June #cloudchat: Cloud for SMBs

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This month marks the #cloudchat one year anniversary! Thanks to all who have built up this community and made these discussions so insightful.

This month’s chat will take place on Thursday, June 14, from 4-5 p.m. ET. We’ve decided to focus on small- and medium-sized businesses, and what cloud can enable for them. Any business with an IT component can benefit from the flexibility and cost savings offered by cloud computing. But SMBs receive unique advantages from implementing a cloud solution. The #cloudchat will examine the particular ways SMBs can use cloud to grow their business, introduce new business models and maximize IT flexibility and cost savings.

Our panelists this month are sure to have some great insights on cloud and SMBs:

Laurie McCabe, Co-founder and Partner, SMB Group 

Laurie brings more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry to her current role at SMB Group. Laurie has built widespread recognition for her capabilities and insights in the small and medium business (SMB) market in several areas, including cloud computing, mobile solutions, business solutions, social networking and collaboration, and managed services.

Prior to SMB Group, Laurie worked in analyst roles as a Partner at Hurwitz & Associates; Vice President of SMB Insights & Solutions at AMI-Partners; and Vice President at Summit Strategies, where her original research of the emerging cloud computing model earned her broad recognition as a thought leader in this area.

Ms. McCabe is frequently quoted in leading business and trade publications, has been a featured speaker at many industry events, and contributes to Small Business Computing. She is a 2011 Small Business Influencer Champion, a winner of the  2012 SMB 150 Awards, and blogs often at

Ed Abrams, Vice President of Marketing, IBM Midmarket

Ed is currently the Vice President of Marketing for IBM Midmarket.  In this role he is responsible for the marketing strategy and execution around the company’s small and medium business efforts with a specific focus on driving the Smarter Planet strategy, offerings and value proposition for midmarket, as well as the marketing strategy and execution in this space.

Ed joined IBM 17 years ago and has held a number of roles within Marketing and Strategy in that time. Prior to joining IBM, Ed spent 13 years in New York City in the Advertising industry with firms that include Young & Rubicam, Wells Rich Greene, Bozell Worldwide and Dentsu.

Chester Karwatoski, Chief Business and Technology Architect for Supplier Connection 

Chester is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the IBM CIO (Chief Information Officer) organization and he is the chief business and technology architect for Supplier Connection ( He has over 25 years of experience in the fields of semiconductor technology, high-tech manufacturing, supply chain management, and customer and supplier relationship management. Mr. Karwatowski’s current assignment puts him at the forefront of driving the adoption of advanced technologies and processes and in creating more social and smarter supply chains in support of the IBM Smarter Commerce initiative. In 2010, he received an IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for his work on radical simplification of global supply chain processes through the use of business entity process modeling. He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Union College.

Add to your calendar via Eventbrite

As always, here’s the full rundown of how the #cloudchat works:

  • What: A tweetchat is an online conversation held at a pre-arranged time following a specific hashtag, in this case #cloudchat. You will need a Twitter ID to take part.
  • When: Thursday, June 14, at 4 p.m. ET, repeating the 2nd Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. ET.
  • Where: The chat can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #cloudchat. Alternatively, log on and access the chat on twebevent. A recap will be posted on this blog the following Friday.
  • Why: To facilitate additional industry dialogue and provide a forum for questions, idea sharing, and problem solving. We want your input on what you’d like to discuss during future chats, so please leave a comment on this post or tweet @ibmcloud with topic ideas.
  • Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome to join!
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