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Oxygen Technical Services Ltd

Chapter Four – Back on the Road

So, I finally got back on the road a couple weeks back, traveling to Dallas/Fort Worth for The Channel Co. Xchange Solutions Provider Conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort. The conference ran from Feb 27th to March 1st, and there are two things to understand about going to a Channel Co conference:

  • They will make your investment of time very worthwhile, and
  • You better be present, because they will provide a lot of information that you will need to be very intentional in consuming and distilling into actionable activities when you get back to your office.

As a Canadian I really enjoy these conferences, the technology we get to see is usually 12 to 18 months ahead of what we will see or have access to in Canada. There are several reasons for that, privacy issues, data sovereignty challenges, access through distributors, regardless, we get a head start by taking part in conferences like this.

So, what was cool and new? There is one consistent aspect to these conferences, the quality of the keynote speakers. I’d be remiss not to talk about the keynote that Lt General Russell Honoré gave on leadership. General Honoré was put in charge of the clean up of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Some key points from the General:

  • Be first, Understand First, Act First. Just understand that when there is an opportunity to be first, you will have to navigate the dangers when you are first.
  • Your job as a leader is to show confidence.
  • The job of leader is to keep people to buy into the impossible mission.
  • Share the bounty of success.
  • If you lead you will be criticized. People fear change.
  • Use the “a rumour is going around strategy”…sometimes a good rumor can get shit moving forward.
  • Legacy – your legacy will be defined by two things.
    • The problems you solve
    • And the problems you create.
  • Save your best leadership for when you get home.
  • Do the Impossible.

So how about technology, well when I go to these conferences, I try to have a strategy in coming home with one or two actionable nuggets. If you don’t have a strategy, you’ll try to change the world, and then nothing happens. My main goal was to get an understanding of Zero Trust Networks. Why ZTN? Well as we start to rely more on Cloud Based workloads, VPN’s will become cumbersome, and an administrative headache. The way to mitigate the current cyber security threats is to deploy a ZTN with an MDR or XDR solution, and of course MFA. It’s not as complex as you think. The key point to remember, as a Managed Services Provider, is that whichever tools you land on, you can manage and react to threats detected through the platforms through a single pane of glass.

Here are some links on ZTN to provide perspective:

Finally, a big topic of discussion at the conference was Microsoft’s New Customer Experience, NCE. Effectively, Microsoft is changing the way they are billing for their Cloud licenses, I wont get into the details on this blog…it’s cumbersome, but if you have any questions feel free to reach out to the team at Oxygen and we’re ready to help.

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