Channel Partner Summits: Is October 2011 Busiest Month Ever?
The VAR Guy just took a look at his travel schedule for October 2011. Simply put: It could be the busiest month ever for channel partners that plan to attend VAR- and MSP-centric conferences. Skeptical? Take a look at this packed schedule of October 2011 events, many of which The VAR Guy and his editorial team plan to attend…
1. SMB Nation Fall (Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Las Vegas): Harry B is set to rally his community. True to its name, SMB Nation is filled with small business technology content. The VAR Guy knows several of the guest speakers personally… including CharTec CEO Alex Rogers (covering Managed Services and recurring revenue strategies) and Intel‘s Eric Townsend (making money with tomorrow’s SMB technology). And watch for former Autotask Senior VP Jay McBain to potentially reveal his next career move.
2. Oracle OpenWorld (Oct. 2-6, San Francisco): The important date for Oracle channel partners is October 2. It’s a safe bet Oracle Channel Chief Judson Althoff will be on hand for the Oracle PartnerNetwork Forum that day. Plus, The VAR Guy wonders — does Larry Ellison have a few cloud tricks up his sleeve? Too early for The VAR Guy to share speculation… but stay tuned.
3. Avnet IBM Partner Summit (Oct. 2-4, San Antonio, Texas): Avnet Technology Solutions is a value-added distributor that works with several key vendors on really big relationships. IBM is one of them. Big Blue has been preaching business intelligence to channel partners this year. But will IBM shift the message to hardware — and competing against HP — at the Avnet event? Hmmm…
4. Ingram Micro VTN Fall Invitational (Oct. 2-5, Las Vegas): Ingram’s VentureTech Network (VTN) represents savvy VARs who typically move pretty fast onto the next big thing. Most of the major vendors will be at VTN…
5. ScanSource Communications Partner Conference (Oct. 4-6, Memphis, Tenn.): A prime gathering spot for VoIP resellers, as well as video conferencing and telephony specialists.
6. Novell BrainShare (Oct. 10-14, Salt Lake City, Utah): Now owned by Attachmate, Novell needs to clearly communicate its partner strategy to three communities: SUSE Linux resellers, traditional Novell partners, and NetIQ partners. Those three communities now manage various products that were previously under a single Novell umbrella.
7. N-able Partner Summit (Oct. 10-14, Scottsdale, Ariz.): One of the best-known providers of managed services software, N-able will surely update its freemium software strategy. The effort strives to give MSPs basic monitoring and management capabilities to get started, before upselling SMB customers on full-blown proactive managed services.
8. Symantec Partner Engage (Oct. 12-13, Chandler, Ariz.): Symantec has been on a roll lately. The security and storage provider recently launched Symantec Endpoint Protection 12. Early reaction has been positive. Equally important, Symantec has rebranded all of its SaaS and hosted offerings as part of the Symantec.cloud portfolio. A cloud edition of Backup Exec is on the way. What other surprises will Channel Chief Randy Cochran reveal?
9. Dell World (Oct. 12-14, Austin, Texas): This is the first-ever Dell World conference. The CEOs of Microsoft, Intel and VMware are confirmed to speak. Dell Channel Chief Greg Davis has said that the conference is wide open to channel partners. Expect some cloud surprises, too.
10. McAfee Focus (Oct. 18-20, Las Vegas): Now owned by Intel, McAfee has gradually proven that it’s serious about partnering. Channel Chief Alex Thurber, a Cisco veteran, has the channel in his DNA. And recent hire Lang Tibbils, another Cisco veteran, is driving McAfee’s channel marketing messages going forward. On a side note, keep a close eye on McAfee’s SaaS partner program — which leverages McAfee’s buyout of MX Logic.
11. Tigerpaw User Conference (Oct. 19-21, Dallas): Thousands of telecom resellers, VARs and MSPs leverage Tigerpaw’s PSA (professional services automation) software to manage their businesses. This is the second-annual Tigerpaw event.
12. Spiceworks Spiceworld (Oct. 20-21, Austin, Texas): Spiceworks develops a free, advertising-based remote management platform for IT administrators, VARs and MSPs. A big theme for the event: Helping attendees to negotiate great prices on IT purchases.
13. Red Hat North America Partner Summit (Oct. 25-27, Miami): Historically, channel partners have attended the larger, customer-centric Red Hat Summit. But this dedicated Red Hat Partner Summit will gather channel partners from across North America. Channel Chief Roger Egan will likely describe Red Hat’s push beyond Linux, emphasizing growing opportunities for JBoss middleware and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV). And don’t forget: Red Hat has a range of partner-centric cloud efforts under way.
14. ASCII Success Summit (Oct. 27, New Brunswick, N.J.): Designed specifically for VARs and MSPs in the small business market, the ASCII events typically mix of education, networking, panel discussions and awards. There’s even a rumor that The VAR Guy will be on hand for this specific event.
That’s it for October. It’s going to be an intense month for channel partners. The VAR Guy and his team promise to stay on top of the news — and ahead of the chatter — emerging from each event.
Side note: The VAR Guy apologizes for some missing links but he wasn’t able to find web sites for all of the conferences. Also, check out The VAR Guy’s exclusive list of the top 100 channel partner conferences worth tracking.