Just before thanksgiving each November, I get hungry -- not for the traditional turkey and all the fixings—but for the buzz and excitement that came with the annual rite of passage for the computer industry
that was known as Comdex.
This year, the computer trade show that defined an era and an industry and set the stage for the technology product and, most importantly, the sales strategies for the coming year, is back for the first time in seven years -- on Nov. 16 and 17. This time, though, it's a virtual event at www.comdexvirtual.com-- courtesy of CRN and Everything Channel parent United Business Media.
What this means for solution providers is that for the first time in seven years on the week before Thanksgiving, we once again have a robust and rich interactive forum, including online booths, hospitality suites and 11 content tracks covering everything from business strategy to cloud computing and virtualization -- to get solution providers trained and tuned up on hot, new technology and sales strategies.
One of the things that defined Comdex was the keynotes from the movers and shakers of the industry. The online version has all of that and more with keynotes from Intel CEO Paul Otellini, Symantec CEO Enrique Salem, Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson and industry luminaries like Nicholas Carr, who has chronicled the big technology shifts before they happened, including the utility/cloud computing phenomenon in The Big Switch, and now the damaging effects that the Internet is having on our psyche in The Shallows -- What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains.
One of my favorite sessions is a no-holds-barred discussion between Everything Channel CEO Robert Faletra and Mark Cuban, the Texas billionaire and owner of The Dallas Mavericks, who started his successful entrepreneurial streak by founding Micro Solutions, a Dallas systems integrator that he sold in 1990.
Cuban's genius lies in his ability to anticipate customer needs, to predict the future and stay ahead of the rapidly changing technology landscape.
"Technology goes through zigs and zags," says Cuban, who was a Comdex regular. "The more you can anticipate, the more of an edge you can get. Anticipation to me is always digging in and learning as much as I can."
That, of course, is what COMDEX Virtual is all about.
For solution providers, it means staying ahead of the business and technology changes that are going to allow you to succeed in the years ahead. Being a solution provider has always meant riding one big technology wave and then catching the next. A lot of the sessions at COMDEX Virtual are about just that.
For 20 years, the frenzy and Methedrine buzz that accompanied my annual visit to Comdex made the family Thanksgiving get-together all the more satisfying. This year, I'm glad to say it's back. But in a virtual world, there are no more cab lines and traffic logjam. That said, there's so much to do at Comdex Virtual that you just might find yourself being worn out once again by the Comdex experience. That's OK. Look at the bright side. Instead of catching the flight home from Las Vegas, all you have to do is walk from your computer to the comfort of your own bed where you can dream of Comdex Virtual 2011.