Information technology (IT) industry executives and leaders attending CompTIA ChannelCon 2017 were encouraged to hone their communications and organizational skills to set a strong foundation for success in bringing new ideas to life, engaging with customers or recruiting new employees.

CompTIA ChannelCon 2017, the IT industry’s premier annual event for education, networking and partnering, continues today in Austin, Texas.

Tuesday’s business keynote was delivered by Scott Belsky, a serial entrepreneur, innovator and best-selling author. He spoke on bringing great ideas to life, but acknowledged that the large majority of ideas never happen.

“When a new idea strikes energy and excitement is really high. Everything else comes to a standstill and we get subsumed,” he related. “Then we enter the project plateau, not pushing one idea to completion.”

Belsky offered several actions that business leaders and owners can take to counter this, including

  • Creating a window of non-stimulation each day to focus on two to three things that are important for the long term.
  • Spending energy on getting organized.
  • Having a relentless bias toward action.

As part of the Channel Executive Interview Series, Alyssa Fitzpatrick, general manager, worldwide channels sales, for Microsoft, discussed strategies and tactics that channel partners can employ when helping customer transition to cloud-based technology solutions.

“You have to be able to articulate what is the art of the possible in the cloud,” Fitzpatrick advised. “Work with your customers, understand your customer so that they can move to the cloud in a very predictable manner. Listen to your customers, let them guide you.”

Focus on Emerging Technologies

Several of Tuesday’s educational sessions at ChannelCon focused on emerging technologies, including smart cities, big data and artificial intelligence.

A panel on smart technologies included representatives from Austin, Texas, and Orlando, Fla., two of the five cities that won Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Grants earlier this year.

Orlando is developing a comprehensive smart city plan that fully integrates multiple city departments – police, fire, transportation, and others – and regional stakeholders across Orange County.

Austin is designing smart strategies to tackle  the two biggest issues facing the city – affordable housing and mobility; issues that have been heightened by rapid growth, a booming tech sector and attractive quality of life, according to Jay Boisseau, director of the Austin City Up Consortium.

“For 40 years we’ve been one of the fastest growing cities in the country, so our infrastructure is always behind,” he said. “Our two greatest issues are directly linked to each other.”

Channel companies will have a big role in making smart cities and communities a reality, panelists said.

“The networks are going to have to be built up, not only by the carriers, but within the smart cities and the venues to give people what they want,” said Kurt Jacobs, director of global markets, alliances and solutions for JMA Wireless.

“The channel community is very familiar with selling telecommunications,” added Damian McCabe, general manager, Americas, Eseye.” IOT, smart cities and smart grid is nothing to be scared of. It’s a very simple transition.”