More than 1,000 solution providers and vendors are poised to attend XChange '09, a four-day conference featuring several popular XChange traditions, including the Annual Report Card (ARC) Awards, as well as several unique sessions developed especially to help solution providers survive and even thrive in today's market.
Everything Channel CEO Robert Faletra will be joined onstage Aug. 19 by Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT's Center for Digital Business in the Sloan School of Management, to discuss how social networking can help improve your business.
That session should generate a lot of buzz from solution providers looking for new ways to market themselves, said Jane Cage, COO of Heartland Technology Solutions, a Joplin, Mo., solution provider planning to attend the show at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C., from Aug. 17 to 20.
"I love Facebook for personal use but I'm still unclear about how to use it to the best advantage on the business side. I see everybody jumping on with pages, but I don't know how to make clients want to get on my site," Cage said. "We all see the need to change and we're working hard on it, but I'd like to make sure we're headed in the right direction."
In another session, Ryan Morris, senior director of Everything Channel's Institute for Partner Education & Development (IPED), will host a session titled Building A Solution Provider Business That Can Thrive In The New IT Channel. Morris will examine specific tactics to help adapt a business to new market realities.
Solution providers looking for new technology to bring to their customers should find interest in Everything Channel's new Sprout Awards, designed in conjunction with The Sightline Group to recognize the industry's top start-up companies.
XChange '09 also is drawing some tech heavyweights as speakers, including IBM's Bob Moffat, senior vice president and group executive of IBM's Systems & Technology Group, who will discuss how having smarter partnerships can lead to more loyal customer relationships.
Adrian Jones, HP's vice president and general manager of Americas Solution Partners Organization and a regular XChange speaker, will discuss the importance of building successful partnerships during a World Premiere session.
Dell will host a World Premiere with Greg Davis, vice president and general manager of Dell's global commercial channels, while Symantec's Randy Cochran and Panasonic's Sheila O'Neil will demonstrate their respective companies' newest products at a Tech Symposium.
A World Premiere session with EMC and RSA Security follows, focusing on delivering more efficient and secure data storage solutions, while Xerox's Paul Herman and Oracle's Dave Weideling also will lead a Tech Symposium, followed by a keynote address from Eric Martorano, director of partner strategy and satisfaction at Microsoft, who will talk about Windows 7 and other news coming out of Redmond.
Other key sessions include one hosted by Dave Roberts, senior vice president of America sales at Websense, and others geared toward maximizing services revenues and optimizing sales and marketing performance.
Robert DeMarzo, senior vice president and editorial director of Everything Channel, will lead a CIO panel talking about what end users are looking for from channel partners, a popular subject at previous conferences.
And then there's the ARC Awards gala event, Everything Channel's annual recognition of vendors in 15 product categories based on a survey of solution providers' satisfaction. The event includes a performance by The Capitol Steps, a politically charged music and satire act that has recorded 29 albums, including its latest, "Obama Mia," and has been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS and National Public Radio.
Everything Channel is the parent company of Channelweb.com and the XChange '09 conference.