The 5,100m2 space in Hall 9 of Birmingham NEC on 20 and 21 May will be bustling with exhibitors and a cross-section of the entire UK channel. However, in one corner, this year’s Technology Theatre is tipped to stand out, dramatising the showcase of products and services in a perhaps more memorable way.
At Technology Theatre, vendors and distributors will tell the channel about their latest moves in up to 10 presentations.
Richard Chapman, business development manager at
Magirus, said it
is jointly sponsoring Expo with VMware with a view to showing VARs the
selling virtualised offerings in a difficult economic climate.
“Virtualisation is bucking the recessionary trend. Demand remains strong and
the technology continues to offer resellers good margins for both products and
services,” he said.
Push for partners
The distributor will have a big push around its vPartner programme, a three-step initiative that provides partners with business and marketing consultancy, education and training, and pre-sales support.
“It is a vehicle to assist new partners to enter the virtualisation arena and addresses those already in the sector that want to extend their footprint by offering more solutions,” added Chapman.
“We will also look to the next generation of virtualisation
offerings, which will be previewed in our sponsorship of the Technology Theatre.”
Credit continues to be a challenge in the channel. Magirus financial director Derek Walton will present new thinking in a session called: ‘Un-crunching credit: three views from the channel.’
Marc Groetelaars, director of the EMEA North Partner Organisation at VMware, said Expo is great for communicating with resellers.
“This year we are looking forward to showcasing the next generation of our virtualisation platform,” he said. “Our partners are the people out there implementing virtualisation, and we will be demonstrating new technologies that will help them deliver more complete and robust solutions.”
According to Groetelaars, VMware partners have really grasped the fundamental benefits of virtualisation.
“This year’s Theatre will be about how they can deliver advanced solutions for situations like disaster recovery and business continuity, as well as how they can make cloud computing a reality using virtualisation,” he added.
With the theme of Channel Expo 2009 being ‘Profit. Partnerships. Education’, day one of Technology Theatre -- which will be on the far left of Hall 9 in relation to the NEC entrance -- will feature Richard Bligh, marketing director for Gamma Telecom.
Bligh will discuss an easy new revenue stream available using hosted IP telephony dubbed FeaturePlus.
The service allows resellers and dealers to add voice easily to their product portfolio, giving an additional revenue stream with great new margins.
Using Cisco IP phones, this service suits resellers of IT or data services that understand the LAN and don’t want to worry about billing complexities.
FeaturePlus is licensed per seat, inclusive of calls.
Justin Coombes, marketing manager at Gamma Telecom, said the provider is excited to participate in Technology Theatre.
“We will be highlighting how easy it is to sell voice, which will add new revenue streams and extra margin for resellers that have the customers, but do not provide their telephony needs today,” said Coombes.
“FeaturePlus plugs into any broadband connection giving SMEs big-company phone features without investing in expensive on-site equipment.”
Raise your profile
Channel Expo offers a host of marketing opportunities to help vendors and distributors demonstrate thought leadership, generate demand, capture quality leads and get press coverage.
The second day at Technology Theatre will add information about forthcoming
OS Windows 7 to a Microsoft session around virtualisation, management tools for
customers’ entire infrastructure, and unified communications (UC).
Akrigg will tell how UC alongside Office Communications Server can save customers money and improve productivity. Attendees will also be treated to a preview of Windows 7.
Andy Lockwood, transformation director for Opal Office Broadband, will present a hands-on session on the types of new applications and services available on Next Generation Networks from the UK-based local loop unbundling (LLU) operator.
Opal Office Broadband is based on ADSL2+ networking, promising maximum speeds of 24Mbps with network prioritisation. The vendor claims it is 60 per cent cheaper than BT’s closest equivalent.
Lockwood will talk up how IT resellers and systems integrators can build their own bundles, or sell the service as a ready-made package earning up-front commissions.
Paul Westmoreland, managing director at Psion Teklogix, is going to show the Ikon rugged PDA, which combines phone, PDA and barcode reading functionality in one pocket-size device.
Psion believes the Ikon is an ideal data capture device for field-based staff, especially in the utilities, emergency services, logistics or courier service sectors. It supports three different operating systems, simultaneous operation of four radios, a large battery and touch screen plus a 2MB camera.
Psion Teklogix has teamed up with distributor Varlink to participate in
Technology Theatre. Sabine Kelly, marketing manager at
Varlink, said the Ikon
computer is already popular.
“If you are or are considering selling IT solutions to organisations in retail, transportation, field service, utilities and emergency services environments, come and learn how you can deliver a return on mobility,” said Kelly.
Outside the Technology Theatre, resellers looking to get the most out of Expo can market their capabilities to partners and clients at the showcase.
Held at the Birmingham NEC on 20 and 21 May, Expo covers the entire range of channel companies, products and skills. More than 2,900 visitors attended the event in 2008.
All those attendees were at management or director level. Most hailed from
consultancies, system integrators or technology retailers and about half of those companies turned over more than £1m a year.
Some 70 per cent of visitors in 2008 make buying decisions for products or services.
This year’s Expo should prove similar. Make sure you don’t miss out on the UK’s biggest channel event for products, partnerships and profit.
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