COMPTEL has some good topics for panels coming up at their event on October 2-5, 2011 at the (sold-out) Gaylord in Orlando.
Fiber is the next growth opportunity... Speakers include executives from AboveNet, Allied Fiber, Cowen & Co., M/C Partners and Zayo Group. It's interesting that FiberLight isn't on the panel but Allied Fiber is. At least, FiberLight has actually built out fiber. [Fiberlight will be presenting at the FISPA Service Provider Summit in Vegas in October on the economies of fiber build-outs.] A banker and a VC firm to round out the financial model.
"Consolidation Continues: How Convergence of IT, Telecom and Managed Services Will Impact the M&A Market - This panel of experts provide their unique insight and clue you in on what to look for as consolidation continues. Speakers include executives from Broadvox, Q Advisors, Transcend United Technologies, West Corp. and Windstream." Again an interesting mix of a SIP provider, a VAR, a holding company (that owns both InterCall and Smoothstone), and ILEC and a banker. Q Advisors did a presentation at the Cloud Comm Summit at ITEXPO. You can read my review here. Basically, everyone is trying to figure out CLOUD - the convergence of IT and Telecom in a nebulous space with no definition right now. Most M&A has been around Managed Services and Cloud, because it is perceived that this is where all the mid-sized biz and government spending will be in the future. So jockey for position now. (Or start planning your strategy now). BTW, Transcend is now a UC tech reseller.
"Managing your Company in Challenging Economic Times" - I'd rather hear from the CEO's of T-Mobile, Sprint and PAETEC on how they managed to dig such holes for themselves.
Data Center Build vs. Buy Model - good premise, but the hard part is getting the right panelist. I struggle with this at every show. You want a panelist who is not going to be giving just the talking points. Very hard to do in our industry.