**Editor's Note: Click here for Channel Partners' complete coverage of CompTIA ChannelCon 2014.**
Four heavy-hitter channel chiefs took the CompTIA ChannelCon stage on Wednesday, tackling topics including mobility, the convergence of IT and telephony, and cloud and managed services.
Doug Erickson of Juniper Networks, Brooks McCorcle of AT&T, Dave Maffei of Carbonite, and Jeff McCullough of HP spent an hour talking about the opportunities in each of these areas for solution providers.
Here are some takeaways:
Solution providers are overlooking a big opportunity: “The SMB space is largely untapped." –Doug Erickson
But there’s more to the sale than just the phone or tablet. “The opportunity is not just the device but what surrounds it." (e.g., security, VDI). –Jeff McCullough
“Think of mobility as an extension of what you already offer." –Brooks McCorcle
On IT/telephony convergence:
Microsoft Lync lacks a telephony capability; that’s something partners have to add to make the platform fully functional for their clients. As such, “Lync is going to be one of the big change agents" for IT partners looking to offer a more rounded solution. –Jeff McCullough
“The network matters." Solution providers have to think about users’ ability to connect no matter what. –Doug Erickson
On cloud and managed services:
Decision-making is moving to the line-of-business executive. Plus, vendors have to help solve cash-flow problems caused by the shift to recurring revenue. –Doug Erickson
Master agents have the potential to close that profitability gap and help build a solution provider’s value proposition in the cloud by offering education and other resources. “I think master agents can play a huge role." –Brooks McCorcle
Being “born-in-the-cloud" doesn’t matter as long as the solution provider has a relationship with the customer and is forward thinking. Otherwise, “no one cares where they were born." –Dave Maffei
The Channel Chiefs Power Panel was moderated by iPED’s Rauline Ochs. CompTIA is holding its annual ChannelCon event in Phoenix.