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Live Blog - 2014 Tigerpaw Partner Conference Kick Off!

ChannelPro is live today at Tigerpaw's 2014 Partner Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago. Tigerpaw is looking to draw more than 300 attedees to their conference over the next few days, and word on the street is that they'll have some big announcements in store.

The kick off begins at 8:15AM Central Time, so stick around.

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9:56 - Also, if you liked our live coverage, help us out by giving us a like on Facebook and a mention on Twitter!

9:55 - And that's a wrap! Thanks to all of you who followed with us live. For any of you who are attending, ChannelPro's Matt Whitlock (that's me) will be participating on 2 panels Tuesday, one on convergence device opportunities and another on IT security. Check out Tuesdays agenda for rooms and times. Come join us and say hi!

9:51 - James is now sharing his top 10 things in Tigerpaw to implement for 2014: Automatic billing and payment processing, link to accounting, conditional workflows, customer portal with bill pay, password keeper, email connector, mobile product, service order templates, opportunity management, inventory tracking. 

9:47 - POS and Security/Alarm are really successful verticals that resellers are finding huge opportunity. He also says there's a group of Tigerpaw partners that are find success specifically focused on business verticals like dental.

9:45 - 75% of IT resellers have open positions, and Tigerpaw is trying to help resellers find the right people. He's also stressing that resellers need to remember to take care of your existing employees and promote from within.

9:44 - There's a giant donut on the screen. Apparently it makes him think of sales.

9:40 - James sees that the top hurdles to getting good ROI is changing mindset/behavior and skills. Tigerpaw offers a lot of features that don't cost more that can really return ROI. On another note, holy cow this guy talks fast. Fingers... can't... keep up...

9:37 - James is hammering home alot of opportunity for IT providers that they can't ignore. Voice is one, and cloud is an obvious second. Interesting, 29% of companies have moved something back on-prem recently due to security concern.

9:34 - Tigerpaw is trying to reduce administrative overhead. Billing is a good example, a small business with 18 customers is saving 6-8 hours and reducing their time to payment significantly.

9:30 - Seth from CompTia is wrapping up. CEO James Foxall coming back up onto the stage.

9:28 - PSA for attendees. Yours truly will be participating on the IT Security Panel in a breakout session today. Come join in!

9:27 - Broaden your vendor network.

9:26 - Talking about the current landscape of security issues. Great graphic below, it really shows how many security concerns there really are.

9:22 - Survival step 5: Explore different vertical applications.

9:20 - Talking about industries where companies where technology was very disruptive to existing businesses that didn't embrace and be forward looking. To now surprise, Blockbuster Video is front and center to show how a technology focused newcomer obliterated what was once a healthy giant.

9:15: - Survival step 4: Have discussions with all the right people.

9:14: - Businesses will spend around 7 dollars in integration for every dollar spent on software, for every dollar spent on prevention for security 10 will be spent repairing breaches.

9:13 - Survival step 3: Make sure customers get the ROI they expect.

9:12 - Now looking at the "threat" of mobility, and turning that into opportunity. Here are what they are saying is the top 5 challenges. Interesting to note that familiarity is the number one challenge, given that employees claim they want these devices because they are familiar with them.

9:10 - That led into survival step 2: Know how to deliver the best cloud based architecture. 

9:08 - Turning the threat of cloud computing into an opportunity is recognizing there are a lot of different models out there. Some companies are moving back into on-prem for some applications for performance, while leveraging private and public cloud services for certain needs.


9:04 - Survival step 1: Become familiar with all the moving pieces. For example, do you really know the difference between a hosted system vs other systems. They're finding that while resellers say they are familiar with all these things, they're really not.

9:01 -Talking about adding up all the pieces of IT, which is where the complexity comes in. That's led into some talk on platform potential, for example, combining big data and someone with business knowledge that can take all these moving pieces and leverage it.

8:57 - "What sets IT apart is a higher degree of complexity." He also says, "You can make the argument that mainframe computing being commoditized by companies like Amazon and Microsoft." He's drawing some historical comparisons on the evolution of computing from the 60s through today.

8:52 - Talking about mobility now, as another distinct threat to IT. As users become more familiar with technology and bring their own hardware, the needs for IT support become diminished. Although BYOD is certainly a split issue among businesses.

8:50 - Sorry for delays in posting. Internet here is a bit jammed.

8:45 - Seth is talking about some former predictions that IT is commoditized, more like a utility, and that the value of IT as a differentiator. Some current trends to back that up is that 90% of companies claim some form of cloud computing. 

8:40 - Seth Robinson from CompTia is taking the stage to talk about survival steps for IT resellers.

8:36 - I'll just post this without context so you all can wonder...

8:34 - The toolbox represents "Tigerpaws desire to be a toolset focused on the entire business. Not just a piece of it."

8:30 - Tigerpaw finally owns the domain name. Big cheers, considering was a bit longer to type.

8:28 - Big laughs that the long walk from the hotel was because Tigerpaw cares about the fitness and health of attendees. It is a pretty long walk, but that's not surprising for anyone who's been to McCormick. It's huge!

8:25 - New for Tigerpaw this year is a cool mobile app to manage your schedule as an attendee. Once again, Windows Phone ignored.

8:23 - They're giving awat $1,500 in cash to a lucky winner on Wednesday night. See, it can pay to go to these things. 

8:22 - They're going through and thanking the sponsors of the event, making the case that the sponsors here have a lot to offer resellers.


8:19 - Starting off a bit late, but it's getting started now.

8:13 -  The room is fillin in. Looks like we should be getting started shortly.

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