IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SMB Nation 2015 Taking Place in Redmond

The three-day event is focused on Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10, and Azure, and is aimed at offering IT solution providers practical advice and solutions. By Joel Zaidspiner

The SMB Nation Fall conference is taking place October 2 to 4 at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. The three-day event is focused on Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10, and Azure, and is designed to provide IT solution providers with practical solutions that can be implemented immediately.

Harry Brelsford, founder and chairman of SMB Nation Inc., gave the opening address, and Jennifer Hallmark, president of SMB Nation, noted that this is the 13th year for the conference and the third year in a row it is being held at Microsoft headquarters.

Opening day included multiple breakout sessions. Working side-by-side with Office 365, Windows 10, and Azure experts, workshop participants are learning about the Office 365 roadmap and drilling deep into the components, as well as learning how to extend and integrate the Office 365 platform with Windows, 10, Azure, and third-party solutions including tools, utilities, and line-of-business applications. Security is also being addressed, as is the impact of Windows Server 2003 end-of-support deadline. Discussions also include how hybrid solutions fit in an Office 365/Windows 10/Azure world.

Day one included night school for those who could attend, followed by sponsored events Saturday evening.

The pre-day seminar was on “Build Your Brand Through Successful, Profitable Service Delivery.”

Keynote presentations during the conference include “Evolving with Microsoft Office 365,” from Tanuj Bansal, director of partner marketing at Microsoft who discussed how the role of partners is evolving with Office 365.

On Saturday, Dan Shapero, director of global cloud marketing for Ingram Micro, presents “Building a Profitable and Scalable Cloud Business.” He examines the latest trends impacting SMBs and how they present unique opportunities for channel partners. And Saturday, Chris Rayner, vice president of product management at Skykick, is presenting “Building a Profitable Cloud Management Practice.” His session introduces some of the key new technologies both customers and partners have requested to keep pace with growing demand. The session also discusses products from SkyKick, that are designed to help build successful cloud businesses by making it easy and efficient for IT providers to migrate, backup and manage their customers in the cloud.

The event wraps up with a half-day of sessions on Sunday. And hearty attendees can participate in the traditional Monday ride around the world famous Chilly Hilly route on Bainbridge Island across from Seattle. It’s a 35-mile “Top 5 Ride in America” bonding event to celebrate the conference before returning home.

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