Viva Las VentureTech: Scenes From Ingram Micro In Vegas

Viva Las VentureTech

Ingram Micro recently held its 2011 Fall VentureTech Network Invitational conference in Las Vegas, attracting more than 750 attendees. The event kicked off with a Sunday Night Football welcome reception and concluded two days later with a "Viva Las Vegas" night on the town. In between there were several keynotes and an awards presentation. Here's a look at some of the highlights. Pictured here, the Mid-Atlantic group earned the Chapter of the Year award.

Don't Stop Believin'

Ingram Micro’s John Fago kicked off the event reminding VTN members that the future is theirs, so never stop innovating and striving for success.

Will The Real Michael Connolly Please Stand Up

IBM's Michael Connolly and his cardboard doppelganger asked solution providers to "dare to compare."

If The Shoes Fit CEO Tony Hseih was a keynote speaker, talking about the importance of building a corporate culture and "delivering happiness" to customers.

We're Sorry

Before launching into his presentation, Stephen DiFranco, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Personal Systems Group, Americas, went off script and took a moment to address to the VTN community and apologize for HP's handling of PSG in recent months. DiFranco received a round of applause from VARs.

Building New Competencies

Brett Bailey, vice president at WBM Office Systems, a Calgary, Alberta-based VAR and VTN member, led the conference's first member-to-member presentation. Bailey focused on building new competencies within an already accomplished sales organization. Even when you achieve trusted advisor status with a customer, there’s still a level of partnership that places solution providers even higher in the value equation, Bailey said.

Quarterback Pass

Deepak Thadani, president of SysIntegrators, a Woodside, N.Y.-based VAR, throws a pass during VentureTech's Sunday Night Football welcome reception.

Football Fever

From left, Ingram Micro’s Margarita Cohen and Sandy May, along with Julie West and Becky Connolly from Technology Integration Group, show off their teams' favorite colors at the welcome reception.

VTN Update

Jim Veraldi of Micro Strategy and Rob Bracey of Quartet Service, also co-presidents of VentureTech, updated members on new VentureTech programs including VTNConnect, Mastermind, White Glove, VTN Gives Back and the community's website.

Talking With Tiffani

Gartner's Tiffani Bova, a regular speaker at VentureTech conferences, told VARs they should be realign their sales teams as a result of selling more IT services.

Vendor Panel

Gartner's Bova, at left, moderated a vendor panel with David Roberts, vice president, Americas, Data Management Customer Solutions Unit, Americas, at CA Technologies; Mike McCann, vice president, field and sales operations at Xerox; and Sammy Kinlaw, director of distribution sales at Lenovo. The executives talked about bringing new strategies and programs to VTN members.

Cloud Talk

If it's an IT conference in 2011, there had to be a session on cloud computing. Here, Cindy Bates, vice president of U.S. SMB and distribution at Microsoft, and Jim Veraldi, executive vice president at Micro Strategies, answered audience questions about successful cloud strategies.

The Bay Way

After giving his play-by-play of the state of the market, Paul Bay, executive vice president of Ingram Micro North America, motivates the VTN community by asking, "If winning doesn’t matter, than why do we keep score?"

More Cloud Talk

Ingram Micro’s Renee Bergeron unveiled three new offerings for Ingram Micro Cloud from Kaseya, Trend Micro and Symantec while giving a live demo of the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace which is expected to launch soon.

A VAR's Voice

Instead of having a Cisco Systems executive espouse the company's Unified Computing System, Cisco asked Alan McDonald, president of All Connected, a Simi Valley, Calif.-based partner, to do it instead. McDonald talked about UCS and how the move to virtualization has benefited his customers.

The Spirit of VTN

Neil Medwed of Preferred Technology, (center), earned the 2011 Ingram Micro VTN Spirit Award for his contagious enthusiasm. He was presented the award by Ingram Micro's Huy Nguyen, left, and CSC's Tom Hastings, last year's winner.

Canadian Spirit

Rob Bracey, president of Toronto-based Quartet Service, (center), received the Spirit Award (Canada) during the 2011 VTN Spotlight Awards. He accepted the award from F12 Networks' Leanne Yeatman, and Ingram Micro Canada's Cam Leetham.

Chapter On The Rise

VentureTech's Pacific West chapter won the 2011 Chapter On The Rise Award. Holding the award is Lesleigh Watson of Northwest Computer Support.

President's Award

Lesleigh Watson, (second from the left), of Northwest Computer Support and Patrick Ciccarelli, (second from the right), of Varsity Technologies each received Chapter President's Awards for their leadership in VentureTech's PacWest chapter. They received the awards from Ingram's Huy Nguyen, (far left), and Steve Meek, co-founder and president of The Fulcrum Group, a Keller, Texas-based VAR.

New Hall Of Fame Member

The entire 2011 Big Apple Chapter was inducted into the VTN Hall of Fame. This marks the second time a VTN Chapter was honored as a Hall of Famer. The Heartland chapter was previously inducted.

Chairman's Award

All Connected's Alan McDonald (center) received the 2011 Chairman's Award, the highest recognition of the night. He received the award from 2010 winner Doron Kaminski of Insite Computer Group (left) and Ingram Micro’s John Fago.