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3 Things We Learned at ITEX

The theme of this year’s ITEX Exposition was Own the Office, Piece by Piece, and the sessions focused on Managed IT, Security and Telecom, Managed Print, Reseller Automation, Document Management, and the Smart Office. The conference included breakout sessions, a vendor showcase, and a keynote speaker from Google. Below are just a few of the main takeaways from the event:

  1. Cloud solutions are the future: A panel of industry experts, including Doug Green, Impact Strategic Services Sales Manager, Tom Plumb, J&H, Inc Vice President and Marc Klein, Cobb Technologies Professional Services Manager, spoke about the challenges and benefits of selling cloud solutions. When asked about the overall security of cloud solutions, the panel agreed that deciding between an on-premise or cloud-based solution ultimately comes down to the application, and a hybrid solution is usually best. A hybrid cloud solution allows companies to have on-demand information stored in the cloud, and information that requires sensitive or large amounts of data can be stored in an on-premise solution. Recurring costs based on storage volume is ultimately driving companies to look into hybrid cloud solutions.
  2. Print services need to connect to smart workplace technologies: Randy Dazo, Keypoint Intelligence Group Director, spoke to attendees about the shift towards a smart workplace. Smart home technology such as Alexa, Google Home, and the Ring doorbell are now considered the norm in many homes. Smart office technology is soon to be mainstream with voice-activated copying devices, smart conferencing systems, and virtual receptionists coming onto the scene. Randy and his team defined the smart office as the “convergence of IoT, smart home and the new millennial workplace.”  To connect the print world to the new smart workplace, a roadmap was laid out that included Managed Services, Platform & Analytics, Security, Vertical Markets, Business Process Automation, and Cloud & Mobile.
  3. The cybersecurity landscape is ever-changing: Tim Brien and Gord Cairns of Barracuda MSP, a backup and disaster recovery provider, gave an overview of the cybersecurity landscape today. The frequency of cyber-attacks has continued to rise in recent years with a 67% increase in data breaches since 2015 and the average ransomware attack costing companies $5 million. Many SMBs do not have the infrastructure in place to hire an on-staff cybersecurity expert and need to consider working with a proactive security provider. Under a break-fix model, technicians can only manage 125 endpoints, whereas working with a provider to implement remote monitoring and management solutions can scale to managing 325 endpoints. By working with a managed service provider, SMBs can add a staff of security experts that implement ongoing monitoring and proactive security measures for a fraction of the cost.