NexGen Cloud Conference Will Feature Some Of Industry's Most Influential Thought Leaders

The NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo, the first cloud summit focusing on solution providers, will bring some of the industry's most celebrated leaders to San Diego to share their thoughts about the future of IT.

The Channel Company's first cloud-centric event will open on Dec. 4 with a keynote from celebrated futurist, entrepreneur and director of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil.

Other keynotes during the two-day event will be delivered by Alex Freedland, chairman of Mirantis, a developer of an enterprise-grade OpenStack distribution that's forging the future of the cloud; and Tiffani Bova, a vice president at Gartner and distinguished analyst who specializes in IT sales strategies and channel innovation.

[Related: NexGen Cloud Teams With ASCII Group, CompTIA, THINKstrategies]

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Jeff Kaplan, managing director of THINKstrategies, will lead a panel discussion with representatives from some of the industry's most influential cloud vendors.

While many brand-name vendors and leading cloud service providers will be participating in the conference and expo, NexGen is decidedly vendor-neutral.

"This is a partner-focused cloud conference," said Robert DeMarzo, senior vice president of strategic content at The Channel Company.

"There's nothing else out there where a partner or solution provider can come and say, 'I've got to figure out this cloud thing.' That's where there's a gap in the market that this event fills," DeMarzo said.

While other cloud conferences are centered around a specific technology, the focus of NexGen Cloud will be cloud sales, cloud marketing and building a path to offering cloud services to customers.

During the two-day event, most of the content attendees can choose will come from partners and integrators who will share real-world insights on best practices and developing business models attuned to the new IT landscape.

Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global, who built the company into a thriving cloud practice through partnering with Google, will present a talk called "Building Your Cloud Portfolio" to help resellers choose cloud services that best serve their markets.

"This is the first conference truly looking forward to changes in the channel for cloud-centric companies," Falcon told CRN.

"The nature, focus and opportunities with cloud computing continue to change rapidly. Being successful with cloud services means not only modernizing your business model, but re-evaluating your build-versus-buy strategy, how you market and how you structure your services. This conference will bring these issues, and solutions, to the forefront," Falcon said.

Resellers often focus on private or hybrid clouds with on-premises components, Falcon said, and neglect the lucrative opportunities made possible by partnering with public cloud providers.

Falcon also will discuss the professional services needed to succeed and how to create or shift an organization toward cloud services.

David Geevaratne, president of Washington D.C.-based solution provider New Signature, will talk about profiting from the Microsoft Cloud Platform.

"As solutions providers evolve their business to adapt to 'As-a-Service' models, I’m excited to share why we chose Microsoft as our single-source partner, how we created compelling customer offerings, and how we’re thriving using Office365 and Azure as our lead-in for managed services plans," he told CRN.

The NexGen Cloud conference will be a "relevant and transformational event for solutions providers," Geevaratne told CRN. "This conference's content will undoubtedly help them grow, transform and thrive," he said.

Some other sessions will feature Sam Coy, president of Netrepid, presenting a talk titled "Solution Provider Playbook For Competing Against AWS, Google & Azure," and Rich Roseman, former CIO of 21st Century Fox, presenting the case study: "Customer Perspective: Moving a $71 Billion Media Company to the Cloud."

Alex Brown, CEO of 10th Magnitude, a Microsoft Azure-aligned solution provider based in Chicago, will give a talk called "Marketing Strategies For The New Cloud Economy.’

In addition, NexGen has an exciting prize giveaway. Be checked into the conference at the San Diego Conference Center by 12 p.m. on Dec. 5 for a chance to win a Ducati Monster.