From The Editor | March 5, 2010

Take Control Of Your Business — With A Little Help


By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor

If you have the technical aspects of your business under control, but are still struggling with those operational challenges such as a five-year business plan or a thorough marketing timeline, there is help out there. Two IT industry organizations, ASCII and CompTIA, are offering regional events focused on those business-planning tasks.

The ASCII Group, an technology industry organization that provides its solutions provider members with access to purchasing programs, education and training, peer groups, and discounts on business services such as liability insurance, has announced a lineup of events for the full year. Jerry Koutavas, executive director of the group, says that while ASCII has been doing regional events for years, the organization wanted to give more control to its members to ensure the events are as relevant as possible. So, in addition to letting members moderate the panel discussions at the events, the audience will participate through live polling that will feed questions and information to the panel as the discussion unfolds. In addition, each day-long event features peer networking, keynote presentations from the likes of Gary Pica, and role playing exercises that tackle subjects such as selling managed services.

Events are slated for:

  • April 22 in Washington, D.C.
  • May 6 in New Jersey/New York
  • June 3 in Chicago
  • Sept. 16 in Orlando
  • Oct. 14 in Boston

The one-day events are free to all ASCII members. For nonmembers the price is $975, however, Business Solutions will be giving away a handful of free VIP passes for each event. Just email me at with your location of choice.

To learn more, visit

Additionally, IT industry trade organization CompTIA has rolled out its listing of regional events for 2010. Each event allows IT business owners to spend the day developing plans for their company, and yes, that means the planning tasks gets completed right there, that day — and with help from experts. When attendees leave, they are armed with long-term business strategy, a defined company brand promise, annual and quarterly success plans, key performance indicators to measure progress, and a workable action plan to maintain momentum.

Events are slated for Thursday, March 25, at the ITT Technical Institute campus in Charlotte, NC; Sunday, April 18, at the Intercontinental Miami, collocated with the Autotask CommunITy Live event; and Thursday, April 29, at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Dallas, TX, collocated with the HTG Summit event.

Member registration is $35; nonmember registration is $250, and includes a one-year CompTIA membership.

Click here to learn more and to register.