Buzz-worthy product launches, ChannelPro’s first big conference of the year, and no-longer-super supercomputer anniversaries are just a few of the topics that will figure prominently for channel pros in the week ahead.
Monday, February 29th
- This year’s U.S. edition of the RSA Conference opens in San Francisco.
Reader ROI: As usual, everyone who’s anyone in cybersecurity will be in attendance at this major milestone on the annual IT calendar, with senior researchers and strategists from Sophos, Trend Micro, and Webroot (which will also be showcasing its just-released BrightCloud Threat Investigator solution) joining a host of other speakers from inside and beyond the vendor community. The conference wraps up on March 4th with an appearance by Sean Penn, who probably has a thing or two to say about security these days given that intercepted texts between Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán concerning Penn’s Rolling Stone interview with Guzman last autumn reportedly played a key role in the drug lord’s subsequent capture.
- The Cisco Partner Summit kicks off in San Diego. It closes on Thursday.
Reader ROI: Cloud computing, big data, and digital transformation all figure heavily on the agenda at this year’s event, which also features appearances by marketing guru Guy Kawasaki and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Less prominent on the session lineup is content about networking, once Cisco’s bread and butter and now a market with declining long-term growth prospects.
- The 2016 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition gets underway in Las Vegas, continuing through the end of the week.
Reader ROI: Staged by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the health industry’s top IT trade organization, HIMSS is to medical technology what RSA is to security. This year’s show features an all-star cast of speakers that includes Michael Dell, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and quarterback/Super Bowl 50 victor Peyton Manning, who will appear Friday in a “fireside chat” with Carolina Panthers team doctor Robert A. Heyer, M.D. Both gentlemen, in their own fashion, have a recent history with pain.
Tuesday, March 1st
- The first stop on ChannelPro’s 2016 Channel Fitness Tour of SMB Forum events commences in Dallas with a welcome reception this evening, and continues tomorrow with a jam-packed day of content from the SMB channel’s top experts on strategies for turning your business into a lean, mean money-making machine.
Reader ROI: Forget RSA, Cisco, and HIMSS. This is the show channel pros should be at this week. Highlights include sessions on underappreciated managed service opportunities, proven cloud sales and marketing techniques, operational best practices, critical business finance metrics, and more. The tour rolls on into Anaheim, Washington D.C., and Boston later this year.
- BDR vendor Retrospect announces a major product launch.
Reader ROI: ChannelPro can’t divulge the juicy details now except to say the comprehensive new solution significantly enhances the capabilities of Retrospect’s flagship BDR products. Tune in to channelpronetwork.com tomorrow for the complete lowdown.
Wednesday, March 2nd
- Healthcare industry Workspace-as-a-Service vendor Vertiscale makes an important product announcement at the aforementioned ChannelPro SMB Forum event in Dallas.
Reader ROI: Our lips are sealed until the 2nd, but suffice it to say this will be a big day in Vertiscale’s young history. Be sure to visit this website for complete coverage.
- Barracuda Networks shares interesting product news of its own at the RSA Conference.
Reader ROI: Once more, we know everything but will say nothing until later in the week. Keep your eyes peeled here for a full rundown of the who, what, when, and why.
Thursday, March 3rd
- It’s this week’s big earnings day, with both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Tech Data issuing their latest quarterly numbers.
Reader ROI: Three months ago, Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported a nine percent year-over-year drop in enterprise services revenue and a seven percent year-over-year decline in software revenue. Only the company’s server, networking, and converged systems segment saw revenue rise, and just by two percent at that. None of that came as much surprise to analyst Rob Enderle, who in an interview with ChannelPro last December noted that by foiling HPE’s plan to purchase storage giant EMC, Dell has left one of its top competitors without an obvious route out of a deep rut.
“HPE is going to have a really interesting year,” he said. “They’ve got to figure out a way to organically do what they were going to do through acquisitions.” Today’s conference call may reveal what the company has in mind.
As for Tech Data, investors and channel pros will be looking to see if the distributor’s last quarter was any stronger than that of recently-acquired Ingram Micro, which reported a 13 percent year-over-year global sales dip precisely one week earlier.
Friday, March 4th
- 40 years ago today, Cray Research (now Cray Inc.) shipped the first Cray-1 supercomputer to Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Reader ROI: Oh how “super” has changed when it comes to computing in the years since our nation’s bicentennial. The hulking Cray-1, which weighed 5.5 tons and cost $8.8 million, came with a whopping eight megabytes of memory and a top processing speed of 160 megaflops. By comparison, the Intel HD 530, part the chipmaker’s Skylake CPU family, is capable of reaching 1,152 gigaflops, which is to say 7,200 times the Cray-1’s comparatively un-super performance. You can also run it at safe temperatures without assistance from anything like the Cray-1’s then innovative Freon-based cooling system.