IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

What’s Up This Week: March 20th to March 24th

CompTIA’s Annual Member Meeting, dueling IBM and Adobe conferences in Las Vegas, and an unlikely double birthday are all coming up this week for the SMB channel.

By Rich Freeman

Big CompTIA, IBM, and Adobe events, an even bigger show in Germany, and birthday celebrations for a famous operating system, tech industry CEO, and LP are all up ahead for the SMB channel this week.

Reshma SaujaniMonday, March 20th

  • The IBM InterConnect conference, which officially got underway yesterday, rolls on in Las Vegas. It ends on Thursday.

Reader ROI: IBM CEO Ginni Rommety is keeping her travel agent busy these days. Last month she was at the company’s PartnerWorld event, also in Las Vegas, followed one week later by the HIMSS healthcare conference in New York City. Now she’s back in America’s playground to discuss cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence alongside a cast of speakers that includes film star Will Smith, comedian (and cyberbullying activist) Wayne Brady, and Reshma Saujani (pictured), founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a non-profit working to getting women into IT. IBM partners will also have access to a series of sessions and activities all their own.

  • Kate McKinnonJust up the road from IBM’s shindig, Adobe opens its Summit 2017 digital marketing event. The show closes on Thursday.

Reader ROI: Determined to match Big Blue on star power, Adobe is countering Will Smith and Wayne Brady with retired quarterback Peyton Manning and SNL star Kate McKinnon (pictured). Other speakers include Scott Guthrie, head of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, who is presumably on hand to talk up the strategic alliance that Microsoft and Adobe forged last September to deliver solutions combining Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365 with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud. The “Summit Bash” Wednesday evening features appearances by Death Cab For Cutie and OneRepublic.

Don’t worry about the price tag for bringing in two bands, either. Adobe can afford it.

  • Pepper - The Robot & friendsThe CeBIT conference commences in Hannover, Germany. It runs through the end of the week.

Reader ROI: There won’t be any movie stars or rock and rollers on stage at this gathering of high-tech vendors, experts, users, and enthusiasts. On the other hand, neither IBM nor Adobe is expecting 200,000 attendees. The agenda is predictably and appropriately heavy on security, IoT, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality content, and the over 200 speakers include Pepper - The Robot (pictured, far right), who stole last year’s show. Amazon Web Services, Epson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Toshiba are among the sponsors.

Tuesday March 21st

Reader ROI: AMM, as it’s better known, brings CompTIA’s various communities and councils together for several days of planning and knowledge sharing. Highlights this year include the crowning of Tracy Pound, managing director of Tamworth, England-based training, consultancy, and project management company MaximITy, as Member of the Year and a book signing appearance by Charles Eaton, executive vice president for social innovation at CompTIA and author of the recently released How to Launch Your Teen’s Career in Technology: A Parent’s Guide to the T in STEM Education.

Look for the membership organization’s new cybersecurity advisory council and security analytics certification program, not to mention its newly published Quick Start Guide to Winning State and Local Government Contracts, to get plenty of attention too. ChannelPro will be onsite and right in the thick of things, so check in here at this website for updates.

  • Microsoft and Internet of Things publication ReadWrite kick off their jointly hosted IoT in Action conference in San Jose. The two-day show ends tomorrow.

Reader ROI: Designed to cover both the why-to and how-to of Internet of Things technology, the show includes a full day of vertical industry solution workshops, plus networking and matchmaking opportunities for developers and partners seeking collaborators for IoT projects.

Thursday, March 23rd

Reader ROI: The one-day event will put the roughly 400 channel pros expected to attend in direct touch with the latest offerings from more than 50 vendors, including APC, Buffalo Americas, Cisco, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Logitech, and Samsung. Many of those offerings will be on sale, too, at special onsite-only discounted prices. Seminars on collaboration, mobility, PC refresh opportunities, and other topics will be running all day as well.

  • Acer posts results for the final quarter of its 2016 fiscal year.

Acer Predator 21 XReader ROI: Back in November, the hardware maker reported that revenue through the first 3 quarters of the year was down 12.4 percent year-over-year, though net income was up. A whole series of new products have reached market since then, including the Aspire V Nitro and Predator 21 X gaming laptops, the latter of which (pictured) features a curved display and integrated eye-tracking technology that lets users control onscreen action simply by shifting their gaze.

Friday, March 24th

  • Ballmer FloydIt’s the birthday of Apple’s OS X, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

Reader ROI: We’ve been searching desperately for a thread that might tie all three milestones together somehow. Like Apple’s $246 billion cash hoard, Ballmer’s $30.1 billion net worth, and Money, Dark Side of the Moon’s best known track, for example. Why bother, though? Suffice it to say that the operating system now known as MacOS turns sweet 16 today, Dark Side of the Moon turns 44 (in the U.K., anyhow. It actually went on sale a week earlier here in the States), and Ballmer turns 61.

Which, of course, means he was 17 years old when Pink Floyd’s biggest hit first appeared on store shelves. Alas, we don’t know if he purchased one of the 45 million copies the legendary album has supposedly sold to date—or, if he did, what kind of (ahem) state of mind he may have been in while listening to it.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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