5 Days, 5 Takeaways – Recap of TBI’s BIG Event 2020

5 Days, 5 Takeaways – Recap of TBI’s BIG Event 2020

TBI hosted our fifth annual BIG Event on August 17th through 21st. Not only was this year bigger than ever – 5 days, 30+ sessions, 40+ providers – it was completely virtual! Taking place for a couple hours each day throughout the week, we addressed some of the biggest IT topics concerning businesses right now. Each day focused on a different subject – Emerging Tech & Mobility, Cybersecurity, Cloud, Cloud Communications and Collaboration, and Next Gen Networking. Partners were able to maximize their time by attending the sessions of their choice and booking 1on1 meetings directly with providers. In case you were not able to attend or missed a session, we’ve made replays available here. If you want the opportunity to connect with a specific provider, reach out to your Channel Manager to facilitate a meeting.

Reflecting on this year’s BIG Event, we put together five key takeaways, one for each day of the event.2020-08-27_Channel-News-Graphics_BIG-EVENT#1. You need to embrace change to achieve greater success.

During Day 1, motivational speaker and sales leadership expert, Ryan Estis, explained that while it is a challenge to navigate this unique and defining moment in time, there remains windows of opportunity. The decisions that you make now and the actions that you take will have a dramatic impact on the success of your business from the next 6-9 months into the future. To be a future maker, you need to embrace continuous reinvention. Watch Ryan Estis’ keynote to see how you can respond now to the major shift in our world.

Another change that has been happening, and continues to evolve, is 5G. To gain a better understanding of this emerging technology, check out AT&T’s keynote, Todd Zeiler, explained the six key architectural pillars of 5G. All sessions for the day can be found here.

#2. Cybersecurity is a mounting concern.

Discussions with your customers around cybersecurity need to be ongoing and need to be happening frequently. Attacks and threat actors are only getting worse, with the pandemic opening up a wave of security incidents and data breaches. On Day 2, we tackled cybersecurity, the current landscape and what you need to be doing now as a selling partner. Verizon’s keynote stressed how you do not need to be the expert on this complicated and complex topic. You need to be able to confidently open up conversations with your customers, but then lean on the many resources available to you through TBI – sales support materials, pre-built marketing campaigns, security expert and Tech Guru – Jim Bowers, and direct access to provider expertise. Your Channel Manager can help you facilitate all of this.

Want to see first-hand how quickly and easily a breach can occur? Watch Hold My Beer While I Hack This Smartphone to see a hack break into the ubiquitous business device, a smartphone.

#3. Businesses are actively investing in focused areas.

BIG-CollageThe workplace environment was built by, and dependent on, people. With people at home, business has changed, and a lot of processes have become obsolete. Day 3 keynote and Forrester Principal Analyst, Jay McBain, walks through focused areas that businesses are investing right now and conversations that customers are seeking out around automation, cloud, security and more. One of the biggest bright spots right now for you as a partner is that companies are looking for tactical business consulting to survive and thrive. See Jay McBain’s keynote to see forecasting of where the industry is going and identified areas of opportunity. He even uses the CDC models around COVID-19 to predict how our industry will perform based on each scenario.

CenturyLink’s keynote for the day continued discussions around in-demand cloud solutions, focusing on how cloud security is bringing tremendous opportunities for partners. Services like DDoS mitigation are opening up larger opportunities as businesses hunt for connected security to support their new business environments.

#4. Adaptive stage now will revolutionize business.

8x8’s CTO and keynote speaker, Brian Martin, opened up Day 4 with this prophetic quote from Gartner’s 2020 CIO Agenda published in October 2019, “In the future, enterprises will win by their ability to handle crisis and disruption, not by optimizing for stability.” Now here we are, having witnessed an overnight shift to the remote work. As businesses transition to the digital workspace, they typically do so in three stages – reactionary, adaptive and revolutionary. Right now, we are in the adaptive stage so what should we expect next? Watch 8x8’s Transition to the New Digital Workplace.

Many organizations now rely on critical applications to conduct business, so we also discussed some key APIs and integrations for platforms like Microsoft Teams and Salesforce, along the growing demand for CPaaS. Nextiva hosted a session on driving upmarket sales, leveraging Nextiva’s integrations with applications like Teams and Twilio. Check out those sessions and more here.

#5. Solutions need to support the business’ new environment.

Next gen networking was the topic for the final day of the event, as we addressed how to support and facilitate business today. SD-WAN can be a godsend for your customers battling poor network performance and downtime while also helping to maximize on applications and technology investments, saving on soft costs. Comcast Business hosted a Hot WANs challenge with TBI’s Senior Director of Sales, Marco Sanchez, to talk through SD-WAN offerings and how to identify ideal customers. Tech Gurus continued the discussion during #SD-WINNING, highlighting Big Leaf’s Home Office Solution getting a great deal of attention in the market right now.

Day 5 also focused on ways colocation has evolved to the center for data exchange, involving managed colo, storage, network and data transport all working together to make customers’ lives easier and business more productive. An underlying theme was apparent – solutions need to be unique to business needs and offering a hybrid environment of data exchange centers, cloud and on-prem usually works best. Check out sessions on next gen networking, including an exploration on the convergence of network and security.

Post-Event Recommendations

TBI’s BIG Event 2020 may be over but we’re not slowing down! Catch the session replays here and be sure to utilize the plethora of resources available to you –

Selling Guides – FREE downloadable content to present to customers and prospects around solutions

Partner Marketing Center – FREE marketing automation tool to quick and easily deploy email and social campaigns

Latest Blogs – Insight on timely topics driving business today and impacting your selling market

Your Channel Manager – Dedicated resource to support your business and help facilitate any customer needs

Tech Gurus – Team of engineers and subject matter experts with unique area of expertise available to devise solution plans

If you are not yet a TBI partner, register now and get access to all our FREE resources.

As a Senior Digital Marketing Manager at TBI, Stephani spearheads campaign strategy and marketing programs designed to drive awareness around emerging technologies and generate demand amongst our providers. Her primary focus is to support and help develop business units at TBI including Omni Center, Channel Sales Enablement, Partner Referral Program and Tech Guidance. You can reach Stephani at sfitzsimmons@tbicom.com or connect on LinkedIn.