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Super Show of Technology Expo XXXVI -- Top five takeaways

GREEN BAY, WI. — Rick Chernick sure knows how to throw a good expo.

Chernick, the CEO of Camera Corner / Connecting Point, brought several hundred of his best friends–customers AND vendors–here to hear about the latest and greatest in technology.

CCCP’s Super Show of Technology Expo XXXVI combines two great attributes. First, there was pertinent information  — sessions on desktop virtualization, IP telephony, converged infrastructure — that customers need. Second, it was fun which, face it, everyone needs.

Here are the top five takeaways from this event–there’s a lot of stuff here that useful to any business owner.

 

1: Market the hell out of your business. Use all the tools at your disposal. This year Chernick, who’s on the board of the  Green Bay Packers, capitalized on their Super Bowl XLV championship big time. Right down to the green capital “G”s flying everywhere, the Packer swag in the goodie bag (color pix of the team, thank you very much.) A nice opening reception at Curly’s Pub in Lambeau Field.  Need I say more?

He tied his company in tightly with this winning tradition. And, while he welcomed his big vendors with open arms — Lots of Hewlett-Packard folks here as well as reps from Apple, Panasonic, ShoreTel, Sony, Hitachi, and VMware — this is all about CCCP. And that’s the way it should be. For VARs, the brand they push should be their own.

 2: The vendor acquisition frenzy almost never pleases data center customers.

Face it, the vendor-buying-vendor thing is all about Wall Street, not Main Street.

“These guys get bigger and the service gets worse — and more expensive,” said the IT manager of a large midwestern  health care provider and CCCP customer. The smaller vendors try harder, tend to be more innovative and flexible and “I miss them,” he said.

3: Business folks want their tablets.

A session on integrating iPads into business accounts was packed. Not surprising given how C-level folks demand that IT integrate their iPads into the corporate environment. What was surprising was that the CEO of one company attending–a small public relations firm with a dozen or so employees–said Apple’s continuing rejection of Flash leaves a pretty good opening for competitive tablets coming online from HP, Cisco and others. This CEO would love to arm her employees with tablets but the Flash restriction–along with the need to do a lot of typing–may prevent that for now.

4: Vendors who think they’re “locked in” have another think coming.

Many large IT vendors want vendor lock-in — although they won’t put it that way. But customers here feel differently. “I’m as loyal to my vendor as my customers are to me–whcih means not very,” said an IT manager for a large retailer based in central Wisconsin.

“If i screw up, my customer leaves. If my vendor screws up, I leave.”

He acknowledged that its hard to rip and replace say — a  database — but that no vendor should feel immune from that threat. Another attendee said his plan is to indeed replace his company’s standard database (yes, the big One–with a capital O) with SQL Server and soon. Why? He’s sick of the support policies, that he has to pay very high percentage fee support on older versions of his database and those support fees are the very reason he won’t upgrade to later versions where the fee percentage is lower.

 5: It’s all about service stupid, er I mean, sir.

To see the rapport Chernick and his team has with CCCP customers–who came from Chicago, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and other points, was invigorating. It shows that VARs who keep the customer front and center, who work to solve problems vs. pushing a particular vendor brand really can thrive.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at bdarrow@techtarget.com.

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Do you plan to adopt Windows 8?
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I don't have the Touch Screen UI that I would need for Windows 8 and I think it is premature of Microsoft to introduce such product to folks like me who can't afford to upgrade every 5 minutes. Further I want my gadgets back!
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I'm a developer, deployments aren't my job
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its garbage
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I plan to deploy Windows 8 across all my hardware to include laptop, smartphones and tablets. It's the inexorable evolution of computing. Once again, the MS Business Model proves itself to be vastly superior to the Apple Business Model, and the obvious beneficiary is us...the consumer.
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It's better. We're testing it now. The tiles aren't a problem, although NOBODY likes them or uses them.
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Interface too limited for desktop use. Intended for touch devices mostly. No advantages for desktops.
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Going to windows 7
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The investment required, both financial and personnel based makes this a non starter.
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My employer, a county government, runs older PCs, mostly Windows XP, and a fair number running Windows 7 in a virtual environment. There is little to no funding available to upgrade the hardware or train users. Compatibility of older software is an issue that would need extensive testing before deployment for our thousands of users.
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It's all about the end user desktop experience and the cost of hardware upgrades. We'll continue with Windows 7 for some time until hardware is fully depreciated.
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Because of UI
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I'm testing the last release review on a second disk and I'm surprised from the speed. Much faster than windows 7. Hope that the final release wil be also fast.
I'm using word 2010 (I'm an authorauthor)
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NO NO NO - NEVER will I deploy WIN8 on my systems nor will I use Server 2012 - Microsoft has alienated itself & despite the PUSH for WIN8 & Server2012, they pushed the envelope way too far by NOT giving users the CHOICE if the AERO Desktop & Start Menu. I am actively looking at Apple as the next hardware refesh. I like WIN7, but by Microsoft forcing the Metro UI down our throats, I possibly will skip WIN7 & go directly to MAC. Since Microsoft isn't listening & being pig headed, they deserve to be treated as they are treating the user base.
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It was designed for phones not hundreds of desktops crunching numbers.

Enough said.......
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Windows 7 works great! We don't have the budget to invest in new hardware and the change in UI has upper management scared. As long as 7 is working we will be on it.
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Think i'll test a few major apps with it tbh as utterly impressed by the desktop side of things - stop with the metro UI scaremongering - end users "get" android and iOS - hardly such a massive leap
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As an ISV, we'll deploy Windows 8 on corporate desktops for application development and support purposes initially.
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Poor UI, too expensive on 'touch' hardware, no real need, user re-training, compatibility, loss of productivity. Need I go on. We'll be sticking with Windows 7.
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The new UI is totally unsuitable for the majority of corporate users.. No start button on the Desktop, the inability to use multiple monitors on the desktop. Windows 7 will be the desktop of choice..
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I don't want or would but a tablet interface on a Desktop/laptop and would never ever put it on a Server. That is the dumbest thing anyone could have ever done in the history of man.....
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Not practical or compatible with our current H/W platforms
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no way... staying Win 7.
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I find a steep user learning curve and increase in IT budget for touch capabilities are the most hindering factors for an upgrade.
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Rolling it out to 9000 users worldwide unless we hit technical roadblocks in that it just doesn't work.

Microsoft have said that apps that run on 7 will run on 8.

If you need to upgrade (EOL XP 2014) then do it once.
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interface is too different from win 7
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Sorry, but this interface works really well with a mouse and keyboard. Maybe better than touch, and I use it with both daily for a few months now. It plays really well with dual monitors, the search is amazing, the "Metro" style apps are nice, and it runs most legacy software just like 7 does. You overplay the need for touch entirely.
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It would be too expensive for us. Just as we are getting our hands on Windows 7 here comes a whole new windows with a completely difference interface..We are not going there in a long while
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Because of the Hardware requirements like PAE, NX and SSE2. It was promised that hardware running Windows 7 can run Windows 8. It was all lies... to expensive to switch to Windows 8 because of this requirements.
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We are looking at the deployment effort & then we would possibiliy look at doing it in stages
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too much different for the end user
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don't have touch device...
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what to try new tehcnology...
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we administer servers (unix and linux as well as 2008 we have no use for touch interfaces.
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Some of us are still in the process of migrating to windows 7. The hardware switch to make use of the new windows 8 features will also be a huge hindrance to overcome let alone the training of the users. It would have been better if Microsoft profiles its ideas of one UI for all devices is phases. Despite the efforts Microsoft made I don't think the new OS is appealing enough to really draw users of its current OS's over the line. (Corporate) IT departments are just starting to or deciding whether to migrate to Windows 7 after the Windows Vista disaster. Some even still use XP. It is possible that some early adaptors are found in the legions of consumers not because Windows 8 is superior but just for the fun of being the first switching to the new OS with all its new features.
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I don't see win8 offering anything practical or useful to our organizations
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I try to use the windows 8 UI interface and was very frustrating not to find all the things I usually use as control panel, start button, I am an IT and I consider there will be much time loss between my customers and my company trying to teach the new ways this interface has. I think if there is a lot of people with XP, with Zero mobility intention to windows 7, I think this is a bad move from Microsoft.
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Interface is not consistent with business uses.
The new UI will have a huge learning curve and training costs.
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There is absolutely no need for a touch UI on a desktop PC.
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Cost of hardware & training
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We currently run Win7 on all of our desktop systems. I setup a test system with Windows 8 for our users to try. Everyone hated it.
Windows 8 is geared towards the mobile market with it's touch centric UI. It doesn't work in the K/M arena. The OS is schizophrenic in how it switches back and forth from "Metro" to desktop, It's difficult to navigate and confusing for a desktop user. Add to that the budgetary load of adding touch screens and it's a definite no go.
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We are still moving users from XP to W7.
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no start button - dont like tiles - doesnt look like windows
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I used XP in my small business to the very end but now that we've started using Win 7 Ultimate which we all really love, I realise that I should have upgraded when it was first released!

I've got a couple of computers using Win 8.1 as a trial but everyone hates it!  The tiles will have to go.  So I can see that we'll be using 7 for a long time yet.


Ken Driver

Stonehaven Computers, Northumberland. UK

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