Tech Data held its 2018 Partner Summit, Transformation Awaits, November 5-8 at the Fairmont Princess Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The event packed in four days of dynamic, thought-provoking perspectives on the direction of technology and how to survive–and thrive–amidst the disruptive changes of digital transformation.
Summit attendees were treated to a broad complement of outlooks, forecasts and expert opinions from technology’s leading companies, industry analysts, ‘organizational disruptors’ and futurists on the changes necessary to be successful within the fluidity and disruption of next generation technologies driving digital transformation
Elevate Your Value; Grow Your Business
Day One opened with Rich Hume, Tech Data’s CEO. Amidst a standing-room only crowd, Hume discussed how partners can leverage Tech Data to more effectively navigate the channel and move to higher value with their customers and potential customers.
Hume was followed by Meredith Whalen, senior vice president, IT Executive, Software, Services and Industry Research at IDC, discussing how technology partners can sell more effectively with use cases. “Your ability to communicate how you can affect business outcomes will not only establish you as a trusted partner, but also improve close rates and increase deal size,” said Whalen.
Surviving, Thriving and Arriving… The Future is Now!
Day One concluded with futurist Mike Walsh, who discussed the implications digital transformation is having on every aspect of life today – business and personal. In his presentation, “Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Digital Transformation,” Walsh specifically cited AI, automation and algorithms as the nexus –the fundamental DNA- of all things digital in the 21st century. Exercised en masse, AI, automation and algorithms orchestrate nearly everything today that requires external power and functionality. “As routinized duties become managed by automation, AI and algorithms, humans will not be replaced, they will elevate their role; moving up a level of abstraction to consider and solve larger, more complex issues.”
A central tenet of Walsh’s presentation was that with all the automation of tasks, AI, and algorithms evolving more technology and knowledge, people will become no less important in the future. Leaders will still be required to understand the complexity of human nature, and how to motivate and empathize. Those most effective will need to be structured in the way they make decisions. They will have to have a flair for computational thinking, using data and algorithms to augment their decisions.
Day Two: More Data, More Displays, More Learning
Day Two was dynamic. The Solutions Center opened with over 25 vendor exhibits showcased along with Tech Data Solutions Specialists on-hand to speak with attendees and answer questions. The morning opened with five breakout sessions covering: cybersecurity, cloud growth, data center opportunities through digital transformation, Technology as a Service (TaaS), and among the most popular with a standing room only crowd, Strategies for Effective IoT and Analytics Monetization, hosted by Andrea Miner, Tech Data’s Director, Analytics and IoT Solutions. Additional morning breakout sessions included, Cloud Transformation, Is Your Business Keeping Up?, Staying Relevant as Your Customers Transform Their Business, and Modern Solutions for Modern Business.
Other speakers on Day Two included Microsoft’s Erwin Visser, senior director, Intelligent Cloud and Stacy Nethercoat, vice president, Cloud Solutions, Tech Data. Headlining as Day Two’s keynote speaker was Phil Nosworthy, presenting his ‘Gaps’ series: Driving Group Cohesion and Leadership Advances in Transformative Times. In his discussion, Nosworthy covered the five gaps that when closed, dramatically improve the quality and impact of life. The ability to dramatically change one’s life can have profound effects on an organization.
Day Three was highlighted by a women’s breakfast and panel discussion entitled, Stories of Transformation: Uncovering Your Unique Value and Personal Brand in a Tech-Driven Industry. Speakers included business executives from HPE, Tech Data, Veeam, Microsoft and Riverbed Technologies. The day also included a host of discussions on cloud, analytics and cybersecurity.
As a relative new comer to Tech Data, this was my first Partner Summit. No stranger to shows and events, I can say that the event was not only informative, enlightening and well-attended; its production value and the way it was organized and managed was second-to-none. The wealth of knowledge and insight shared over the event’s three days provided an invaluable opportunity to see, meet and hear from industry experts, first hand; it was a great learning opportunity. If you didn’t have the chance to attend this year, next year will be here before you know it. Partner Summit is an annual event not to be missed. We look forward to seeing our partners at Partner Summit ’19.
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About the Author
Steven Kelley is a senior marketing specialist for Tech Data in Tempe, Arizona. In his role, Steve manages the company’s Authority blog site and its partner newsletter, Power of Partnership. Prior to joining Tech Data, Steve managed the marketing, communication and PR duties for a range of businesses in the aviation, defense, energy, hi-tech and healthcare industries.