Channel Partners

SPR 2015

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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Channel Partners Channel Partners I T T E L E C O M Editorial ART WITTMANN Content Director art.wittmann@informa.com, ext. 1235 T.C. DOYLE Executive Editor, IT & Cloud tc.doyle@informa.com, ext. 1402 LORNA GAREY, Executive Editor lorna.garey@informa.com, ext. 1678 KELLY M. TEAL Senior Editor kelly.teal@informa.com, ext. 1020 BUFFY NAYLOR Managing Editor buffy.naylor@informa.com, ext. 1043 CRAIG GALBRAITH Senior Online Managing Editor craig.galbraith@informa.com, ext. 1124 JOSH LONG Chief Legal Correspondent josh.long@informa.com, ext. 1104 Contributors MICHAEL FINNERAN Sales STACY WHITLEY Director of Business Development stacy.whitley@informa.com, ext. 1075 MYLES DEY Senior Account Executive myles.dey@informa.com, ext. 1175 CJ FOSTER Account Executive cj.foster@informa.com, ext. 1061 Marketing Services DANIELLE DUNLAP Vice President, Marketing Services JOSEPH DIPASTENA Creative Director ISRAEL LAVEAGA Art Director, Business Technology LEEZ MAY Program Manager Marketing DAVID HURLEY Marketing and Audience Content Manager KATHERINE JACKSON Audience Marketing Director BRITTANY WATTS Audience Marketing Manager CARISA FRISBY Audience and Content Coordinator, List Rentals Subscription Customer Service, +1 800 581 1811 Reprints, + 1 480 990 1101, ext. 1170 Events DANA HICKS Senior Vice President, Events SARAH WASCHLER Senior Director, Events LOLA ORTEGA Exhibit Operations Director SHILO LUSSON Education Director VANESSA CRUZ Exhibit Operations Manager ANGELINA SOTO Exhibit Operations Coordinator CARRIE FREESE Assistant Event Manager LINDSAY KUTSKO Event Registration Coordinator JOHN SIEFERT President KELLY RIDLEY Chief Financial Officer Published by Informa Exhibitions LLC 3300 N. Central Ave., Suite 300 Phoenix, AZ 85012 +1 480 990 1101 FAX: +1 480 990 0819 Email: channelpartners@vpico.com Web: channelpartnersonline.com Miss an issue? Call or go online to obtain your copies: +1 800 581 1811 or channelpartnersonline.com Art Wittmann, Content Director @artwittmann FROM HYPE TO REALITY: HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE By the time you read this, I'll have been the content director of Channel Partner for about 90 days. I've spent most of my journalism career working for IT end-user publications including Network Magazine, Network Computing and InformationWeek. In the past weeks at Channel Partners, I've been struck by some similarities and differences between channel pros and end-user IT pros. In terms of similarities, both end users and channel pros are dedicated to the vendors they know. "We're a Microsoft shop!" (or Cisco, or AT&T, or Verizon, or Oracle). I hear this over and over. Smart partners, of course, tend to be "all of the above" shops. But there's still a lot of brand and practice loyalty on both sides of the table. Loyalty like this happens for two good reasons. First, experience shows that loyalty pays. Once vendors prove themselves to be good partners, partnerships stick. Second, becoming proficient in complex product lines and practice isn't trivial. Once you have that knowledge, it's hard to see why you'd switch — barring some outside influence. What's different about the two audiences isn't the way that one constituency reacts to innovation such as cloud or mobility services, or the way in which one develops talent or best practices. Instead, it's the way they react to money. Channel pros move quickly when they see it; IT pros don't. To the former, money is gas. To the latter, money is brakes. From my experiences with IT professionals, there are two things they hate most: new expenses and risk. In their world, nothing will get you fired faster than spending a lot of money on a project that doesn't deliver. This is where events like the Channel Partners Conference & Expo come in. Our Las Vegas event is where smart channel pros come to learn about the newest technologies and services that are gaining traction with peers. Steve Jobs once famously said that it isn't the customer's job to know what they want next. He was talking about consumers, but the wisdom applies here. IT and comm leaders within the user community see many of the same opportunities you do — using cloud services, capitalizing on mobility and letting someone else worry about security all sound great to IT pros, but they don't know how to get there within budget and without risk. At this year's show, the BIG idea is around turning overhyped technologies into real business opportunities. For those who can manage complexity, limit risk and provide an honest appraisal of the costs and benefits of technology adoption, the opportunities are tremendous. Everyone gets the potential of the cloud (and other in-vogue technologies) overhyped as they may be. The challenge now is enabling the "how to do it." This is what the Channel Partners show will be all about this year. See you in Las Vegas, because this truly is BIG. > EDITOR'S LETTER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 4 CHANNEL PARTNERS SPRING 2015

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