendees learn how to develop a successful cloud services practice by leveraging best practices for marketing and selling cloud solutions and managing ongoing customer relationships.
Executive Certificate In Cloud Program (Intermediate)
Building on the CompTIA Executive Certificate in Cloud (Foundations) program, this course of study addresses the specific “hows” of profitably integrating cloud-based IT services into a solution provider’s business. While much of the cloud-focused training currently available addresses generalities about business model transformation, this certificate program delves into the specifics of growing a cloud-based business. What solutions should an IT service provider offer and what are the best practices for incorporating them into current services? What are the most effective ways of building and utilizing a playbook to market and sell cloud-based offerings? And which organizational changes facilitate the growth of cloud business?
Quick Start Session To Accelerating Your Cloud Business
What are the success factors for integrating cloud-based services into a solution provider’s business model? Can integrating these services generate business-sustaining revenue? This session seeks to answer these questions by covering the information introduced in the Quick Start Guide to Accelerating Your Cloud Business, a copy of which attendees receive at the conclusion of the session.
Quick Start Session For Cloud Channel Development (For Vendors)
How does a vendor successfully build a channel for cloud-based offerings? And how do they measure their success? This session seeks answers to these questions by exploring the information presented in the Quick Start Guide to Cloud Channel Development (for vendors), a copy of which attendees receive at the conclusion of the session.
Quick Start Session to Cloud Computing
The cloud is not one offering or service, but a number of web-based applications and platforms that offer a great opportunity for solution providers. This 45-60 minute presentation provides a basic education on cloud computing and offers actionable steps for IT channel leaders attracted to this emerging technology delivery model. Session attendees also receive the CompTIA Quick Start Guide to Cloud Computing.
Sound interesting? Maybe even fun? I think so. I really look forward to Breakaway every year, because it is significantly different from every other event in the channel. With well over 1000 attendees spanning the entirety of the channel, Breakaway has something for everyone. Distribution execs, OEMs, small MSPs, Fortune 500 solution providers, coaches, experts, and even a few incredibly knowledgeable retirees will come to Vegas and discuss the future of the industry, the needs of the channel, and the opportunities for improvement. Co-opetition is the theme for the week, and improving the overall health of the industry is the goal. I am looking forward to seeing you there.