4 Channel Conferences In 5 Days: Can The VAR Guy Survive?
As The VAR Guy looks ahead to the week of October 4, our resident blogger is feeling a bit overwhelmed. Within a five-day period there are four channel-related partner conferences. The gatherings include Ingram Micro VentureTech (San Francisco), MSPWorld (Los Angeles), Rackspace Partner Summit (San Antonio) and Tigerpaw User Conference (Dallas, Texas). What should VARs expect from each conference? And can our resident blogger really use planes, trains and automobiles to attend each conference? Here’s a reality check.
Alas, The VAR Guy has a confession: He has some potential family commitments that will keep him off the road here and there — but not everywhere….
What’s the Early Buzz?
Somehow, The VAR Guy is still plugged into each event. Here’s a preview:
1. Ingram Micro VentureTech Network (October 3-5, San Francisco, Calif.): Some channel heavy hitters are expected to attend, including Hewlett-Packard Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco. HP earlier this week provided an upbeat financial forecast to Wall Street. Now, DiFranco is set to network at Ingram Micro VTN. As The VAR Guy has mentioned multiple times, DiFranco is the rare large company channel chief who has helped to transform resellers into MSPs in recent years. Our resident blogger expects DiFranco to continue that trend at HP.
Also of note: NetEnrich Senior VP and General Manager Justin Crotty, formerly VP of Ingram Micro, is expected to surface at Ingram Micro VTN. Crotty is pushing to promote NetEnrich as an IT-as-a-Service specialist that works closely with distributors. NetEnrich is best-known as a NOC (Network Operations Center) provider for VARs and MSPs. But stay tuned: More moves are coming…
2. MSPWorld (Oct. 4-6, Las Angeles, Calif.): Co-located for the first time at ITExpo, MSPWorld is expected to attract some key managed services pundits. Names to watch — and listen to — include:
- Kutenda Co-Founder Michael Cooch, talking about automated marketing. Cooch also runs Everon IT Services, a successful MSP that has landed on the Inc. 5000 and MSPmentor 100 lists in recent years.
- Do IT Smarter CEO Lane Smith, talking up pricing models. Do IT Smarter is one of the best-known Master MSPs in the North America.
- Microsoft Partner Cloud Services Director Deniz Tortop, describing cloud as the new IT. To Microsoft’s credit, the company is speaking at more and more MSP-centric conferences. Following MSPWorld, Microsoft will also be on hand at N-able Partner Summit (Oct. 20-22, Arizona), which will also attract a good number of MSPs.
- Former Business Solutions Magazine Editor Brian Sherman and former ChannelInsider Editor Larry Walsh, respectively, covering lead generation and “the new normal.”
Also of note: The VAR Guy has heard a rumor that there may be some significant news as MSPWorld on Oct. 4. Stay tuned…
3. Rackspace Partner Leadership Summit (Oct. 5-6, San Antonio, Texas): Rackspace continues to expand its channel partner program for traditional VARs. Listen for updates involving Rackspace’s growing relationship with Ingram Micro Seismic, which specializes in managed services and SaaS opportunities for VARs. Also, The VAR Guy wonders how Rackspace will promote OpenStack — an open source cloud computing standard — to channel partners. Expect plenty of answers at the conference.
4. Tigerpaw User Conference (Oct. 6-8, Dallas, Texas): This is Tigerpaw’s first-ever conference. The VAR Guy expects a couple-hundred folks, particularly VARs and MSPs, to attend. On the one hand, Tigerpaw has numerous loyal customers in the PSA (professional services automation) software market. But on the other hand, Tigerpaw hasn’t been as vocal as rivals like ConnectWise and Autotask.
Simply put, the Tigerpaw User Conference is Tigerpaw’s opportunity to step into the channel spotlight. Here’s what to expect at that conference.
The channel events don’t end there. During the rest of October, The VAR Guy will be tracking…
- Oct. 12-14: McAfee Focus, Las Vegas
- Oct. 20-22: N-able Partner Summit, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Oct. 21-22: Spiceworks User Conference, Austin, Texas
- Oct. 22-24: SMB Nation Fall, Las Vegas
- Oct. 25-28: Avnet-IBM Partner Summit, San Antonio, Texas
Hmmm… So many conferences. So little time. Somehow, The VAR Guy plans to maintain a life-work balance…