Veeam and SAP conferences, Woodstock for Google developers, and the anniversary of the first U.S. patent for the product that eventually gave birth to some shockingly expensive tablet styli are all up ahead for the SMB channel this week.By Rich Freeman
Earnings updates from Cisco and Salesforce, the latest ASCII Group and SaaSMAX events, and a patent anniversary that called our attention to the existence of extravagantly priced tablet pens are all coming this week for the SMB channel.
See our industry events calendar for a look at what’s up this year.
Tuesday, May 16th
Reader ROI: You could easily miss it if you don’t partner with them, but Veeam is quietly killing it right now. Just last month, in fact, the company reported 33 percent year-over-year growth in revenue generally and 59 percent year-over-year growth in cloud revenue specifically. 2 months before that it began doling out $200 million of Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service giveaways aimed at generating interest in Veeam products and partners alike.
ChannelPro will be in attendance at this year’s VeeamON to see what the company has planned for the rest of the year—and to find out if the scheduled keynote appearance by Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich heralds a new product or alliance announcement of some kind. Stay tuned to this website for complete coverage.
- The 2017 edition of SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference gets started in Orlando. It runs through Thursday.
Reader ROI: Attendees can expect the usual product demos and roadmap updates during today’s keynote by company CEO Bill McDermott. Tomorrow’s keynote by chairman Hasso Plattner is likely to be more interesting, however, as it promises to outline SAP’s strategy for artificial intelligence, the market everyone from Microsoft and IBM to Salesforce (see below) and ServiceNow is vying to lead. Other highlights—or lowlights, depending on your sports allegiances—include general session appearances by Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter (pictured). Muse (which apparently aspires to be “The Greatest Live Band on Earth”—keep trying, fellas!) headlines the closing night concert.
- The Internet of Things World conference kicks off in Santa Clara, Calif. It closes on Thursday.
Reader ROI: This is a big show (11,000 attendees, 400+ speakers, 250+ exhibitors) about a big market ($1.29 trillion in global spending by 2020, according to IDC). The 10 content tracks include one that directly addresses the topic of greatest interest to the typical channel pro: How to monetize the IoT. Avnet, which sold its technology solutions business to Tech Data in a bid to reinvent itself as an Internet of Things specialist, is perhaps unsurprisingly the show’s title sponsor.
- Microsoft’s 2nd annual SharePoint Virtual Summit takes place in…cyberspace.
Reader ROI: Last year’s summit introduced the world to Microsoft’s revamped vision for SharePoint. This year’s follow-up will merely showcase opportunities to integrate the collaboration and knowledge management platform with OneDrive, Yammer, Teams, and other Microsoft products to create connected workplace solutions. The show is free and, as its name suggests, 100 percent online.
Wednesday, May 17th
- Google I/O, a self-described “outdoor developer festival,” opens in Mountain View, Calif. It closes on Friday.
Reader ROI: Woodstock for Google geeks? Google I/O features a wealth of content sessions and codelabs on a variety of mobility, cloud, and IoT-related topics, as well as opportunities to get 1:1 feedback on your app’s design and performance from Google employees. If you’re not a coder, CEO Sundar Pinchai’s 90-minute keynote this morning on “product and platform innovation” might be of interest anyway. Fortunately for Google and its soon-to-be guests, the weather looks to be good in Mountain View this week.
- The ASCII Group’s IT Success Summit tour rolls into Columbus, Ohio, for a 2-day stop.
Reader ROI: The 4th of the ASCII Group’s 9 scheduled live events for 2017 includes sessions on one-hour marketing by Vertical Axion’s Herman Pool, emotional-based selling by audIT Sales Presentation System’s Frank DeBenedetto, and understanding M&A metrics by Cogent Growth Partners’ George Sierchio. Frank Abagnale (pictured), the only security and fraud prevention expert in the world ever played by Leonardo DiCaprio in a Steve Spielberg movie, will keynote tomorrow. ChannelPro will be in the house as well, so drop by our booth in the expo hall and say howdy.
- Cisco reports financial results for the third quarter of its 2017 fiscal year.
Reader ROI: Revenue was down 2 percent in Cisco’s second quarter, and the vendor forecast flat to lower revenue this time around as well. None of that has stopped the company from shelling out big bucks on strategic acquisitions anyway. Most recently, those include SD-WAN vendor Viptela and artificial intelligence vendor MindMeld, which Cisco bought for $610 million and $125 million respectively. Investments like those are meant to jumpstart a shift from networking into a variety of new and emerging markets. Let’s see if CEO Chuck Robbins brings that big picture into clearer focus during today’s investor conference call.
Thursday, May 18th
- SaaSMAX stages the second of its 4 Cybersecurity Channel Road Show events of 2017, in Boston.
Reader ROI: We can’t help but notice that the “unlimited beer” SaaSMAX had on hand for it its first cybersecurity show in March no longer appears in the event description, which is probably wise because channel pros can put away a lot of beer. There are plenty of good reasons to drop by this half-day conference just the same, including panel sessions on threat detection and mitigation, best practices in user authentication, and building the right Security-as a Service offering, among others, plus prizes, giveaways, and a buffet dinner.
- Salesforce reports its latest corporate earnings.
Reader ROI: Unless revenue has fallen off a cliff recently, the SaaS kingpin’s first numbers for fiscal 2018 should look about as healthy as those that closed out fiscal 2017, which were healthy indeed. Salesforce is in the midst of a major push into artificial intelligence most recently manifested by the AI-heavy Spring ’17 release of its sales, service, marketing, e-commerce, and other solutions, but we’ll be curious to see how much emphasis it places during today’s conference call on the drive to recruit more ISVs (and would-be ISVs from the VAR and MSP communities) into its recently relaunched AppExchange partner program.
Friday, May 19th
- It’s the 187th anniversary of the first U.S. patent for the fountain pen!
Reader ROI: Or tomorrow is, anyway, though frankly we find that little more interesting than you probably do. It’s just that after stumbling upon this fact recently we also stumbled upon some distantly related facts about that modern-day answer to the fountain pen, the tablet stylus.
More specifically, those of us at ChannelPro who take interview notes on an iPad with a $30-ish stylus were startled to discover that there are people spending over $109 dollars on fancy pen/stylus combos with Italian styling. We were then shocked to learn that other people are paying $380 for even fancier “multifunction pens.” And we were downright flabbergasted to find that at least a few folks out there do their tablet jotting with a stainless steel Montblanc writing instrument that retails (before tax and shipping, mind you) for $1,085. Could there be a more foolish extravagance? And could we want one even more desperately than we now do?
No and no.