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Keynote Speakers Highlight Opportunities in Mobility, Cloud and Security

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CHANNEL PARTNERS — Chuck Morton, donning a security T-shirt and ball cap Thursday morning, showed what appeared to be a live screen of malware attacks crisscrossing the globe.

“Every single one of your clients is getting hit by these right now,” Morton noted during a keynote speech at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. “I guarantee it.”

Morton, the CEO of Engaged LLC, a channel partnership consulting group, cited a number of staggering facts that highlight security risks facing all companies in a connected world.

  • In December alone, one health-care client reported 69,000 malware attacks;    
  • 7 percent of U.S. organizations lost $1 million or more due to cybercrime in 2013; and
  • The notorious breach at the retailer Target affected tens of millions of consumers.

“Forty million consumers had their data breached,” Morton said. “That’s a problem.”

Channel partners, by branching out into security services, can be the solution to avoid such a problem.{ad}

Morton was joined on stage by Dave Dyson, CEO at Eclipse Telecom, and Michael Goodenough, vice president of cloud solutions with BCM One. The men examined three potential new practice areas for channel partners: security, the cloud and mobile.

Dyson got to the point quickly, asking the audience to raise their hand if they have a mobile device. Naturally, everyone’s hands went up.

Dyson said there are nine billion devices currently connected to Internet mobile devices, and that 9 billion more will be added this year alone. While traditional IT spending is declining, expenditures on mobility are forecast to increase 18 percent, he pointed out.

“Everybody needs to start developing mobile first,” he said.

The research firm IDC forecasts that by 2017 “all line of business (LOB) apps in customer-facing roles and 75% of LOB apps in internally-facing roles will be built for mobile-first consumption.”

Dyson noted 85 percent of companies do not have plans to employ a chief mobility strategist or mobility lead.

“That’s where we come in,” he said.

If a channel partner seeking to branch out into mobility approaches AT&T or Verizon, the carriers will provide resources such as training and marketing, Dyson said.

“They want you in the space” and to succeed, he said.

Goodenough, whose focus was on the cloud, underscored partners must speak the “language” of their customers and know the how, when and why of their purchasing decisions.

“We need to talk their language,” he said.

Goodenough also pointed out partners can’t possibly know everything about all the cloud products in the marketplace.

“You can be an expert on singular areas,” he said, “and grow and evolve.”


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