Terminal bound at Seismic

Some attendees at Ingram Micro’sthird annual Seismic Partner Conference in Dallas should be excused ifthey see themselves as Tom Hanks in his 2004 movie with Catherine ZetaJones, Terminal.

For the third year in a row, the event has been held in a hoteladjacent to an airport. There are numerous advantages to this set upbut as one VAR operator puts it: “It guarantees a captive audience.”

The Grand Hyatt at the DFW International Airport couldn’t be morestrategically placed. While a convention in Vegas might presentattendees with countless options for extra curricular activities, thisvalue-added proposition (there’s a term that would resonate with theVAR community) risks becoming a liability.

“One of the main challenges of Vegas is that you’re competing with the location itself,” according to one Seismic user.

Many attendees just can’t resist the lure of the slots, tables or other attractions.

Whereas at the Grand, the question attendees as each other is: “Haveyou been to Terminal D?” That’s the side of the airport where the dutyfree shops and concession stands are located. To get there from thehotel you need to secure a day pass from an armed policeman, who inturn requires a picture ID from you.

But a Grand Hyatt conference does have a large advantage for me.Whereas a Vegas convention would likely mean a four block walk fromyour hotel room to the convention floor, here it’s just a 1 minuteelevator ride away.

Jibes about Ingram Micro’s choice of convention location are notlost to Justin Crotty, the towering and amiable vice-president ofservices sales for the company. In fact his opening speech dealt withthe progress Seismic has gone through in its three years of existence.

To illustrate this, Justin showed a slide indicating where in theDFW airport Ingram Micro held its first Seismic conference in 2007. Twoyears later, Seismic is back at DFW, albeit in a location opposite thatof the 2007 conference.

But there’s nothing terminal about Ingram Micro’s managed services push for channel.

MSP is slowly but surely pulling in the numbers. The initiative tomove from selling boxes to managed services grew by as much as 158 percent in 2008, according to Crotty. More than 1,000 MSPs are usingIngram’s Seismic tool and Q1 growth for 2009 is pegged at 135 per cent.

There’s also a new push to provide four new offerings to the channel:

Seismic Global NOC – Enterprise NOC services to the SMB for multiple locations around the world.

Seismic Recovery on Demand – Failover offering that allows VARs to over customers ability to provide physical server failover to a virtual server.

Seismic Epicenter-A single console that allowsSeismic partners to manage all the tools and applications they offertheir customers. This can be accessed through a single portal.

Business Intelligence Analytics Dashboard – Helps MSPs understand the health and well-being of equipment they sell to customers.

To learn more about these new offerings and what cloud computing means to the channel, read the CDN article titled: Customer reliance on ‘break-fix’ model holding back managed services.

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