The ChannelPro SMB Forum Mid-Atlantic, the fourth of five in-person regional conferences planned for 2021, took place in Raleigh, N.C., on October 6. Attendees at the day-long event, which was also livestreamed for virtual participants, heard a stellar lineup of presenters reflect on challenges and opportunities in the IT industry and provide actionable advice for capitalizing on current technology trends. In addition, MSPs, IT consultants, VARs, and integrators who attended had the opportunity to interact with panelists, network with peers, and browse the vendor expo.
The Mid-Atlantic event also featured a half-day workshop on October 5 on vertical industry opportunities in the Internet of Things, hosted by The ChannelPro Network and RIoT, an economic and educational organization focused on accelerating startups and creating IoT opportunities. The workshop was designed to expand attendees’ understanding of IoT solutions and learn best practices for starting and growing an IoT services business. It featured 1:1 interviews with channel pros who shared their real-world experience of how they turned the IoT from drawing-board concept to money maker.
“Our 2021 SMB Forum events are focused on learning from 2020’s challenges and presenting strategies and key technologies to help channel pros meet the evolving needs of SMBs while growing their own businesses,” said Rich Freeman, executive editor of The ChannelPro Network. “Our educational sessions on cloud computing, security, customer service, best business practices, and more, offer attendees insight they can put into practice immediately.”
On the main day on October 6, the educational sessions included:
Secrets to Bigger Cloud Margins – Margins on cloud services, according to conventional wisdom, are always and permanently slim. Channel pros Corey Kirkendoll, Lisa Shorr, (pictured) and Jamison West shared how they are proving that stereotype wrong.
Peer to Peer: The New Normal Customer – Channel pros who not only survived last year’s recession but continued to thrive are those who figured out how to serve customers well in a time of changed needs and expectations. In 1:1 Q&As, top-performing MSPs Juan Fernandez and Peter Melby shared tips on how to engage with, sell to, and protect today’s SMBs.
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, Rebecca Herold, Bruce McCully and Michael O'Hara, provided practical, concrete advice on building a zero-trust architecture.