IT Immersion in Chicago: GoCertify Checks In from ChannelCon

Chicago skyline for CompTIA ChannelCon report

The Florence of the West, Second City, The Windy City, Chi-Town; whatever you call it, Chicago has long been a place of opportunity where good things happen to enterprising people. Mark Twain described Chicago as "always rubbing the lamp, and fetching up the genii, and contriving and achieving new impossibilities."   


Since GoCertify's mission is to bring you the latest in IT certifications we flew in to see if we might "fetch up" a bit of that genii ourselves at CompTIA's Channel Con 2015 – the IT channel's "best cross section of solution providers, vendors, distributors and media." The conference is being held August 3rd - 5th at the Chicago Hilton.


Legend has it that Chicago got its name from an Algonquin Indian word meaning "place of the smelly onions." Whatever the truth may be, the sweet-smell of IT success is definitely coming from Channel Con. With more than 150 exhibitors and thousands of attendees this is the place to be. All the big names in the Industry are in attendance and sharing some great ideas and insights.












There is even an event on Tuesday, August 4th, called the "Dragon's Den." While our childlike expectation of an actual dragon was cruelly dashed earlier today, we're still excited because tomorrow's event involves five Chicago based tech entrepreneurs pitching their innovations to a panel of judges for the chance to win a modest seed capital cash prize of $5,000. A real dragon would have been way cooler, but IT tech does make the world "go round."    


One of the today's highlights was the "IT Services & Support Community Meeting." As is always a pleasant bonus for these types of gatherings, we were given time to network – everyone had to meet three new people. And you know, there are some really cool folks in IT.  


Industry leaders on the panel shared both sides of the never-ending effort to fit sales and service delivery together like "hand and glove." Panel members pointed out the age-old notion that sales people sell whatever they want and leave it up to service (technicians) to figure out how to implement, install, or fulfill promises impossible to meet; both groups make assumptions about each other. Salesmen are generalists, while service is all about the details.


The useful take-away is that people, processes and tech can all work together. Communication and collaboration between departments are keys to success. A simple, and very effective, way to collaborate is through on-site work/visits with both sales and service together to accurately evaluate a project's needs. A little front-end collaboration is a good thing!


They also stressed the "missing piece" of the collaboration equation is effective project management. (A nice, and shameless, plug for certification as a Project Management Professional.)


Lamentably, there is never enough time and energy to see and do all one wants to at Channel Con. There are also those who are too busy to attend in person. If you are one of the "fort-holder-downers" there is ChannelCon Online - two full days of "premier vendor-neutral channel training and education for technology solution providers, channel executives, technical IT professionals and anyone else doing business in the IT channel."


ChannelCon Online begins at 8:45 a.m. (CST) on Tuesday and runs throughout the day. It will resume Wednesday August 5th at 8:45 a.m. Virtual attendees can choose between a Channel Track and a specialized Track4Techs (T4T). The T4T agenda was created for working tech professionals and focuses on key IT growth areas such as cloud computing and Big Data, with an eye to how those realms are impacting and transforming IT careers. As an added bonus to CompTIA cert holders, T4T sessions count towards the Continuing Education Unit requirement for certification renewal.


ChannelCon attendees can also network with other attendees in Chicago or while attending the virtual conference. To see a complete event agenda or register for ChannelCon Online click here.  


Monday evening GoCertify walked the Vendor Fair and was inspired by the excitement of the attendees. There are literally dozens of great ideas and valuable contacts to be made at ChannelCon. An attendee, who skipped out without leaving their name, summed up the experience when he said, "The value of the conference for me is to meet people and see what products and solutions are available to help my business."


Whatever you may call this city, Gocertify calls our time here a success. We came to ChannelCon 2015, we saw some great IT presentations and practices, and tonight, we're going out to conquer some of Chicago's world-famous deep-dish pizza.    

Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

GoCertify's mission is to help both students and working professionals get IT certifications. GoCertify was founded in 1998 by Anne Martinez.