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SherWeb Show Focuses on Smaller Microsoft Partners' Needs

The SherWeb Accelerate Cloud Summit kicks off this week in Montreal, where it will provide its annual window into the opportunities and challenges facing smaller, Microsoft-focused managed service providers (MSPs).

SherWeb is one of the handful of indirect providers in Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, meaning SherWeb obtains Office 365 and other subscriptions from Microsoft and distributes those subscriptions, along with other services and support, to a large network of smaller CSP partners who work directly with their own customers.

"We're trying to help our partners grow, diversify and survive in this new evolution of cloud services," said Marc-André Fontaine, vice president of sales and marketing at SherWeb, in an interview about the conference, which runs from Wednesday through Friday. It's the third year for the conference, and the second year in Montreal, which is not far from SherWeb's headquarters in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

"If you look at the demographic of the conference, it's really meant for partners who do not have dedicated sales and marketing people," Fontaine said.

The three major themes this year will reflect those partners' needs, Fontaine said. One is sales and marketing, the second is helping MSPs become more security-oriented and the third is on diversifying beyond just Office 365 sales.

While all three themes will be present in SherWeb Co-founder and CEO Matthew Cassar's kickoff keynote, sales and marketing will be front and center in sessions on building cloud-service bundles, using LinkedIn to drive leads, and accelerating and optimizing customer acquisition strategies.

Security is the theme of the final day's keynote, when high-profile former hacker Michael "Mafiaboy" Calce talks about cybercrime trends. Several of the more technical pre-show sessions on Wednesday also focus on securing Office 365, overall cyber protection, improving governance in Microsoft Teams, and layered protection and response.

Diversification of revenue streams is part of the security theme, but SherWeb also plans sessions around opportunities in voice-over-IP (VoIP), Dynamics 365 for Sales Professionals, Azure and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

One partner returning to the SherWeb conference, Reza Palizban, says he's looking forward to the sales and marketing sessions, as well as SherWeb product and service roadmap details.

For Palizban, president and co-founder of Aegis Innovators in San Diego, the SherWeb show was the right content at the right time. "It was the best conference I went to in 2018. There were a couple hundred partners in a room with high-quality educational speakers talking about key components of marketing your business -- what to say, what not to say. Every minute I was listening and dialed in, it was really, really good," he said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 08, 2019


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