A Closer Look at the HostingCon Program – Industry Trends Track

With just two weeks left until HostingCon 2012 in Boston, I wanted to make a few posts to help you best organize your agenda at the show. To that end, let’s take a closer look at each of the tracks in the educational program.

The schedule itself is located right here, if you want to do a little more investigation.

Today, I want to look at the Industry Trends track, a hold-over from the earliest HostingCon events I’ve attended (and I go back pretty far), but a track that, as usual, promises some of the most exciting content of the show – sessions designed to help hosting providers get their arms around the trends driving new business in the hosting industry and to plan their strategies for the years to come.

MONDAY

The Industry Trends program starts out strong Monday morning with a data-driven market overview from well-regarded hosting industry analyst Phil Shih, who will help to highlight those trends and strategic drives I just mentioned. Next up, hosting industry veteran Ditlev Bredahl of OnApp will present a case for collaboration and federation among cloud providers in an industry dominated by Amazon. Phil Shih returns after that to moderate a panel discussion among some of the unknown giants in the hosting business, where Trevor Harries-Jones and David Rusenko, the CEOs of Yola and Weebly, respectively, will share some of the tactics that have helped them win millions of mass-market hosting customers.

After lunch, Adam Eisner from Tucows will examine how hosting providers can prepare themselves to profit from the outcome of the wide new-TLDs process currently underway at ICANN, David Snead will share lessons from the “content wars,” and help hosts understand how they might be influenced by agencies looking to shut down the next MegaUpload, and Jack Zubarev of Parallels outlines the latest insights from the company’s SMB cloud services market research.

TUESDAY

On Tuesday, we’re doing something interesting with the Industry Trends track, and zeroing in on a specific trend that many believe is key to the future of the hosting market – specifically, the growth of software startups as an important customer base for hosting providers.

In the morning session, SaaS analyst Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies looks at the software startup, SaaS and ISV market for hosted services, sharing an overview and trends. After lunch, a panel of hosting providers specializing in dealing with small (but growing) software vendors will discuss their strategies for marketing to software startups and supporting their business once the marketing is done. Finally, William Toll will host a panel of Boston-area software startups who will discuss the factors that determine their hosting needs, and inform their hosting decisions.

WEDNESDAY

The final day will start with the “product information session,” a series of short sales pitches we’ve gathered to deliver the goods to those who don’t mind a little product info in their HostingCon presentations, but don’t need their sales pitches to last 45 minutes (it’s also the only place where the program is going to get pitchy – which was part of the impetus for the session). In the afternoon, Christian Dawson of ServInt will present a session on how small, agile organizations can compete in a consolidating hosting industry. Raja Paranjothi of CBIZ will present an information session on the new SOC standard. And Pierre Descoteaux of Ingram Micro will offer a session looking at a range of strategies for hosting providers to take cloud services to market, including partnering, reselling and building approaches.

The industry trends track is where much of the high-concept stuff happens, where hosting providers can come to hear strategy and theory they can apply to running their businesses in the immediate future. I’m looking forward to many of the sessions, myself.

And, of course, if you haven’t registered for HostingCon yet, there’s still time left. Head over to the registration page to get signed up today.

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