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Key Sessions

Jay McBain

Opening Keynote & Lunch: Future of the Channel: The Changing Buying Journey, Hyperspecialization and New Shadow Influencers


8:00am - 2:00pm 360 mins
Evolution Golf Invitational
Evolution Golf Invitational

If you are interested in sponsoring a foursome, please contact us here

Separate registration required. If you are interested in golfing, please contact us here.

Location: Coore Crenshaw Golf Course

11:00am - 5:00pm 360 mins
Registration Open

Open to exhibitors and All Access pass holders.

Location: Level 1, Exhibit Hall 4

12:00pm - 1:00pm 60 mins
Keynote Programming
Opening Keynote & Lunch: Future of the Channel: The Changing Buying Journey, Hyperspecialization and New Shadow Influencers
  • Speaker Jay McBain - Principal Analyst, Global Channels, Forrester

This might be the most disruptive period in the history of the channel. Line-of-business executives are increasingly leading technology decisions — in many cases, taking over completely from the IT department. These stakeholders are looking to a new set of hyperspecialized influencers to help them plan, implement and integrate new technology with back-end systems. In this session, we will look at what smart partners are doing to capitalize on these trends.

All Access pass required to attend this session.

Location: Level 4, Ballroom D

1:10pm - 4:00pm 170 mins
Digital Business Workshop
Digital Business Workshop
  • Track Chair TC Doyle - Senior Content Director, Channel, Penton Technology
  • Theresa Caragol - Founder & CEO, TCC (Theresa Caragol Consulting) Company
  • Howard Cohen - Senior Resultant, HMC Write Now
  • Sonya Meline - Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Effortless Office
  • Carolyn April - Senior Director, Industry Analysis , CompTIA
  • Erik Amneus - Executive Vice President, Strategic Opportunities, QOS Consulting LLC

This afternoon of guided networking is all about interactive learning from peers in a series of facilitated discussions. Move with your group across four topical areas, guided by experts. Open to partners only and limited to 40 participants.

Table 1: Bigger Customers, Bigger Profits: Capturing Large-Enterprise Business

Suppliers want partners with the skill and experience to land huge deals. After all, it takes a lot of five-figure SMB engagements to move the quota needle. Focus only down-market, and the channel will always play second fiddle to direct sales teams and big systems integrators. We’ll discuss ways to move up-market over time, including reaching out to line-of-business decision-makers.

Facilitator: Erik Amneus, QOS

Table 2: Marketing Now: Omnichannel, Digital & Data-Driven 

If your idea of omnichannel marketing is an email followed by a phone call, welcome to 1997. The science of selling has come a long way. Today you need video, social, data analysis, sales alignment, events — all in pursuit of a consistently excellent customer experience. We’ll review marketing tools and techniques that deliver high impact, with tools for every budget.

Facilitator: Sonya Meline, Effortless Office

Table 3: Growing Big by Getting Focused

Ever feel lost amid a sea of information and communications technology (ICT) business consultants who offer similar services, prices and expertise? Then maybe you need a market niche or specialization. It might sound counterintuitive, but some of the most successful partners today report that their growth has come from resizing their focus — from overly broad to narrowly defined. Join with peers to discuss how practitioners have developed strong businesses after creating a value proposition around a function, geography, vertical market, customer segment, technology or combination thereof.

Facilitator: TC Doyle, Penton Technology

Table 4: SaaS IT Up! Opportunities in Applications Sales

Price commoditization. Increased competition. Disruptive innovation. All of these and more have put pressure on VARs and MSPs — to differentiate their businesses, to build new technology practices and to create new customer experiences. One way to buffer your business against existential threats is by getting into one of the fastest-growing parts of the technology economy: software-as-a-service (SaaS). Is this discussion, business practitioners will share first-hand details of how they embraced new cloud services, what returns they enjoyed and what lessons they learned. Hear from companies like yours about the hottest products they sell, the customer interactions they enjoy and the impediments that limit deeper engagement. If you’re worried about the future of your business and the fate of companies that sell basic commodity products and services, then this discussion is a must for you.

Facilitator: Carolyn April, CompTIA

Table 5: Creating the New Channel

The merging IT and telecom channel is a vibrant and expanding ecosystem, with specialized partners — everyone from insurance brokers to HR consultants and accountants — delivering a range of new technologies. In this discussion, we’ll look at what all this means, including the evolving roles of master agents, distributors and industry associations; the expanded range of suppliers; various revenue models; and the new business and marketing must-haves. The discussion will deliver value to both new channel entrants and those working to expand their businesses to sell digital services.

Facilitators: Theresa Caragol, TCC (Theresa Caragol Consulting) and Howard Cohen, HMC Write Now

All Access pass required to attend this session.

Location: Level 4, Meeting Room 15

1:10pm - 4:00pm 170 mins
IoT Bootcamp: Exercise Your Right to Profit sponsored by Broad Sky Networks
IoT Bootcamp: Exercise Your Right to Profit
  • Track Chair Rick Beckers - President, CloudTech1
  • Beau Barker - Vice President Of Technology, Broad Sky Networks
  • Stephen DiFranco - Principal, IoT Advisory Group LLC
  • Michael Finegan - Director of IoT Business Development, MultiTech Systems
  • Steve Haddock - Vice President of Strategic Channels and Business Development, Webbing Inc.
  • Marc Nijdam - CTO, Helium Systems
  • Natasha Royer Coons - Founder, TeraNova Consulting

Your carrier and technology partners have Internet of Things platforms, hardware and connectivity options set to go. Masters and distributors stand ready with integration help. Customers are reading about smart vehicles, cities and devices. So where are you? If the answer isn’t “Building an IoT practice,” you need this boot camp.

1:10 - 2 p.m.

Platform, Hardware & Software

In this session, we’ll explore various IoT platforms — the glue connecting edge hardware, access points, data networks and end-user apps — and survey the current sensor landscape. We’ll also discuss software, particularly APIs that link everything to the cloud.

Speakers: Beau Barker, VP of Technology,  Broad Sky Networks; Michael Finegan, Director of IoT Business Development, MultiTech Systems

2:10 - 3 p.m.

Connectivity, Security & Regulation

Carriers including AT&T and Verizon as well as cable companies are looking to connect sensors to edge and core networks. After all, if you can’t get customer data to an analytics engine, why bother collecting it? We’ll also discuss applicable standards and regulations and have the all-important security discussion.

Speakers:  Steve Haddock, Webbing Inc.; Marc Nijdam, Helium Systems

3:10 - 4 p.m.

Services & The Sales Cycle

Now you have an IoT practice and some value-added services, like HVAC control or fleet monitoring. Who do you call on within the prospect organization? How do you market your expertise to the community? Should you consider partnering to offer a more turnkey solution? We will discuss marketing, supporting and succeeding with an IoT solution using an MSP model.

Speakers: Natasha Royer Coons, Teranova Global; Stephen DiFranco, IoT Advisory Group LLC

All Access pass required to attend this session.

Location: Level 4, Meeting Room 16B

12:00pm - 4:00pm 240 mins
The CSP Opportunity sponsored by Aryaka
The CSP Opportunity
  • Track Chair Bill Kleyman - CTO, MTM Technologies
  • Ron Hayman - Chief Cloud Officer & COO, AVANT Communicaitons
  • Brett Kelsey - Vice President & Chief Technology Strategist for the Americas, McAfee
  • Grant Kirkwood - Co-Founder/CTO, Unitas Global
  • Bill Kleyman - CTO, MTM Technologies
  • Gerry Le Canu - Chief Azure Solution Architect, Rackspace
  • David O'Neil - Director - Incident Response & Cyber Resilience, Kudelski Security
  • John White - VP of Product Strategy, Expedient

Today’s cloud service providers offer much more than the IT version of pay-per-use utilities: IaaS, hosted private cloud and inexpensive storage. Modern CSPs are part ISP, part MSP and part consultant. They help customers maximize uptime and flexibility, take advantage of new technologies without large capital and manpower investments, and grow IT as the business grows.

Who should attend: CSPs looking to learn what’s new and ISPs, hosts, agents, VARs and MSPs looking to expand into this hot space

12 – 1 p.m. 

Opening Keynote Panel: New Stack City

Grab a bite and listen to top CSPs discuss how and why they chose the platforms on which they run their private and hybrid cloud infrastructures. We’ll discuss the status of Azure Stack and how it will compare with OpenStack and VMware; explore the hybrid cloud versus multicloud discussion; and touch on new hardware options.

Moderator: Bill Kleyman, CTO, MTM Technologies

Panel: John White, VP of Product Strategy, Expedient; Grant Kirkwood, Founder/CTO, Unitas Global; Gerry Le Canu, Senior Cloud Solutions Engineer, Rackspace

1:10 – 2 p.m.

The Next-Gen, Software-Defined Host

You’ve heard the buzz around containers, microservices, software-defined storage and servers, stateless architectures, direct interconnects — this is definitely not your daddy’s infrastructure. In this session, top network engineers will walk through these and other concepts with an eye toward TCO, technical maturity, scalability and other practical considerations critical to CSPs.

Speaker: John White, VP of Product Strategy, Expedient

2:10 – 3 p.m. 

Protecting Customers Is Job #1

CSPs need to battle ransomware, DDoS attacks and other exploits that can result in downtime and loss of customer trust, not to mention PCI certifications. Besides data center security basics, are you up to speed on secure protocols like SSL, SFTP and HTTPS? What about replication engineered to inoculate against ransomware, support for 2FA and encryption, and new DDoS protection options? In this session, we’ll discuss current best practices for running a secure operation.

Moderator: Bill Kleyman, CTO, MTM Technologies

Panelists: Ron Hayman, AVANT; Brett Kelsey, McAfee; David O'Neil, Kudelski Security

3:10 – 4 p.m.

The Business End

Providing cloud services is important, but it’s just one piece of a larger puzzle. Cloud is more than just changing your technology; it’s also about process and people. This change is known as digital transformation — a shift that occurs when digital technology is applied to an industry and radically transforms the process by which it does business. In this discussion, Grant Kirkwood will explain how cloud brings this process together and enables digital transformation for the enterprise.

Speaker: Grant Kirkwood, Founder/CTO, Unitas Global

All Access pass required to attend this session.

Location: Level 4, Ballroom F

4:15pm - 6:15pm 120 mins
ATX Launch Party

To celebrate our first night in Austin, Texas, first-time attendees and all access passholders are invited to attend the ATX Launch Party. Taking place at The Reverbery @ Hilton Austin, we'll be serving up drinks and hors d'oeuvres while you network with peers and gear up for the show. 

Separate registration required. To request an invitation, email

Open to All Access pass holders and first-time Channel Partners attendees only.

5:00pm - 8:00pm 180 mins
Women in the Channel Networking Event

The Women in the Channel Networking Mixer is the perfect way to kick off the Channel Partners Evolution event! Join other successful women in the channel to discuss key business topics that impact professional women today. Network with old friends and discover new relationships that will help your business grow, your skills improve and your career soar! This comfortable, open forum fosters collaboration, support and inspiration. Come early, bring a friend and be a part of this special event.

Separate registration required.

Location: Level 4, Meeting Room 18b-d