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Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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May 7, 2021 |

2021 ChannelPro SMB Forum Series Kicks Off in the Midwest

With an expanded schedule of cities, ChannelPro launched its 2021 tour to help MSPs, IT consultants, VARs, and integrators successfully position themselves for the future.

The ChannelPro SMB Forum series of six live, regional events kicked off on May 6. The Midwest event, which transitioned to online due to COVID travel restrictions in Chicago, featured a stellar lineup of presenters who reflected on challenges and changes in the IT industry and provided actionable advice for capitalizing on current technology trends and growing a business. MSPs, IT consultants, VARs, and integrators who attended also had the opportunity to interact with panelists, network with peers, and browse the virtual vendor expo.

 src=“Coming off a year like no other, this year’s SMB Forum events are all about learning from 2020’s challenges and profiting from future opportunities in cloud computing, security, managed services, and beyond,” said Rich Freeman, executive editor of The ChannelPro Network. “As ever at our conferences, those insights come to you straight from an all-star cast of the SMB channel’s most accomplished and respected MSPs, solution providers, consultants, and vendors.”

The educational sessions included:

Secrets to Bigger Cloud Margins – Margins on cloud services, according to conventional wisdom, are always and permanently slim. Channel pros Sam Barhoumeh, Ben Niernberg, and Joanna Sobran shared how they are proving that stereotype wrong.

Peer to Peer: The New Normal MSP – What separates channel pros who struggled with last year’s recession from those who were ready for the challenge and are now thriving in the new normal? In 1:1 Q&As, two top-performing MSPs, Will Foret and Peter Melby, provided their perspective. src=

ChannelPro Weekly Live: MSP Regulations Are Coming. Are You Ready? Rich Freeman and Matt Whitlock, hosts of the ChannelPro Weekly podcast, interviewed fellow podcaster and channel veteran Dave Sobel in a frank discussion about why government regulation is coming soon to managed services and what it means for MSPs.

Principles of Zero-Trust Security – Everyone says a zero-trust strategy is the only way to secure work-from-home environments and everything else. What does that mean in practice though? Our panel of security experts, Paco Lebron, Bruce McCully and Michael O’Hara, provided practical, concrete advice on building a zero-trust architecture.

IoT Playbook: Access Control in Action – ChannelPro’s 2021 Peer of the Year, Corey Kirkendoll, explained how he is using Internet of Things technology to build access control and other smart solutions for the COVID and post-COVID era.

Stump the Sales Pro – Sales expert Mike Schmidtmann provided real-time, real-world advice on the thorniest sales and marketing challenges from our audience.

The Channel Pro’s Strategic Roadmap to Success – Market-leading channel pros don’t get there by accident. Business coach Manuel Palachuk outlined the four steps best-in-class IT providers take to build and execute a winning business strategy.

6 Key Strategies to Turn Your Tech-Focused Team into Brand-Building Rock Stars – Image expert and MSP owner Lisa Shorr shared her six essential keys to building the kind of personal and corporate brand that prospects seek out and clients rave about.

“What a difference a year makes!” said Michael Siggins, president and publisher of The ChannelPro Network. “As businesses re-open and we move toward a post-pandemic future that gets brighter every day, ChannelPro is both grateful and privileged to bring together the channel community and present top-notch, meaningful events designed to help attendees with all aspects of their business.”

The Midwest ChannelPro SMB Forum concluded with attendees honoring vendor sponsors with the following awards:

  • Best in Show: Huntress
  • Best Add-On Product: Webroot
  • Best Cloud Solution: Acronis
  • Best Distributor: SYNNEX
  • Best Expo Hall Presentation (Premium level): Huntress
  • Best Expo Hall Presentation (Silver level): Tech Data Cloud
  • Best Hardware Solution: Cytracom
  • Best IoT Solution: Ingram Micro
  • Best New Solution: Graphus & Collabrance (tie)
  • Best On-Stage Presentation: Huntress
  • Best Partner Community: Datto
  • Best Product/Tech Support: Datto
  • Best Revenue Booster: Huntress
  • Best Software Solution: Acronis
  • Most Innovative Solution: ThreatLocker

Many thanks to our Titanium sponsor Dell Technologies; Diamond sponsor Fortinet; Platinum sponsor ThreatLocker; Sapphire sponsor Datto; Premier Gold sponsor Huntress; and Gold sponsors Acronis, Cytracom, Exclusive Networks, Graphus, Ingram Micro, Sophos, Tech Data Security Solutions, and Webroot.


And thanks to our Silver sponsors The ASCII Group, Collabrance, SYNNEX, and Tech Data Cloud Solutions.

Next month on June 9, join us for the Southwest ChannelPro SMB Forum event, which is being held in-person in Dallas and will be live streamed for virtual attendees. Find out more here.

Additional regional hybrid ChannelPro SMB Forum events are planned for in-person attendees and will be live streamed through our online event platform to people who prefer a virtual experience. Dates for those events are:

  • July 8, 2021 Southeast – Atlanta, Ga.
  • September 2, 2021 New England – Boston, Mass.
  • October 6, 2021 Mid-Atlantic – Raleigh, N.C.
  • November 16, 2021 West – Los Angeles, Calif.

And later in the year, ChannelPro is hosting two Online Summits:

  • August 4 – Cybersecurity Online Summit: Threat Trends and Opportunities
  • December 8 – Managed Services and Cloud Solutions Online Summit: Best Practices for Accelerated Success

For more information on all ChannelPro events, go here.

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