Provide a brief description of the Initiative.
On May 26th, 2010 Voda Computer Systems Ltd. hosted its 5th annual Technology Showcase in the Interior of British Columbia. The one day event was hosted at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna, BC. This year the event exceeded our expectations in numbers and vendor support. The Technology showcase is an excellent opportunity to educate our clients and future clients. The purpose of the Technology Showcase was to increase awareness about the latest developments and trends in the IT industry so that end-users can make informed decisions about the best possible solutions for their particular business requirements. The event was at no cost to attendees. Each attendee received a name tag and bag to carry. In addition, this year Dell Canada handed out Spruce tree seedlings to help out our planet. The event showcased a variety of products and approaches through featured exhibits and presentations from industry leading manufacturers. VODA Computer Systems goal was to get initial investors and presenters from the following top manufacturers in the industry to assist in funding this event. VODA approached the following vendors for initial investment; IBM, EMC Arrow, Lenovo, EMC Data Domain, NEC, HP MFP, Xerox, Barracuda, Trend Micro, DLink, Cisco, HP ProCurve, Fortinet, ESET, Asstra, Itel, Graybar, Telus, Eaton, Dell, Kingston, TechData and Supercom. Among these some chose to be presenters and others chose tabletop booths.
Describe what makes this Initiative original or innovative in the application of IT to a group of customers or solution, and/or in presenting an established approach in an innovative and creative way.
What makes this event original is that it is the only tradeshow in the Thompson Okanagan where businesses have an opportunity to meet leading manufacturers in the IT industry and learn how these vendors can improve their businesses profitability all in one location. This year we exceeded our expectations in two areas. First we increased our presenters by adding three additional spots from 9 to12 presentations. Also we brought on board 3 guest speaker spots. The keynote speaker was from IBM, Kelly Carter has been with IBM for 13 years and is currently the Canadian Brand Channel Development Manager for IBM System x. Her presentation was on Smarter Systems for a Smarter Planet. IBM is once again setting a new standard across the x86 landscape with the broadest portfolio of systems optimized for your most demanding workloads. Prepare to do even more with less. Brace yourself for ultra-scalability. Get ready for previously unknown levels of flexibility, allowing you to drive enterprise and virtualized workloads, faster and with more efficiency than ever before. The morning guest speaker spot was held by Sean Weiss of Fortinet. Sean Weiss serves the western Canadian region as a Security Systems Engineer for Fortinet Technologies, a leading technology manufacturer in the unified threat management security market. Sean has more than 10 years of industry experience with expertise spanning Ethernet, optical, security and wireless platforms within the networking and communications arenas. Sean has worked in the service provider and enterprise networking space for Hewlett Packard and MRV in the past and is now specialized in network security across multiple vertical markets. His presentation was on “Unified Threat Management (UTM) for the Small & Medium Business (SMB) Market”. Our last guest speaker spot was held by the President and CEO of OSTEC in Kelowna, BC. Jason brings over 10 years of product development, operations and sales experience in the network management industry. Most recently Jason was with Packeteer, an industry leading pioneer in network monitoring, management and optimization technologies. At Packeteer Jason held numerous roles in the Operations and Sales Teams and lead his regional sales team as one of the top performing regions in the world in 2007. Prior to that Jason held a senior position in Engineering with Workfire Technologies, a British Columbia start up company building Internet Acceleration Technologies that was acquired in 2000, the largest software acquisition in Canada at the time. Jason has a BS in Physics and a BS in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia. His presentation was titled “Would you like some business with your technology today?” and was on a general overview of how we use technology in business today. These highly respected speakers were very well received and were key factors in making our event such a great success.
Describe how this Initiative benefited the solution provider with improvement in interest, leads, sales, revenue, or other factors. What changed? Provide evidence of measurable improvements in leads, sales, revenues, etc.
The technology showcase is always a benefit to Voda Computers Systems. This event allows attendees to meet face to face with leading manufacturers. It also offers VODA the opportunity to meet new prospects and learn purchasing patterns for the next 12 to 36 months. This year our attendee numbers increased by 13% from last year, our vendor presenters increased by 33% and our booth numbers remained the same as last year. Our vendors were very pleased with the event, venue and organization and all said that they look forward to supporting us next year. The lead opportunities that came from this event were over $850,000 an increase of 30% from last year. Vendors which we increased business with are IBM, Lenovo, Trend Micro, DLink, HP, Barracuda, EMC/Data Domain and Cisco . Some comments from attendees: “Entertaining and insightful. A nice break in the day.” “Guest speakers were very knowledgeable about their products and the keynote speaker’s topic was interesting and informative. (Good choice).” “To summarize I would like to say Thank you for organizing this event every year. I find them to be informative and interesting. All the presenters, keynotes and session were good to very good. The venue was very good.” Comments from Vendors: ESET – “It is great to see how it has grown over the years!” HP – “You did a great job, again…” HP ProCurve – “You have the organization all together on these events, so it’s also easy for me.‘ Eaton – “Very well attended.”
Describe how this Initiative strengthened the solution provider’s relationship with their vendor. What changed? Provide evidence of this strengthened relationship.
This initiative allows us both to build solid relationships between ourselves as well as the potential clients we are meeting. Meeting face to face makes it easier for manufacturers to do business with us on every front. Manufacturer awareness was also increased through advertising through email invites, Google, Castanet banners, website, and newspaper ads. Shaw TV was also at our event and did one on one interview with Trend Micro and Lenovo which aired that evening. The Kelowna Daily Courier also wrote an article in the business section of their paper. The evidence is shown in the increased sales for our vendors over the past 4 showcases as well as their support year after year.
In what ways did this Initiative go above and beyond industry norms and expectations?Voda is the only VAR that hosts a technology showcase of this size in the Thompson Okanagan. This is considered a rare opportunity for vendors to present and showcase their solutions to small, medium and enterprise businesses. This event exceeded our expectations since many vendors have been cutting back in their marketing initiative due to the economy. We were very pleased with the support from our manufacturers and this resulted in a profit increase for Voda Computer Systems.