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I was fortunate enough to attend the recent ITEXPO East trade show, which is collocated with Cloud4SMB in Miami, Florida. The show offers a convergence of education, innovation and networking, and was comprised of vendor exhibits, discussion panels and presentations by Cisco, Microsoft, HP, RIM and many others.

There was a clear focus from vendors on UC and cloud. In particular, many software vendors focused on cloud solutions.

I was invited to participate in two of the panels. The first was “Leveling the Playing Field: SMBs Migrating to the Cloud”, and the second, “How to Securely Mobilize Your Workforce.”

In the first panel the focus was to highlight the decision criteria that are resonant with SMB organizations before making the final decision to move to the cloud. These are:

Security of the cloud and the proposed vendor solutions.

Flexibility of those solutions and the ease of migration to the cloud.

Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The first phase of migration is generally with Exchange and Office, with other, more sophisticated, business applications typically being migrated after initial cloud experiences are evaluated.

The second panel was an interesting and lively discussion as my two counterparts were focused on the large enterprise space, while dinCloud’s focus is clearly SMB. Their focal point was the actual secure control of the mobile endpoints (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.). Their viewpoint was valid as it pertains to all spaces, but today, primarily the large enterprise market. The point that I made was that, in the SMB space, the security focus currently is moved into the data center where it is controlled via HVD. Their decision tree is focused on the three points above with compromises amongst the three. Today, this is sufficient for the general SMB market, but endpoint control will continue to play a larger role in the cloud solution as more business sensitive assets are implemented in the cloud.

Overall, my thanks go out to the ITEXPO East /Cloud4SMB folks as the event offered valuable, business-oriented content. We look forward to hopefully participating at future events.

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