NexGen Conference & Expo Content At A Glance

What follow are the presenters at this year's NexGen Conference which is designed to help IT vendors and their partners navigate through the current period of disruptive innovation.

What follow are the presenters at this year's NexGen Conference which is designed to help IT vendors and their partners navigate through the current period of disruptive innovation. The event took place in Los Angeles Dec. 11-13. NexGen's content helps leading-edge solution providers capitalize on today's business technology priorities in key sectors including AI, business analytics; cloud services; infrastructure and data center; IoT; mobility and mobile apps; digital marketing; networking; and cyber and IT security.


Follow The Money: What's Driving Today's Scorching Hot Container & Microservices Market

Speaker: Tom DelVecchio, Founder, Enterprise Technology Research

Groundbreaking research and analysis shows the market for containers and microservices is poised for tremendous growth. This session will provide NexGen attendees insight into what is driving this trend and why customers are adopting containers and microservices. It will also quantify the benefits of adoption these new technologies so leading-edge solution providers can understand how to sell containers and microservices to customers and support those initiatives. Tom DelVecchio, founder of Enterprise Technology Research, will share the insight from ETR's quarterly spending intentions of 3,800 technology buyers from the world's leading organizations. Find out buyer perceptions along with which vendor are positioned to succeed and which ones are missing the market. Follow the money so leaders of solution providers can map out the vendor partnerships they should be considering next.

Keynote Interview: The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind The World's Most Disruptive Company

Speakers: Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director, THINKstrategies (pictured)

John Rossman, Author, The Amazon Way

In this engaging on-stage conversation, former Amazon exec John Rossman will discuss Amazon's meteoric rise to a global powerhouse, disrupting countless industries, including retail, publishing, logistics, and cloud computing. Rossman will explain how Amazon has instilled a drive for innovation and invention throughout the organization and how you can apply some of these principles to your own team.

The Five Major Cloud Trends Impacting 2018 And Beyond

Lauren Nelson, Principal Analyst, Forrester

There is no doubt that the cloud world moves quickly. Solutions providers need to stay abreast of cloud clouds strategies and tools that are changing rapidly. This keynote will discuss in detail the five key trends that the channel must understand to succeed in this cloud era. Those trends include the changing world of hosted private cloud and the onset of cloud migration. Another major trend to be reckoned with is the real usage of containers along with developer platforms carrying the private PaaS label. Rounding out the top five is the waiting game of hybrid cloud management. One of the industry's leading experts on cloud and a Forrester thought leader will discuss these industry-shaping developments so solution providers can adjust their business models and acquire the skills needed to succeed. Attendees will gain the insight needed to rich conversations with partners, suppliers, customers and employees in today's cloud world.

Move Fast & Break Things

Speaker: Jonathan Taplin, Author, Move Fast & Break Things

NexGen is all about the future of technology and after hearing Jonathan Taplin's keynote attendees may never look at the future quite the same way. Taplin, author of "Move Fast and Break Things," will explore the rapid rise and impact of today's tech giants—a rise which he says is far from over. Sometimes it is hard to grasp how quickly the giant tech companies have come to dominate the world economy. Ten years ago, only one of them, Microsoft , was among the biggest companies in the world as measured by market capitalization. These days, the top five usually consists of Apple , Alphabet, Amazon , Microsoft and Facebook. The big question for the future is: How will their ever-expanding control affect other businesses and the labor market? Over the past decade, Google, Facebook and Amazon have wreaked havoc on much of the creative economy—journalists, musicians, authors, filmmakers. In the decade ahead, the tech behemoths will use their dominance in artificial intelligence to overturn much of the service economy as well, including transportation, medicine and retail. With what result? Come hear an eye-opening view on today's tech landscape and what the future holds.

Customer Perspectives: How Innovative CIOs Are Using Emerging Tech To Transform The Business

Moderator: Sean Ferrel, CEO, Managed Solution (pictured)

Panelists: Pauline Mulvey, VP, Enterprise Business Technology, Mitchell

Charles Podesta, CIO, UCI Health

Terry Orletsky, VP of IT, The Ken Blanchard Companies

Today's IT leaders are under incredible pressure to innovate and move fast not for technology's sake but for the sake of the business. Today's technology leaders must help the business deliver a competitive advantage and put innovative tech to work in transformative ways. Solution providers, along with their vendor partners, have spent the better part of the past two years talking about and coping with a period of unprecedented tech innovation. So, the big question is: How are today's customers adapting to all this change and putting tech to work to achieve their goals. In this session, some of today's most innovative CIOs and IT leaders will share their insight into what emerging technologies they are adapting, what they want from partners and how they are coping with the rapid pace of change. Attendees will hear from these leaders who are at the intersection of technology and business. Hear firsthand the impact of today's leading technologies on the supply chain, employees, customers and workers that these CIOs and IT leaders must respond to every day.

Vendor Keynotes:


Intermedia Dispels The Cloud Voice Myth

Speakers: Eric Roach, global vice president, global vice president of field channel sales and distribution; Mark Sher, vice president of cloud voice solutions

When it comes to offering cloud voice services, the opportunity is clear. In fact, Frost & Sullivan expects the North America UCaaS market to surpass $19 billion by 2022. However, do partners realize that they are making decisions based on old information? In this keynote Intermedia's senior channel leaders Mark Sher and Eric Roach will break down the common cloud voice myths that are holding back partner businesses from greater success. Learn how to identify new market opportunities and drive greater customer value by leveraging Intermedia's cloud voice solutions.


Distribution Revolution: Become More Efficient, Offer A Better Customer Experience & Deliver More Sales

Speakers: Ryan Walsh, Chief Channel Officer; Nick Heddy, SVP of Sales and Marketing, Pax8

With Gartner predicting the cloud space set to grow at least 55 percent by the end of 2020, solution providers must continue to make moves to capitalize on cloud opportunities. In this session, Pax8 will show partners how the company is revolutionizing distribution in the cloud age. Executives will discuss the tools to help partners become more operationally efficient through the most comprehensive ConnectWise integration in the industry. Pax8 will also discuss ways to reduce customer acquisition costs along with service delivery tips to help partners elevate their customer service game.


What Do You Think When You Hear IBM? The New Blue-- You To The Power Of IBM

Speaker: Dorothy Copeland, vice president, IBM Global Business Partners, North America

Join IBM to learn how next-gen partners are working with the company to drive exponential outcomes. IBM's next era is all about the power of cognitive solutions, an enterprise strong and secure cloud platform and the ability to deliver solutions that will transform industries. Attendees will hear why IBM's partner ecosystem is a critical part of the company's success and how it is maximizing opportunities on the second platform and changing the world via the third-platform capabilities.


Quality Of Experience: The Key To Exceptional Wi-Fi as a Service

Speaker: Jeanette Lee, Sr. Director, Global Field Enablement, Ruckus

Solution providers can set themselves apart from the pack with managed Wi-Fi that will delight their customers just as much as their helpdesk staff. Excellent Wi-Fi is defined by the quality of the experience for the most-demanding customers with challenging environments and for an integrator's IT staff looking for solutions that don't require weeks of training or dedicated RF engineers. In this presentation, solution providers will gain insight into Wi-Fi that just works.


Good Technologists Solve Problems, Great Innovators Create Opportunities

Speaker: Muneyb Minhazuddin, VP, Solutions Product Marketing, VMware

Muneyb Minhazuddin will share a perspective on the business impact of tech innovations that are reshaping entire industries, with a special focus on VMware solutions and services in cloud, mobility, networking and security. Solution providers today need to help organizations master new methods of app delivery, new models for operating in a multi-cloud world, and new approaches to address cyber security threats – all while improving the customer experience. Hear and learn how solution providers can partner with VMware to harness new game-changing technologies.

Lenovo--Lenovo's Journey To The SDDC

Speaker: Noah Johnson

Executive Sessions

1) NexGen Business Models—Building An AI Strategy

John Shaw, CEO, Digital Nebula

For solution providers who have transitioned their business model to cloud, get ready for the next big shift. The term AI has been thrown about for the last few years with few understanding how to monetize this trend. The shift in IT solutions is moving quickly from mobile-first to AI-first. This session is geared toward solution provider leaders who want to learn where to start when planning their AI strategy. John Shaw, who was among the first wave of cloud solutions is now focused on AI and will take the audience through real-world case studies. Attendees will gain insight into the strategies needed to identify business processes that could benefit from AI. A key takeaway will be how to support AI processes without having to support a team of expensive data scientists.

2) Creating A Differentiated IOT Business Model

Stephen DiFranco, Founder, IOT Advisory Group

There is a huge role for savvy solution providers to play in IoT, and it's not just in monitoring sensors. The real money to be made is in consulting - which means you will need to build a trusted network of IoT vendor partnerships. The good news the latest crop of IoT vendors need solution providers for their wide distribution network and their depth of client relationships. This session will guide you through the definition of your IoT digital business unit strategy, differentiated go to market model and bring the right partnerships to deliver your IoT solutions to the market.

3) Capitalize On The Multi-Cloud Trend

Moderator: Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director, THINKstrategies (pictured)

Allen Falcon, CEO, Cumulus Global

Alex Brown, CEO, 10th Magnitude

Solution providers are helping or watching more and more customers move parts or all of their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Seems many customers are not restricting themselves to just one cloud platform. This is especially true for large enterprises who are using more than one cloud provider to avoid vendor lock in or match workloads to the most suitable platform. A multi-cloud environment could even help customers avoid downtime during an outage. The same principles hold true for many midmarket customers and even some small businesses who want to remain nimble. Solution providers must understand how to capitalize on this trend when it comes to managing these AWS, Azure and Google clouds that all require unique tools, APIs and management interfaces just to mention a few. This panel will discuss those issues along with how cloud integrators must help customers pick the right cloud for the right job rather than try to use multiple clouds for the same purpose.

4) A Storm Is Brewing: Win The Cloud, Win The Enterprise

Speaker: Tom DelVecchio, Founder, Enterprise Technology Research

The Fortune 500 are moving workloads into the cloud with an accelerating pace. However, ETR's forward-looking research indicates that not all tech suppliers are poised to evenly capture these gains. This session will provide attendees with insight into which public cloud vendors are gaining traction and why customers are adopting one cloud vendor over the other. Next-gen integrators need to align with the market's best-positioned player so understanding which public cloud vendor is set to capture the highest share of IaaS and PaaS spend in the next three years is critical. Thomas DelVecchio, founder of ETR, will share insight from 3,800 technology buyers from the world's leading organizations and discuss which vendors are positioned to succeed and which ones are missing the market. For solution providers moving customer workloads to the cloud, don't miss this presentation.

5) Hyperconvergence Vs. SAN—Choosing The Right Solution

Speaker: Tommy Hong, Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, LoanDepot

As a senior systems engineer with a large financial company, Tommy Hong spent nine months researching both traditional SAN and hyperconvergence vendors, balancing budget, assesing his team's skillset, and the path for his company to create a detailed proposal. His goal was to be able to put forth a plan to reap the biggest ROI from his firm's technology investment. To help solution providers better assist their clients, he will share his process and findings from those months of analysis. Find out which solution was best, his regrets and how his analysis can be applied to the way solution providers engage with customers today on scalability, data storage, data center design and data center refresh projects.

6) The Power Of Bundles

Speaker: Karl Palachuk, Author, Blogger, Consultant, Small Biz Thoughts

Everyone wants to sell more managed services. Long-time managed service provider Karl Palachuk shows you a strategy for standing out from the crowd, making higher margins, and creating stickier clients with the strategic use of bundled services. This entertaining and informative presentation is part one of a two-part series on making more money with managed services. Part II will be held Wednesday at 3:30pm - but each session can stand-alone as well.

7) The Dynamic Duo Of IoT & Security: The Path To Prosperity

Speaker: David Carter, Encore Technology

If there two things that go hand in hand in IT it is IoT and security. Solution providers need to understand the large base of companies that could be impacted by attacks and the types of devices used for such attacks as distributed denial of service (DDoS). Security-minded integrators and consultants need to work with their customers so they understand the types of IoT devices that connect directly to the internet that are vulnerable to attacks. Many of today's IoT devices can be hijacked just due to unpatched vulnerabilities or even default admin credentials that were never changed. In this session, solution providers will gain an understanding of the strategies to protect customers, the vulnerabilities at the network edge and options to protect clients.

8) The World Of Artificial Intelligence: Trends To Watch For 2018 And Beyond

Speaker: Asokan Ashok, CEO UnfoldLabs

Artificial intelligence has been the talk of the town in 2017. There has been a lot of hype around AI and its various applications, from autonomous vehicles to virtual personal assistants. AI has been applied almost everywhere be it object, face, speech and handwriting recognition; virtual reality and image processing; natural language processing, chatbots, and translation; email spam filtering, robotics, and data mining. According to market intelligence firm, Tractica, the annual worldwide AI revenue will grow to $36.8 billion by 2025.

Key takeaways include:

· AI trends and industry in 2018

· Who are the players set to win the AI game

· Issues slowing down adoption of AI

· Advantages and disadvantages of AI

9) SADA Systems CEO On Why He's Investing Millions In The Cloud

Vince Menzione, Founder Cloud Wave Partners

Tony Safoian, President & CEO, SADA Systems (pictured)

SADA Systems, a Google, Microsoft and Facebook partner, will pour $11 million into its business this year, a massive investment meant to capitalize on the booming cloud industry. As the company's physical footprint, customer base and staff expand rapidly, CEO Tony Safoian is maintaining the posture that drove his success: investing in new technologies, surrounding himself with the most-skilled employees he can find, and focusing on midmarket customers. Hear his outlook on the market opportunity in this engaging interview conducted by channel veteran Vince Menzione.

10) The 5 W's Of SD-WAN

Gary Elliott, VP, Sales Enablement, Magna5

This session will explore the Who/What/Where/When/Why questions of SD-WAN services while focusing on the customer. Enterprises continue with three trends: increase their reliance on the cloud, transition away from legacy premise-based technology models and embrace the changing organizational composition (remote/branch offices, teleworkers, mobile workers, etc.). So Service Providers need to shift customers' network environments into a more strategic role to support this new direction and dependence – enter SD-WAN. This product portfolio addition enables service providers to manage their customers' networks, critical applications, and security, ensuring a best-in-class user experience across the entire network.

11) Successful Pricing Strategies

Karl Palachuk, Author, Blogger, Consultant, Small Biz Thoughts

“High” and “Low” are not pricing strategies. They are evidence that you're paying attention to the wrong thing. Author and coach Karl Palachuk shows you how to use pricing strategically so clients will choose your highest-value services. This entertaining and informative presentation is part two of a two-part series on making more money with managed services.

12) The Future Of Security Solutions: Meet The Next-Gen MSSP

Michael Knight, President and CTO, Encore Technology

Just what does the future MSSP practice look like? Attendees will gain insight into the building blocks for a next-gen managed security services provider business. Discussion points include how to align with the right partners and providers. Remaining relevant in a rapidly changing market is difficult for any provider. Anchoring a practice around Cisco or Barracuda is s step in the right direction but to be successful, MSSPs must not only identify the right set of suppliers but other MSPs as well. Learn how to make the right moves with having to invest a fortune in the business.

13) Become A Cloud Broker And Lead The Way

Speaker: Sean Ferrel, CEO, Managed Solution

IT leaders must reimagine their MSP and solution provider organizations can become cloud brokers and lead the way as Microsoft, Amazon and other publishers help drive future revenue. In this session, next-gen managed service provider Sean Ferrel will discuss cloud marketplaces, brokerage and the long-term effects of managing customers' cloud strategies. The public cloud still offers a whole new world of recurring revenue for partners. Over the next several years' public cloud management will be key to the success of both distributors and integrators alike. Cost management, brokerage, and overall management will be at the center of how solution providers manage their customers and automation will allow cloud brokers to make more informed decisions when working with their providers. This session will help VARs and MSPs better understand what tools are available, how to create their own IP and tie all vendors together in one management platform that will automate their businesses.

14)Time To Change The Tools Of The Trade: The Great MSP Debate

Moderator: Chad Paalman, Co-Founder and Managing Director, NuWave Technology

Ben Johnson, President, Liberty Technology

Chance Weaver, President, I.T. Responsive

For those who believe disruption is confined to technology and business models think again. The latest victim of disruption is the professional services automation (PSA) market that has long been dominated by the likes of Autotask and ConnectWise. MSPs who use these automation tools are suddenly confronted with a wider range of choices to better manage their operations along with the services and software they manage on behalf of their customers. Cloud , IoT and mobility are changing the game as are the offerings that Microsoft and Amazon have designed to help MSPs manage the use of Azure and AWS. This session will discuss and feature a debate of the major industry trends impacting the MSP tools and PSA market including the proliferation of platforms, tool sprawl, blurring of definitions, the recent merger of Autotask and Datto and how MSP productivity and efficiency are being impacted by this next-generation software.

15) Understanding The Value Of Containers And Microservices In A World Of DevOps

Speaker: Bradley Brodkin, president and CEO, HighVail Systems

The latest trend to sweep through the channel revolves around DevOps, containers and microservices. Like many of the previous tech trends, this one has landed on the channel's doorstep because monetization time has arrived. The developers of containers such as Docker, Kubernetes, PKS and others are looking for partners to help them extend their customer reach and support enterprise and midmarket customers that are cloud-centric. Docker, for one, promises to change the way that IT operations are carried out just as virtualization did so this is a trend which will impact every solution provider's customer. In this session, solution providers will gain an understanding of the basics of containers from a next-gen solution provider and how they solve the problem of getting software to run reliably when moving from one computing environment to another.

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