March 11, 2016
By Bob Titsch
You might already know that the Cloud Migration Lab at Channel Partners Las Vegas was developed by a Lab Rat Pack of editors, agents and cloud providers to be an immersive environment where channel partners can learn how to build a practice around cloud-migration products. With the help of Lab sponsor Microsoft, leading cloud providers including Rackspace, Evolve IP, Sungard, NaviSite, 2600hz, SkyKick and Seepath, and participating channel partners, we look forward to realizing that vision in just a few days.
The Lab will have a center stage with seating area for scheduled presentations and several sponsored kiosks for showcasing cloud-migration products and teaching you how to sell them with a focus on business value. Often, sponsors and channel partners will team together in on-stage and kiosk presentations to share their insights and explain, on a peer-to-peer basis, exactly what’s involved in transitioning customers to cloud-based solutions.
One channel partner looking forward to dropping by the Lab and chatting with peers is Michelle Hyde, founder and principal consultant at Hyde Group, a Seattle-based firm that works with Fortune 5000 enterprises in the Northwest. Hyde’s customers are increasingly adopting cloud solutions, and she intends to visit the Lab early and often to see the latest migration products and also talk to colleagues about their experiences in the space.
“I think the Lab will provide a terrific baseline to assess options for my clients and I’m looking forward to seeing presentations and industry colleagues to understand their approach to Office 365 migrations, DRaaS and application migration for hybrid cloud opportunities,” she says. “We’re just beginning to tap into it and I expect that this process will be very helpful in understanding provider capabilities.”
Since we announced the Lab concept many weeks ago, numerous other agents and consultants have contacted us to ask questions and express interest because they see what’s happening in the market. Natasha Royer Coons, managing director of San Diego-based TeraNova, focuses largely on designing and managing mobility solutions for enterprises around the globe. Many of her customers are considering transitioning to cloud and hybrid cloud solutions that could impact her team’s network design and mobile-device management efforts. With so many events and meetings planned at the Expo, she sees the Lab as a means to acquire much-needed information economically.
“I’m eager to spend time in the Lab and speak with other consultants as well as solution providers about cloud migration,” says Coons. “We’re seeing more and more opportunities in this area so it’s essential that our team is aware of the latest solutions and best practices. That we can visit one place on the exhibit floor to take away that kind of information is convenient, too. I’m looking forward to joining the Lab Rat Pack!”
So is Dan Fishman, managing partner at New Jersey-based Clover Communications, a provider of network connectivity, cloud and cybersecurity solutions to SMBs and large enterprises. Although he and his team at Clover have experience with Office 365 migrations, hosted voice and storage, he is keen on speaking with Lab kiosk sponsors and DRaaS providers in particular.
“DRaaS is a nice complement to our continuity and cybersecurity initiatives in the healthcare and financial services verticals,” said Fishman. “I intend to sit in on DRaaS presentations and also visit with vendors about their offerings.”
The Lab runs for two days. On Wednesday, March 16, the focus will be on end-user application migration involving email, office-productivity applications and data. On Thursday, March 17, the emphasis will be on business-application migration for purposes of disaster recovery.
The presentation schedule:
4:30 – Migrating Office 365: It’s Easier Than You Think
5:15 – Selling Hosted Productivity Solutions to Skeptics
6:00 – Mechanics of Migrating Hosted Mail and Productivity Solutions
2:30 – Selling DRaaS to Skeptics
3:15 – 4 Reasons You Should Sell Cloud DR
4:00 – How to Pick a DRaaS Partner: Criteria to Consider
4:45 – Cloud Communications: Can We Talk?
It’s worth noting that the Lab is on the show floor so its education program is free to attendees with Expo-only badges. Channel partners who take in presentations also will get an inaugural Lab Rat Pack tee-shirt. And there will be a bar nearby! So stop by and join our Lab Rat Pack. Free education, adult beverages, cool tees, and a road map for tapping into a growing and lucrative segment of the business? Sinatra put it well: “The best is yet to come, and won’t that be fine.”
Bob Titsch is the Cloud Migration Program Manager for the Channel Partners Conference and Expo. He can be reached at [email protected].
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