What Happened in Vegas?

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

What Happened in Vegas?

It looked like the fun days of telecom again at the CP Expo in Vegas this week. The parties were almost constant. I know Vegas is known for drinking but people were holding Bud Light bottles starting way early morning to, well, early morning.

COLOTRAQ rented out Drai's Beach Club - probably the best party at a show I have been to in a long time. Not crowded (because the space was so big with an inside and a huge pool area). Not too loud. Plenty of places to sit and talk with people.

The party over-shadowed the announcement that COLOTRAQ launched a cloud based sales tool (portal) that will enable agents and clients to dynamically research, compare and purchase Data Center Infrastructure (DCI).

It might be the circle of influence right now at the show: data centers. Coresite, IPR Secure, QTS, Cologix, ViaWest TelePacific -- I have more business cards from data centers on my desk than any other sector of telecom. (It could be that COLOTRAQ and GCN are colo-centric agencies or it is just where the growth is now.)

The Hosted VoIP guys were partying, especially the Simple Signal guys (who got bought by Vonage). 8x8 and Star2Star had their own parties - AND sponsored master agent parties at the show. Is big spending back?

NTT owns a lot of stuff - Verio, Dimension Data, e-shelter (data center) and Arkadin (UC). The UC part was a big part of the NTT event - and both NTT and Arkadin had a booth.

HE has a partner program. You can sell a Gig Port for pennies and buy a happy meal each month almost.

International was trying to take a stage with Tata, NTT, Airtel, MAXfocus as well as 3 Canadian companies present - Exinda, Facilis and Shaw.

There were over 200 booths at the show -- bigger than last Vegas show, which shocked and awed me because I thought the show was sliding into obscurity by chasing VARs and cloud all day.

There wasn't much talk about any cable mergers - Charter-BrightHouse or Comcast-TWC. Weird. But many wondered what Hosted VoIP companies get bought next.

Lots of personnel changes -- as always. Ruth Morford landed at Telarus. Lots of other musical chairs but it seemed like much of it was master agencies, who seem to be going through changes as they try to figure out VARs, margins, shift to cloud, etc.

The TCA launched version 4.0 of the Certified Telecom Pro certification program which merged the cable cert into the original program. Now it is all one exam with 5.5 hours of on-demand training!

The TCA also had their two events: a big turn out at the Channel Chief Summit on Sunday afternoon and about 65 people in the room for the Channel Managers Best Practices Forum. Look for more of this from TCA going forward.

On a similar note: Women in the Channel has grown to almost 200 members! They had a huge event on Sunday evening, where they honored their co-founder and outgoing President, Nancy Ridge (who definitely deserves huge props).

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