Cloud Migration Lab to Debut at Channel Partners Las Vegas

Bob TitschBy Bob Titsch

The Channel Partners Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, March 16-18, will feature a new resource on the exhibit floor for attendees who want to learn how data and applications are migrated from on-premises systems to the cloud. 

Called the Cloud Migration Lab, the dedicated space will include a center show-floor stage and seating area for scheduled presentations and sponsored kiosks for showcasing cloud migration products and use cases. Representatives from leading cloud providers and channel partners who have experience with migrating products will make a range of presentations aimed at helping colleagues better understand adoption trends and how to sell relevant technology, with a focus on business value.

The Lab also will allow managed service providers (MSPs) and others with more technical concerns to meet with supplier representatives who can answer questions and demonstrate key aspects of migration products. 

“Providing hosted customer productivity tools and workloads like Exchange, SharePoint and desktops to the cloud gives agents a new area of value to offer clients,” explains Jo Peterson, vice president, converged cloud and data services at Clarify 360, a TeleProviders Company, and a leader in developing the Lab concept. “We want to share success stories from our community and show agents how the process works for real clients. I think it will be very helpful and impactful for agents who don’t have much experience with these services or have not yet begun offering them.” 

As Channel Partners editor-in-chief Lorna Garey pointed out last week, 81 percent of enterprise executives who participated in a recent survey by F5 said they are moving toward hybrid cloud environments, and the number of organizations with a “cloud first” strategy jumped by nearly 50 percent from a year ago. Synergy Research Group’s 2015 review supports those figures, showing cloud operator and vendor revenues for the four quarters ending last Sept. reaching $110 billion, up 28 percent.

Channel partners who are not engaged in this evolution are missing an extraordinary opportunity. So the goal with the Lab is to provide newcomers with a road map and a firsthand look at the simplicity of setting up or moving workloads with recovery and scale. To that end, sponsors and channel partners will provide not only real-world demos of their services, they’ll explain on a peer-to-peer basis how to overcome typical objections and easily generate reports that measure adoption and forecast utilization, productivity and ROI.

The Lab will run for two days. On Wednesday, March 16, its focus will be on end-user application migration involving email, office productivity applications and data. On Thursday, March 17, the emphasis will be on business application migration for purposes of disaster recovery.  

“We’ll have agents on hand to explain how easy it is to build a practice around a variety of solutions including email, backup and recovery,” says Mike Goodenough, vice president of cloud solutions at BCM One and, with Peterson, a developer of the concept. “Channel partners need to know they are an evolving resource that deliver value to all the C-level executives, whether it’s related to billing, consumption, engineering, support — however they want to be involved. There are all kinds of ways to create value. And it’s not a long sales cycle. In many cases you simply click a few keys to make it happen.”

Goodenough adds that clouds are becoming bonded to networks, which ideally positions channel partners.

“The best place to do forensic diagnostics is right there at the network,” he says. “Who better than us to manage all that needs to be handled in that space?”   

Watch for additional updates as the Channel Partners team continues to work on the Lab program with several industry providers and partners. Use cases involving SMBs and larger enterprises, including a 2,000 user hospital email migration to Hosted Exchange are already set, and numerous others are being planned. Show attendees will want to pencil in time to visit the Cloud Migration Lab.

As of now, Rackspace and SunGard are scheduled to demo their offerings and present on the show-floor stage; I’ll profile these services and those from additional vendors and partners as they sign on and we get closer to the show. Companies interested in being part of the Lab should contact their sales reps or Sierra Coughlin.

“It’s fine to read about these matters, and I encourage that,” says Peterson. “But putting it into practice is a different deal, and that’s what the Lab is all about. It definitely should be top of mind for channel partners at the show.”

Bob Titsch is the Cloud Migration Program Manager for the Channel Partners Conference and Expo. He can be reached at

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