LAS VEGAS, Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CompTIA Breakaway 2012, the information technology (IT) channel's premier education event, concluded its four-day run here Thursday with sessions on business planning and strategies, insights from a chief innovation officer responsible for operations in 40 countries and the announcement of Breakaway Best of Show award winners.
Top executives from technology hardware and software vendors, distributors, service and solution providers and other companies in the IT channel participated in more than 60 educational sessions, panel discussions, community meetings and other gatherings at Breakaway 2012.
"One of the great things about attending Breakaway, both personally and professionally, is the opportunity to interact with other members of the community," said Dan Wensley, vice president, partner development and marketing, Level Platforms Inc. "The conversations, the interaction, the learning, the understanding, the education, all culminate in not only your own personal development in this industry but also the ability to bring back these materials and information to your company to help them propel."
"What draws me to Breakaway is the interaction that we get to have with existing clients and new attendees as well," said Brittany Luankaw, account executive, Highly Reliable Systems, one of the 125-plus exhibitors at this year's conference.
"The chance to get some one on one time and actually show clients in person what they would normally be looking at online is crucial," Luankaw added. "Breakaway helps us to build a relationship with our clients, which is so important in this industry."
Best of Breakaway Awards
At Wednesday night's Accelerate Dinner, three technology companies who exhibited at the Breakaway Technology Vendor Fair won "best of" awards based on the votes of conference attendees.
StorageCraft Technology, a business continuity and disaster recovery software company, won the overall Breakaway Best of Show and the Best Software award. Lenovo took home the Best Hardware award. Integral Solutions Group won Best Services.
Also announced were the winners of the CompTIAccelerate Challenge, which awarded companies that recruited the most partners to attend Breakaway, First place went to Level Platforms, second place to OnForce and third place to Datto Inc.
Thursday's Conference Highlights
In a presentation Thursday, Becky Wanta, senior vice president and global chief technology and innovation officer, MGM Resorts International, advised technology firms to be more proactive in their dealings with customers. Rather than approaching a customer with questions, bring them answers.
"If it's important enough to you, you will do your own due diligence, identify a customer problem and come up with a solution," she said. "Then I'm all ears."
One of the areas many businesses struggle with is they have inadequate capability to effectively attract and retain new customers.
"I don't care about big data," Wants said. "I care about meaningful relevant information that I can make a business decision on a 360-degree view of a user so I can make them feel special. How do I manage the customer in a consistent fashion at all points of interaction?"
At a workshop on strategic business planning, Scott Goemmel, business advisor with 4-Profit, said that in the IT industry very successful technical people start and grow a company, then get stuck at a certain level and not know why. He encouraged attendees to sit down and "define your destination."
"Most companies spend less than two percent of their leadership's time on strategy, yet we're the fastest changing industry," said Goemmel. "That's not nearly enough to take your company and move it forward."
Several CompTIA Communities met during Breakaway2012, including the newest group, the Advancing Women in IT Community. The session featured a panel discussion focused on how to get more women in IT and how women in the industry can use different resources to shape their careers
Also at Breakaway seven IT firms earned the CompTIA MSP Partners Trustmark, which identifies them as companies that have committed to industry best practices for standard operating procedures, systems and tools for delivering services and general business best practices. Eleven other companies started their trustmark application process during the conference.
Companies earning the trustmark included BLOKWORX, Carceron, Houk Consulting, Johnston IT Consulting, LLC, KI Technology Group, Swift Chip and X3o, LLC.
Breakaway 2013 will be held in Orlando, Fla. Visit CompTIA Events frequently for updates on next year's conference.
CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit www.comptia.org or follow CompTIA at www.facebook.com/CompTIA and http://twitter.com/comptia.