Public Display: Hot Scenes From XChange Public Sector5:31 PM EST Mon. Jun. 21, 2010
Everything Channel's XChange Public Sector event brought hundreds of VARs, integrators, vendors, analysts and public sector channel stakeholders to the Sawgrass Marriott in Jacksonville, Fla. It was three action-packed days: heavy with Florida heat and full of fun. Take a look.
Before the official show kick-off, CompTIA sponsored a golf outing on the greens at beautiful Sawgrass. The only complaint? Hot and hotter out there, with unusually high temperatures for Jacksonville at this time of year.
Navigating the health-care maze for SMBs is tricky and getting trickier. Lamar Whitman, public policy manager for CompTIA, led a panel of health-care experts to discuss how the Obama administration's health-care reform legislation will impact small businesses and IT solution providers alike.
"When someone comes out to speak definitively about what this means from soup to nuts, I wouldn't trust them as far as I can throw them," said Carl Patten, public policy research and education consultant at Blue Cross Blue Shield. "Even the people writing the regulations don't quite know what it means yet. You can expect a lot of technical fixes and regulations that have to be worked through."
Paul Karch, president and CEO of solution provider Gardant Global, said the reality is that small-business owners don't have the time to read through pages and pages of health-care regulation, let alone sort out what they need to do with it.
"As a small business, we outsource payroll and other things. Find someone who understands this, pay them a fixed fee for a year, and call it a day," Karch urged.
Gloria Sutton, the Internal Revenue Service's government liaison for North Florida, urged attendees to visit www.irs.gov for the most credible information on the health-care regulations.
"We're out there with information postcards, and we're saying, 'Here are the qualifications.' "
It was a stars and stripes show for Symantec's public sector team. Here, Ed McGarrity, partner account manager, state, local government and education, Symantec, and Ben Orencia, district manager, channel sales, stand before a Capitol Hill foldout, celebrating the security software maker's enhancemens to its public sector channel program. Symantec recently launched new solution specializations around storage, security and systems management.
As the exhibit hall and solution pavilion opened, attendees had a chance to make the rounds with a wide range of vendor exhibitors. Team Adobe was among those on the scene.
Mike Johnston, director of channel marketing for Adtran (center), and colleagues held down the fort at Adtran's busy booth.
Patrick Wilson, president and CEO, Vital Signs Technology, San Ramon, Calif.:
"Electronic health records is key for us. We are mainly focused on health care and small medical practices. There are a bunch of new government regulations that just came out in February. We train ourselves and also got independently accredited by CompTIA using their Trustmark, where they come in and evaluate the security of your business."
Missiles go flying at the Kaspersky booth, presumably on target for security threats.
Synoptek CTO Eric Cordoniz (center) hits the high score on Galaga at Eaton's booth.
Laura Steward, director of Healthcare Services, SL Powers, West Palm Beach, Fla.:
"Health care is hot for us. We are looking at process flows soup-to-nuts for doctors. They don't understand EMR Stimulus and that there is money they are losing by not doing it. A doctor can get $44,000 if they qualify for EMR Stimulus funds."
Dave Poulin, senior business manager of public sector channels for Panasonic, took the stage to show off Toughbook 31, which comes with an Intel Core i5 or Core i3 processor and a state-of-the-art hybrid cooling system.
Lenovo's Michael Schmedlen, director of worldwide education, told partners that the K-12 and higher-education markets are rich with opportunity, and that Lenovo, as "the fastest-growing PC manufacturer in the world," wants to plug partners into that opportunity.
Manuel Villa, President, VIA Technology, San Antonio:
"Without a doubt health care is hot simply because of the stimulus packages out there. We started a brand-new business around it. We have offices in Texas, California and soon to be in Oregon. We are hiring salespeople and sending people to technical training. We are making the investments. Our business plan calls for us to do about $4 million in health-care revenue this year."
Cortney Grace, government program manager for D-Link, brought boardroom attendees up to speed.
Rob Powell, director of sales for enterprise and health-care initiatives at Synnex, gives attendees a rundown on the distributor's expanded health-care offerings for VARs.
Mike Semel, Vice President, COO, Connecting Point Technology Services, Las Vegas:
"Business continuity is hot. We are doing anything and everything to keep customer networks up and making sure that when a disaster hits we have a plan and process in place to help our clients recover and stay in business. The business continuity focus is not only getting us new business. We are also getting more business from existing managed services clients."
Marc Holland, CEO of System Research Services, said that if all we cared about was the digitization of medical information, "all we'd be doing is substituting electrons for ink."
"The real value isn't in the implementation of an EMR," Holland explained during a packed keynote. "The information across the continuum of care is where one starts to see tremendous benefit."
Doug Bourgeois, vice president and federal chief cloud executive for VMware, told solution providers that cloud computing will change the game for public sector customers, especially in how it can help overwhelmed CIOs.
"They don't know what to do," he said. "They have got these constraints and all these demands. They have service levels to meet."
The final day of XPS brought a panel of public sector CIOs to the stage for a discussion of major issues facing their technology spend. Budget woes, said the CIOs, continue to dominate everything.
Left to right: Moderator Robert C. DeMarzo, senior vice president of strategic content for Everything Channel; Alan Watson, senior vice president of information technology for Educational Services of America; Conrad Cross, CIO of the City of Orlando; Lisa Moorehead, MIS/IT Director for the Department of Utilities in the State of Massachusetts; and Mike Conroy, CxPO SE&I Modeling & Simulation Manager at NASA.
Conrad Cross, CIO of the City of Orlando, said managed services and cloud computing were something organizations like his own were now forced to look at with fresh eyes.
"Before it was something we would fight. We always thought we could do it better than you," Cross added. "But we'll gladly hand it over to you, assuming you have a track record. We're much more open. We're losing our staff, but the level of service we're expected to perform is still there."
Jeff Kaplan, managing director of THINKstrategies, urged attendees to hone their cloud pitch to the public sector, and align the benefits of cloud computing to how they're made actionable in public sector settings.
Roger Cressey, president and founder of Good Harbor Consulting, reminded attendees that there is no bigger issue facing public sector vendors and integrators than cybersecurity, with threats getting more frequent and more sophisticated all the time.
Deborah Hoffler, president of Integrated Business Solutions, Salt Lake City, was the lucky winner of an HP Mini netbook. Hoffler posed for a quick snap with Mike Humke, vice president of public sector sales, HP Solution Partners Organization.
CompTIA, the association which bills itself as the voice for the IT industry, was a major presence at XChange Public Sector. The trade association sponsored the golf tournament that kicked off the show.
Annette Taber, CompTIA vice president, channel strategies, and Nancy Hedrick, president and CEO of Technology Outfitters, an Easley, S.C., solution provider, were recruiting members on the show floor.
Raj Jaggi, vice president of Global Business Dimensions., a Pompton Plains, N.J., shows off his big red laptop bag courtesy of AutoTask, the maker of the popular AutoTask Professional Services Automation software and the VARStreet family of advanced quoting and e-commerce tools. The AutoTask laptop bags were by far the most popular giveaway on the show floor!
Talk about a blockbuster motion picture tie-in. Oracle, whose database software is the gold standard for superheros, is the official software for Iron Man 2 and its creator Mavel Entertainment. Here, Pamela Kennedy (left), partner manager, and Jodi Jennings, channel manager, make sure we get the message that Iron Man 2 is "Man Machine Hero" and Oracle is "Software Hardware Complete."
You can always count on distributor D&H to go the extra mile to bring head-turning offers to the table to get the attention of solution providers. Here, Joe Boone, East Coast Regional Sales Vice President, and Casey Del Savio, territory manager, man the booth long after others have closed up shop to make sure every last potential partner gets a shot at winning a Lenovo IdeaPad S10 Netbook. If that isn't enough, D&H offers a free $100 American Express gift card to new customers when they make their first $1,000 purchase.
The AutoTask booth on the show floor was crowded with partners anxious to test-drive the software maker's professional service automation software and VARStreet quoting/e-commerce tool. Here, Lauren LeBlanc, assistant event manager, Michael Bienvenue, director of channel development (holding the popular AutoTask laptop bag), David Sellers, regional sales manager, and Shankar Gopalan,vice president, VARStreet Business Development, are all smiles.
Kenneth Yanneck, president of IPlogic, a Latham, N.Y. solution provider, was the proud winner of a PlayStation PSP Portable Go system courtesty of power management channel power Eaton.
MicroTech President and CEO Tony Jiminez is the ultimate solution provider. Jiminez not only accepted the' prestigious CRN Public Sector Integrator of the Year Award at the XChange conference, he was also showing off the company's Ultimate Fighting Chops. MicroTech sponsors a number of UFC fighters and is featured prominently in the hot new video game UFC Undisputed 2010. Don't mess with Tony or MicroTech unless you want a world of hurt!
After a day of hard work, Xchange attendess took to the Sawgrass Marriott pub to take in the LA Lakers-Celtics. Here Everything Channel's (left to right) Liz Donovan, Caitlin Gorski and Danielle Faletra show their support for the Celtics with Best-Selling New York Times Author and sports journalist Don Yeager, who (believe it or not) actually went one on one with Basketball great Michael Jordan and came out on top! If you don't believe us, check out the video at www.donyaeger.com.
The effusive Yaeger stuck around to sign copies of his books and answer questions, both before and after his closing XPS keynote.
For more on XChange Public Sector, check out CRN.com and CRN 2010 Public Sector Awards: Meet The Big Winners.