Top 5 Takeaways from CPEXPO 2022
Like many of you in the channel, I’ve just spent a week in Vegas at the 25th anniversary Channel Partners Conference & Expo. Congratulations, Channel Partners, on 25 years. Thanks for bringing the channel community together twice a year and every day online. We agree – the best is yet to come!
Here are a few of the reasons why:
- The channel is back – bigger and better than ever. More than 7,400 people turned out for CPEXPO – the largest contingent in the event’s history. It’s confirmation of what many of us in the channel community already know – the channel is growing in numbers and importance to businesses in navigating complex tech decisions. The record attendance also included a greater mix of agents, VARs and MSPs. The channel convergence we’ve anticipated for more than a decade may finally be here!
- Network transformation is an opportunity and a challenge. Telecom agents are looking for providers to help their customers transition from MPLS-centric wide area networks to flexible software-defined WANs. At the same time, provider consolidation is narrowing their options as legacy carriers buy up disruptive competitors. Aryaka remains independent and invites partners to join our continuing campaign for cloud-first networking.
- Marketplaces are gaining momentum. Online marketplaces are not new; they thrive in the software world as a direct-to-customer channel for buyers that have done their digital homework. What’s happening now is that marketplaces are adding more complex services like SD-WAN (stay tuned for some big news from Aryaka). At the same time, they are embracing rather than disintermediating the traditional IT and telecom channels. Buyers get the best of both worlds – expert advisors and simplified ordering.
- SASE soars. Secure networking is priority one with partners and their customers, and for a good reason – network security is complex. They’re looking to simplify with integrated and managed SASE and SD-WAN. Aryaka’s 6th annual State of the WAN report backs up what we heard in conversations at CPEXPO: More than two-thirds (64%) are deploying or planning to deploy SASE over the next year. A similar number will opt for a managed SASE to help address complexity and costs.
- Diversity moves to center stage … literally. Diversity in gender and race were evident among the speakers and topics at CPEXPO – a welcome change for an industry long criticized for the opposite. While we’ve still a long way to go as a community, the show organizers deserve credit for leading us toward greater inclusion. For those of us at Aryaka, diversity is part of our DNA as an organization. Our global team is diverse from the home office to the corner office; two-thirds of our leadership are diverse in gender and/or race.