CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux took the stage on day two of ChannelCon to discuss the current view of the market and highlight opportunities in the vastly changing IT landscape.
By Joel Zaidspiner
July 30, 2013
CompTIA’s rebranded channel conference has VARs and IT resellers gathered for two days of sessions, training, and face time with vendors and peers. In a break with traditional event structures, CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux took the stage on day two to provide a view of the market and highlight opportunities in the vastly changing IT landscape.
While some may look to Star Trek for a glimpse of what our technological future may hold, in reality that future is several hundred thousand tomorrows away. In the meantime, VARs and MSPs have to deal with the tomorrow that lies at their feet. That is, a tomorrow in which the products and services they offer their clients today may not matter as much as they do now. As a result, CompTIA’s CEO focused largely on highlighting areas of growth for the channel where traditional areas of focus may decline.
To start, Thibodeaux quickly highlighted 3D printing as a business opportunity the channel needs to embrace. As costs rapidly drop to mainstream levels, a host of SMBs will be looking for suppliers, integrators, and maintenance of these devices. Of course, the managed print guys see 3D as an extension of their business; however, channel partners are in a great position to take the lead based on the other software and services they provide.
It’s important to remember that in movie timelines Minority Report comes before Enterprise, and the CompTIA CEO explained that VARs need to prepare themselves to manage and service a rapidly connected world of devices spanning categories from mobile phones to wearable gear like smart watches as the BYOD trend in business continues. MSPs have an opportunity to run with the one size not fitting all approach to custom tailor solutions to customers.
That customization extends beyond the devices customers use to the very buildings they work in. Infrastructure technology is making the smart building one of the next huge areas of growth for commercial resellers, whether that be new technologies for the office or new experiences for their customers. If you think about it, interactive digital signage isn’t the end game for this sector, it’s only the beginning.
Of course, with such a diverse cross-section of technology powered by the cloud of connectivity that is rapidly becoming the backbone of so many technologies, Thibodeaux was quick to stress that security and privacy management will be even more important than ever. Rapidly changing security technologies like biometrics provide opportunities across verticals and industries that will be looking to the channel for solutions.
Thibodeaux finished his time on stage by highlighting that the future is about more than changing technologies, but also about changing people, talking about the fundamentals of working with the millennial generation as business leaders. VARs will need to exercise patience and understanding working with a generation far more tech savvy than the business leaders of today, who will not only want solutions but also want to know how they work.
Smart buildings, cloud connected everything, printing objects from nothing—in many ways, the future CompTIA’s CEO sees could seem far off, even almost like science fiction. If there’s any one thing to take away from his time on stage is that it’s time for the channel to really look around. The future is already here and there are opportunities for those who can adapt.