The latest ChannelPro SMB Forum event, originally slated to take place in the greater Washington, D.C., area on May 6, took place instead as an innovative virtual gathering for attendees with specially created content aimed at helping MSPs and IT solution providers navigate the fast-changing business climate and the impact of COVID-19.
“The world has changed dramatically since mid-March as a result of the global health crisis and resultant economic downturn, and just as IT solution providers had to shift to delivering the same great service to their SMB customers remotely, the ChannelPro event team shifted to deliver the same great educational and interactive content online,” said ChannelPro President and Publisher Michael Siggins. “Particularly now, IT business owners need the sales, marketing, product, and operational insight that the ChannelPro SMB events are known for to keep their businesses healthy and even growing during this extraordinary time.”
The full-day event included live, interactive sessions delivered by industry experts who provided strategies for running an MSP business now as well as preparing for the re-opening of the economy. In addition, there were panel discussions on the latest technology trends and solutions, and a virtual expo hall where attendees could browse sponsor booths and interact live in videoconference sessions.
The educational sessions included:
- Weathering the COVID-19 Storm: A Survival Guide—Expert managed services consultants Rayanne Buchianico and Manuel Palachuk outlined the financial and operational moves channel pros must make now to preserve cash and maximize profit.
- Peer to Peer: From the Coronavirus Trenches—MSPs and IT business owners Bruce McCully, Angel Rojas, and Joanna Sobran talked one-on-one about how they are tackling the challenging issues of keeping sales flowing in a disrupted economy, managing employees in a chaotic world, and delivering services efficiently despite unprecedented obstacles.
- IoT Playbook - Growing Your Way Through the COVID-19 Crisis—Leading-edge channel pro Luis Alvarez provided an up-to-the-minute account of how he’s supporting clients, securing their work-from-home technology, and expanding his Internet of Things business despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Securing Clients, Securing Your Future—A panel of managed security experts Robert Boles, Angela Hogaboom, and Joshua Liberman took a frank look at best practices for keeping customers safe now and building the security practice SMBs will need when conditions start returning to normal.
- Coronavirus and the Cloud—Leading-edge cloud service provider experts Ro Kolakowski, Eric Long, Chris Ploessel, and Rajashree Varma (pictured below) shared insights on keeping clients connected from home today and capitalizing on exploding demand for cloud solutions tomorrow.
“The coronavirus pandemic and its associated economic fallout have upended our lives, our businesses, and our industry,” said Rich Freeman, ChannelPro executive editor. “Like our MSP audience, we’ve had to make some changes in a hurry to re-focus our event on how to navigate difficult market conditions, address urgent customer needs, and prepare for the new opportunities sure to emerge when the worst of this crisis is behind us. And if history is any indication, we are confident the channel will come through this experience stronger than ever after.”
Thanks to our Platinum sponsor Dell Expert Network, Sapphire sponsor Datto, Premier Gold sponsor The 20, and Gold sponsors ConnectWise, Cytracom, Ingram Micro, Splashtop, Tech Data Security Solutions, and Webroot.
And thanks to our Silver sponsors ABC Solutions, ASCII Group, Buffalo Americas, bvoip, ChannelOnline, Eaton, Egnyte, ErickSimpson.com, Manuel Palachuk International, Marketopia, MSP360, Ooma, RapidFire Tools, SMB Nation, SMB TechFest, SYNNEX, Tech Data Cloud Solutions, and US Signal.
Attendees voted at the end of the day and honored vendor sponsors with the following awards:
- Best Cloud Solution – MSP360 and Tech Data Cloud (tie)
- Best Hardware Solution – Dell
- Best IoT Solution – Ingram Micro
- Best New Solution – Splashtop and Egnyte (tie)
- Best Partner Community – Datto
- Best Revenue Booster – RapidFire Tools
- Best Software Solution – Webroot
- Best Product Tech Support – Tie, Buffalo and ConnectWise
- Most Innovative Solution – RapidFire Tools and Datto (tie)
- Best Add-on Product – Webroot
- Best Vendor On-Stage Presentation - Datto
- Best Booth Presentation Premier Sponsor – ConnectWise and Dell (tie)
- Best Booth Presentation Silver Sponsor – Buffalo
- Best Distributor – SYNNEX
- Best Selfie Video – ChannelOnline and Egnyte
- Best in Show – Datto
Next up in the 2020 ChannelPro SMB Forum series is Raleigh, N.C. on July 8. Attendance and sponsorships are filling up fast. Find more information here.
“Our event team is monitoring the government guidelines for re-opening businesses. If we are unable to offer an in-person event in July, we will deliver another great virtual event for everyone in the Raleigh area,” says Siggins, “and we will look forward to seeing everyone face to face as soon as it is safe to do so.”
ChannelPro also has an upcoming Cybersecurity Online Summit on August 5. Details are here.