SMB Nation Preview: Five Trends Worth Watching
If you plan to attend SMB Nation Fall (Oct. 2-4, Las Vegas) and want to potentially meet, send me an email. Also, MSPmentor and The VAR Guy will host a TweetUp on Oct. 2. Watch our Twitter feeds (@MSPmentor and @TheVARguy) Oct. 2 for details. In the meantime, here are five trends to examine at SMB Nation.
1. On Premise vs. Hosted Solutions: Yes, VARs and MSPs (managed services providers) continue to offer on-premise solutions. But how can you successfully blend those on-premise options with your own SaaS (software as a service) offerings or third-party options like Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)? And can the channel truly profit from vendor-offered SaaS systems?
2. Windows 7: Microsoft will launch the operating system Oct. 22. But expect plenty of buzz about the Windows 7 channel partner strategy at SMB Nation. Early buzz on the operating system remains positive, despite continued advancements from the Apple and Linux camps.
3. SMB Technology Network: Watch for the SMB TN membership to have a strong presence at SMB Nation. And watch for continued work between SMB TN and various vendors — including the recent relationship with Reflexion Networks.
4. Join the Club: It sounds like SMB Nation will unveil a so-called SMB Club at the event, in conjunction with peer learning institutions and other groups.
5. Q4 Performance: I’ll be asking multiple MSPs and VARs at the event about their anticipated 4Q performance. I sense that MSPs are becoming somewhat more confident in the economy — though that’s not saying much, considering how miserable everyone was feeling in 1Q 2009.
If you anticipate or spot additional trends/news at the event please let me know. We’ll be sure to check them out.