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AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CompTIA ChannelCon 2017, the premier annual event for education, networking and partnering for the information technology (IT) industry, concluded three days in the capital of the Lone Star State with calls for greater inclusivity and mentorship.
"We are better together, because the varied experiences and the different ideas that we bring to the workplace make companies better," Michelle Ragusa-McBain, relationship manager, Cisco Systems Inc., said during a Wednesday panel discussion on industry diversity.
The theme of inclusivity and diversity was voiced earlier in the conference by CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux during his keynote speech.
"True diversity comes from engaging people from different socioeconomic backgrounds; from different parts of the world or country; and from different work and life experiences," Thibodeaux said. "It's gathering and utilizing a wide variety of opinions and ideas."
An estimated 1,250 industry executives and leaders attended the live, three-day conference in Austin. Another 4,300 people participated in the virtual ChannelCon Online.
During a Wednesday panel on diversity in the industry Randolph Carnegie, president and managing director of Ken-Kor Consulting, Inc., challenged each audience member to help one person get into the IT business over the next year.
"We have the ability to change somebody's life," he said.
The mentorship theme was also voiced by an earlier executive panel, whose members shared the best career advice they've received.
"Take the time to help someone else because you'll never know when it will help you," advised Jill Chapman, senior performance consultant, Insperity, Inc. "We all depend on other people."
State of Cybersecurity
One of ChannelCon's final sessions focused on one of the most critical issues facing the industry – cybersecurity. Experts offered their takes on the current state of cybersecurity and where things are headed in the coming years.
Lysa Myers, security researcher for ESET, LLC, said the financial aspect of cyber threats aren't going away.
Cyber criminals "are remarkably creative in finding was to monetize the things they steal," she said. "It doesn't matter to them if it's one big payday or a thousand small paydays."
Also Wednesday, Jay Hallberg, co-founder and CEO of Spiceworks, said in the next few years he expects to see artificial intelligence and automation dramatically change the way solution providers and technology professionals perform their jobs.
"In the past, a lot of our changes have been measured in decades," Hallberg said. "But in three to five years, I think we're going to be stunned at what just happened to us."
Best of Show Awards
Two companies split the four Best of ChannelCon awards voted on by solution provider attendees.
Intermedia, a leading cloud business applications provider, took home the honors for Best of Show and Best Service and Support.
Datto, Inc., a leading provider of total data protection solutions, won the awards for Best Partner Program and Best Innovation.