CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — Channel Partners’ fall trade show kicked off Monday with the ATX (Austin, Texas) Launch Party busy with partners looking forward to networking and drumming up new business during the next few days.
The conference, at the Austin Convention Center, includes several new features for attendees, as well as more than 40 new exhibitors, said Art Wittmann, Informa vice president. Various sessions will focus on hot topics, such as SD-WAN capabilities, he said.
Attendance should total around 2,700, including a 19 percent increase in partners, he said.
“We’ve always had a show-floor stage and this year actually is going to have a TV studio where the audience can be part of it, and we can tape everything and run it on the web as well,” Wittmann said. “So the conference becomes live on the web. Our pre-conference was great; we had a number of events that we haven’t done before, including one for cloud service providers — and so really interesting stuff going on there.”
FaxSIPit Services, a Vancouver, B.C.-based white label, hosted fax service provider, is exhibiting at the conference. It and its U.S. division, Shield4UC, are planning to attract new resellers while in Austin.
“This is an introduction of our new product … so it’s a fax and secure email collaboration, and document collaboration as well,” said Randy Simmons, FaxSIPit’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re sort of moving more into the compliance market for our customers, and offering something that our resellers now and new resellers don’t have for the compliance industry. Medical, for example — they fax a lot, but they don’t have a marriage between the fax and email, so this brings the two together, so it’s everything in one. We have about a 1,500-reseller network in the U.S. and we’re building off of that.”
Michelle Owenby, marketing consultant for Shield4UC, said no other company can offer resellers both secure faxing and secure email.
David Stephenson Sr., a veteran sales executive with EarthLink and then Windstream, said he is leaving Windstream and weighing his options, including opening his own master agency and creating a channel partner framework for a small, direct-sales company that’s failing. He is attending the conference to spread the word and make connections. Windstream finalized its acquisition of EarthLink in February.
“What I expect will happen here is some of the larger master agents will try to say it doesn’t make sense to start your own business, Dave — come on under us,” he said. “So I’m hoping to evaluate some of those options while I’m here as well because a lot of times it makes sense to go up under a master agent … you get some protection by working under a big organization like an Intelisys.”