A celebration of entrepreneurs, the second IBM conference in as many weeks, and a shot at Oscar glory for a film about people who used IBM computers to get people to the moon and back are all ahead for the SMB channel this week.
Monday, February 20th
- It’s Presidents Day!
Reader ROI: And if you have the day off, consider yourself lucky. Only 39 percent of private sector employers let people stay home on the holiday recognizing the birthday of George Washington (and in many states Abraham Lincoln and/or Thomas Jefferson as well), according to Bloomberg BNA. If you work for one of the companies in the other 61 percent, as we do here at ChannelPro, we hope you’ll join us in raising a mug of (heavily caffeinated) coffee today in honor of the father of our country.
- It’s National Entrepreneurship Week!
Reader ROI: Which means that most of you and most of your clients will be justly celebrated through Friday. Microsoft, for one, has a whole series of offers and events on tap, including a 2-hour presentation about Office 365 today at the Microsoft Store in Troy, Mich., hosted by ChannelPro Visionary and Harbor Computer Services owner Amy Babinchak. Details on that and everything else Microsoft has going on this week are available here.
- The 2017 HIMSS healthcare technology show, which officially commenced yesterday, gets going in earnest at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando. It concludes on Thursday.
Reader ROI: Hosted by industry membership organization the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, this is easily the biggest healthcare technology event of the year, with an expected 45,000 people in attendance. This year’s edition features 300 sessions and an expo hall crammed with 1,200 exhibitors and showcase centers on interoperability and security. Keynote speakers include IBM president and CEO Ginni Rometty, former House Speaker John Boehner (pictured), and current Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell.
- IBM’s Connect 2017 event kicks off in San Francisco. It ends on Thursday.
Reader ROI: Connect is IBM’s deep dive into all things collaboration, and like last week’s PartnerWorld event, this year’s edition will focus heavily on solutions powered by the company’s Watson artificial intelligence platform. Though end users are the conference’s main target, there are plenty of sessions for partners as well, including one on Wednesday about strategies for winning business from Office 365 users. Keynotes include appearances by Columbia business professor and decision-making expert Sheena Iyengar and Grammy-winning composer/conductor Eric Whitacre.
Tuesday, February 21st
- The Container World conference gets rolling in Santa Clara, Calif. It runs through Thursday.
Reader ROI: Just in case you weren’t already convinced that containers are one of the hottest topics in techdom, check out the list of speakers at this event, which includes representatives of Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Docker (natch), Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware. The content is heavily technical, but includes a range of sessions dedicated to the past, present, and future of containers more generally.
Wednesday, February 22nd
- The first ASCII IT Success Summit of 2017 begins in Houston. It ends tomorrow.
Reader ROI: No, Leonardo DiCaprio probably won’t be there, but Frank Abagnale, the gifted counterfeiter and imposter who DiCaprio played in 2002’s Catch Me If You Can will be in attendance to deliver a keynote on his journey from teen-aged con man to respected cybersecurity and fraud prevention authority. Other speakers include Datto CEO Austin McChord, Vertical Axion president Herman Pool, and channel pro Frank DeBenedetto of Two River Technology Group, who will discuss “emotional-based selling.”
- HP Inc. posts financial results for the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year.
Reader ROI: HP has been on an impressive product design tear recently, as far as we’re concerned here at ChannelPro anyway, and it unveiled a passel of interesting new devices at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show last month too. None of that stopped continuing softness in its two core markets, PCs and printers, from driving revenue down 6 percent in fiscal 2016. Let’s see how much optimism CEO Dion Weisler (pictured) chooses to project during today’s investor conference call.
Thursday, February 23rd
- HPE reports its latest quarterly earnings.
Reader ROI: The hardware, software, and services vendor recorded a 4 percent revenue dip in its previous fiscal year. Today we find our if the company expects either the acquisition of hyperconverged infrastructure vendor SimpliVity it announced last month or the Internet of Things security solution it introduced last week to fuel a turnaround.
Friday, February 24th
- We’re just two days away from Oscar Sunday!
Reader ROI: And while there are plenty of fine best picture nominees to cheer for, we’ll be rooting just a little harder for Hidden Figures to win the night’s biggest prize. It is, after all, about computers, albeit human ones who made their enormously complicated mathematical calculations by hand initially in the period depicted by the film. Dorothy Vaughan (played in the movie by best supporting actress nominee Octavia Spencer) subsequently taught herself and her co-workers FORTRAN and successfully guided the whole team from manual to mechanical computing. In short, geeks, she was one of us, and it’s nice to see her get her due on the silver screen. Good luck, Dorothy!