Those who are in the IT Industry know we are currently in the busy season for tradeshows and conferences. Last week it was Channel Partners Evolution and this week, I’m at The Channel Company XChange 2016. As I attend these events I meet a lot of people who are part of these group’s IT communities. So, what is a community? Communities can come in many different forms. You have your neighborhood communities, social communities and business communities like the local Chamber of Commerce and professional associations. Community has many different definitions, but my favorite states that a community offers “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.”
There are many different communities in the IT industry that deliver opportunities to learn, develop and share ideas. A few communities that come to mind include The ASCii Group, Inc., CompTIA, and even Tech Data’s own TechSelect community. All of these groups include solution providers, integrators and value added resellers (VARs) and do a great job of getting its members together to share ideas on a regular basis.
I recently attended CompTIA’s ChannelCon and saw first-hand how effective a business community can be for its members. Each year, ChannelCon brings the IT channel’s movers and shakers together to debate and discuss the issues affecting the channel. This year, the conference brought in more than 1,000 members and had a heavy emphasis on enablement in cloud computing, managed services, the Internet of Things (IoT) and security. The best partner interaction I witnessed was during the various community meetings I attended. In the Cloud Community meeting we talked about challenges facing managed service providers (MSPs) in the channel, business transformation and building go-to-market plans. All members were actively participating in the discussions and many cloud-related topics were addressed. After attending the meeting I made a personal decision and decided to join this community.
When I think of the benefits of any community, there are many advantages, but when narrowed down top benefits to MSPs are:
- The learning opportunity
- Networking with peers
- Sharing experiences with others
- Job opportunities could arise
- Meet with experts in your area of expertise
- Find solutions to your problems
When an organized community comes together with group leaders and provides an effective meeting agenda, they work together to develop best practices, create educational programs and drive industry standards. In my case, we specifically focused on issues and trends for cloud computing. When looking for an effective community that you can participate in, do your research and talk to the community leaders and members to ensure their agendas fit with your goals.
As a Managed Service Provider, are you part of any IT community that helps with your corporate and personal goals? Are you a member of any distribution community? Please share your thoughts on what you like about the IT community that you are a member of
About the author:
Richard Parker is currently the Business Development Manager within the Cloud division for Tech Data. Being a 20+year veteran in the IT Industry, he has experienced the evolution of the computer industry from the launch of the worldwide web to cloud & mobile computing. Tech Data is one of the world’s largest distributors of technology products, services, and solutions. Learn more at www.TechData.com