I just spent a fews days in Las Vegas catching up with my fellow Channel Chiefs at the CompTIA Breakaway 2012 conference. CompTIA is an organization that acts as the voice for the IT industry and its members are from companies at the forefront of innovation. Its mission is to advance industry growth through educational programs, research, professional certifications, and networking events like the conference in Las Vegas.
A conference highlight was when CompTIA President and CEO, Todd Thibodeaux, opened the Tuesday discussion with a view of where CompTIA is providing leadership; in education, certification, advocacy and philanthropy.
Education and certification were hot topics that came up again and again. This is where CompTIA shines, helping partners and vendors work together to solve problems that are common to all of us. They are leading the way developing learning paths and communities that we can all leverage. From Healthcare, to SMB, to Security, CompTIA has organized communities that are market relevant to the customer, partner and vendor. The Cloud/IaaS community is also starting to get some attention.
At the Channel Chief Power Panel session, I joined Janet Schijns from Verizon, Sheila O’Neil from Panasonic, and Raja Sundaram from Cisco to discuss what trends we are seeing in the partner community. The big points of discussion were 1) the altercated movement to the cloud and 2) the consumerization and proliferation of end points. End points aren't just phones, tablets, and laptops - they are any device that uses an IP address - often machine to machine devices. Overall the panel felt that both partners and vendors need to focus on deepening the relationships they already have in order to achieve their goals in these areas.
The next industry event on my agenda is the CRN XChange conference in Texas, August 18 – 21. After that, my focus will be on our biggest customer event of the year, VMworld San Francisco. Although VMworld is a customer event, our partners can get tremendous value by registering for the Partner Track, as well as taking advantage of great discounts on training.
- Doug Smith, VP, Partner Strategy & Operations, Channel Chief