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Changing Technology Landscape Require New Business Models for IT Companies, CompTIA Breakaway Attendees Told

Cloud computing, open source, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and other fast-growing technology solutions offer opportunities for information technology (IT) companies able to adapt to a “brave new world,” attendees at CompTIA Breakaway 2009 were told here today.

“There is a different role (for channel companies) to play in a world where we have so many virtual delivery models,” said Stephen Cho, director, Google Apps Channels. “There’s a lot more opportunities available around the distribution of virtual assets delivered over the network.”

Cho’s remarks came during today’s Breakaway keynote address “Power Panel: Channel Execs Predict the Future.” He was joined on the panel by Roger Egan, vice president of North American Channels, Red Hat, Inc., and Kerry McDonough, director, Small Business Sales/Channels, Cisco Systems, Inc.

“Doing things the old way is not necessarily what customers are looking for,” Egan said. “I see SaaS and cloud computing as an accelerator to the adoption of open source in the small business market.”

All three executives said there is a significant role for channel partners in the changing environment.

“Even if it’s a cloud based service, the overall network infrastructure is important in how you deliver that service,” said McDonough. “Small businesses look for partners, for value-added resellers to be their IT staff.”

“There is the opportunity now for the channel player to provide more strategic business value to their clients than they did before,” Cho concluded.

Opportunities in Security, Managed Services

One of the areas offering opportunities for channel companies is security. Four executives from companies specializing in security solutions said many organizations underestimate their security vulnerabilities and often do not have the in-house expertise to correct their shortcomings.

Panelists in the session “Finding Opportunities in the Evolving Security Matrix” advised resellers and solution provides to look for opportunities in markets that are highly regulated, such as financial services and healthcare. They also recommended that discussions about security be done in language customers can understand.

“They understand the liability concept,” said Patrick Wilson, president, Vital Signs Technology.

Another panel discussion, “Stay Profitable in Tough Times – Move to a Managed Services Model”, offered Breakaway attendees guidance on how to succeed as a managed services provider. Among the keys to success are crafting the correct pricing and compensation models; seeking out opportunities in vertical industry markets; and branding your company, not the products, the minds of customers.

Breakaway continues through Aug. 6.

About CompTIA

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, please visit www.comptia.org.

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