This week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas flew by as 3,000 people convened on the Rio for meaty education sessions and lively networking time.
The after-hours parties only made the show better. From Manage Mobility and Level 3 to World Telecom Group, Intelisys Corp. and Access One, companies wined and dined their agents in high style. Caviar, anyone?
The spring event kicked off with an invigorating keynote from football legend Ron Jaworski. Channel partners love their sports figures and the former Philly Eagles quarterback delivered a high-energy speech that inspired agents to sell with enthusiasm and integrity. AireSpring Inc. and Magellan Hill co-sponsored Jaworski’s talk.
XO CEO Carl Grivner followed Jaworski with a state-of-the-industry update. The overall takeway is that IP traffic will quadruple by 2011 and new players such as Google are reshaping competition. For instance, as Google takes part in the ongoing 700MHz auction and snaps up inner-city fiber, the rules on cellular spectrum will shift.
“It’s going to be a game-changer,” Grivner said of involvement such as Google’s.
As seems inevitable in telecom, talk turned to regulation. Grivner agreed with what many analysts have said of late: that regulation hinges on the 2008 presidential elections. Nancy Lubamersky, vice president of strategic initiatives for TelePacific, delivered an insightful overview of regulation and its effects on agents. She, too, noted that the next president will play a critical role in issues such as forbearance and net neutrality.
Then it was on to an afternoon of educational panels before the evening grand opening of the exhibit hall. And what an opening it was. People crowded the booths of 153 companies, searching for of cool schwag (anyone else catch that ookily delightful stress ball at The Conference Group booth?) and new sales opportunities. The momentum continued Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning as exhibitors reported high turnout and quality leads.
Exhibitors also made numerous product announcements, too many to list. Be sure to check them out on the PHONE+ home page under “Industry News.”