Home > Articles > What happened at the ChannelNEXT Central Conference on May 16-17, 2016?

What happened at the ChannelNEXT Central Conference on May 16-17, 2016?


In one word…Lots! The conference continues to evolve into a powerful hub for business building content, support and partnerships. Today, VARs and MSPs need help in future-proofing their business to remain relevant as channel partners. Not every company will make the transition into the next generation channel, but it is possible for the vast majority to be successful with the right knowledge and support.

Four specific paths towards recurring revenue success were rolled out at the event.

1.Transition: For VARs still in the traditional business model looking to crossover into recurring revenue or the MSP model. They need the right managed services to sell as well as the basic tools to manage and deliver.

2.Traction: For MSPs who are having a challenge to convert their current customers into a managed services contract. They need the leverage the right tools and retrain their team to be more effective at selling, managing and delivering the services.

3.Growth: For MSPs who have successfully transferred their clients into recurring revenue contracts and are now looking to expand their managed service offerings and their customer base.

4.Optimization: For MSPs looking to streamline their entire processes to maximize profitability and scale. Also looking to offer a comprehensive catalog of managed services to maximize revenues.

All MSPs seem to fall within one of these four categories and no MSP is too small or too big to benefit from these programs. Learn more!

Coming this summer is our two-day training course on “Building A Better Network Operations Center”. In this exclusive training course, attendees will learn all of the secrets of building the best NOC to become efficient, cost-effective and maximize their product portfolio. This course will be taught by our expert NOC who has successfully built several outsourced NOC practices and currently operates a Global NOC. We refer to him as the “NOCFather”. You want to learn what he knows as it will raise your game in the NOC business. Want to be kept in the loop? – Click Here!

IMG_7936If you already operate a NOC or work in a NOC team, then you simply must attend this course! It will help you move your NOC practice to the next level. This course is designed for intermediate to advance MSP practitioners or anyone looking to build a best-practice NOC.

All attendees went through a workshop to learn about their business strengths and weaknesses and make plans to improve their company. They also got some great insights for integrating LinkedIN within their sales activities to generate more success. Extended courses are available to help sales representatives to raise their game in selling Managed and Cloud services. If you are looking to boost the performance of your sales team in a sustainable way, then learn more!


Delegates also got valuable insights into best practices for leverage digital marketing from a responsive web site to social media marketing with a clear and effective “path of purpose”. It’s the secret ingredient for getting the best sales conversion rates!

Hopefully, my presentation on the twelve trends that are molding the way the channel will do business in the future will help the delegates to adjust their business strategy and future-proof their business. It is important to understand all of the moving parts that can affect your business – even those that you cannot control!

IMG_8013Three of the best business continuity vendors (StorageCraft, Datto and Data Deposit Box) presented their solutions. All of these companies recently received a massive injection of capital to fuel their fast growth in the sector. Between them, they offer everything that any VAR or MSP need to get into the game and get their piece of the growing BDR pie.

HP showcased their latest line of laptops including the World’s thinnest. I had a chance to check out their ultra-thin line of portables and one with a removable tablet. These computers are packed with power and they really look fantastic! I think the channel will be seeing a lot more great things from HP. We are also very proud to say that HP has been exhibiting at our ChannelNEXT events for the past 14 years in a row!


InFocus showcased their projectors as well as their affordable video conferencing solutions. The company is currently rebuilding their channel presence in Canada and is actively looking to recruit new partners. With a wider range of solutions and great margins, channel partners should explore what they are offering. Check out their special promotions too!

Canon showcased their document scanners and printers. They announced plans to introduce eleven new printer models over the next 30 days, including several models that will be sold exclusively through the IT Channel.

IMG_8009Glyph showcased some powerful RAID storage solutions that expand to 32 TB. They offer free data recovery in case of hard drive failure and free overnight replacement. The rugged case is ideal for people on the move. In a sea of so many storage solutions, this company seems to deliver a level of quality and performance with the support to back it up.

New to the event this year is Taknology (a distributor of many leading peripheral brands). They are looking to recruit more partners with very personalized collaboration. Smaller distributors can offer a stronger support and service. They also offer a showroom for you to check out their full line of products.

VOIP was a significant highlight at the event with two outstanding solutions from Versature and TEO. It’s a lucrative business for VARs and MSPs to get into the telephony game and make some big profits for life of the client! Every VAR and MSP can offer VOIP solutions to their clients easier than ever!


TP-Link showcased their line wireless networking devices that won top awards. This company is known for their consumer line but they are also offering business-grade solutions. If you have not yet considered working with this company as a supplier, then now is a good time to explore what they have to offer as they are looking for channel partners.

Sherweb a Cloud distributor of Microsoft solutions made a very strong case for VARs and MSPs to partner with them. It’s the fastest way to get into the Cloud game without the heavy investment of doing it alone. In many ways, channel partners can make a lot more margins than going direct with Microsoft or through the traditional distributors. This company offers a full 24/7 technical support service in North America.

IMG_8155In a quiet showing, ibiz10 did a sneak peek of its full ERP solution that literally has everything that a MSP needs to run their entire business including a full back-end NOC service provider. Beta sites are rolling out this year. It’s like an MSP in a box! It’s going to be a game changer.

A PSA fully integrated with a RMM solution was showcased from Autotask. You may want to check out the benefits of a deeper integration between PSA and RMM to see if it fits for you. LogicNow also showcased their leading RMM solution and continues to expand its suite to include simplified one-dashboard management, managed security, preventative remedies with collective intelligent machine learning and disaster recovery.


And last, but  certainly not least, is what I consider to be the no-brainer tool that every sales rep selling IT must have and use every day. It will uncover new sales opportunities in ways you will not expect. It’s simple… Take tool to prospect. Run tool. Generate report. Show report to customer. Present a proposal to fix problems. Repeat! RapidFireTools may just be a sales rep’s best friend!

Did I miss some things? Definitely, but I think you get the idea of what happened at the conference. If you registered, you may request an e-copy of the conference guide so you can contact all of the vendors and experts. You can also check out the video interviews at www.ecntv.tv – click the ChanneNEXT Central 2016 tab!

Don’t want to miss the upcoming ChanneNEXT conferences? Register here

Just in case you think it was all work and no play….here is a quick look at some of the fun stuff…

Julian Lee

For more pics on this event, please click here