IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

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. By Colleen Frye

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.

“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.

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.

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