Jeff Middleton, Matt Makowicz, Karl Palachuk and George Serchio
The IT Pro Conference 2010 sponsored by Jeff Middleton's SBS Migration.com got underway with a plethora of IT professionals gathering to inform each other of some of the best ways to maintain and grow their businesses. Much of the fear from industry insiders has involved thinking about how "the cloud" will affect the market and impact IT firms, who previously have offered services on a local basis. Much of the early panels discussed how to determine strengths within IT businesses and how to mitigate problems with cash flow and liability management. Later discussions revolved about servers and ramifications of data servers hosted remotely ("the cloud") as well as real answers to questions about how to brand Small Business Server and other Windows Servers to clients. The best of the later sessions was done by Ofer Shimrat, the San Diego guru whose SoundOff is about to launch its first Managed Services platform in July. It will be interesting to see how they make the transition from advanced client support to full unified threat management and monitoring of clients through the cloud. Sessions tomorrow will deal with an alternative mail server to Microsoft Exchange, VPN firewalls and monitoring alternatives as well as virtualization tips and best techniques.