Kicking off the breakthrough theme of the conference, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini’s keynote covered the breakthroughs occurring all around us — self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, IoT, and solar power among them. He then tied those changes back to the managed services industry, outlining what he sees as key opportunities for MSPs in the next few years. Not surprisingly, cloud and security topped the list.
There was an audible gasp from the audience when this slide popped up on the giant screen, showing traditional IT revenue stagnating with all growth coming from cloud services over the next four years.
Auvik’s CEO Marc Morin was in Florida for the show, attending sessions and walking the floor. His biggest takeaway builds on the data that Arnie presented.
“There’s a strong sense that our industry is in transition right now. The cloud is changing everything for MSPs. It’s quickly becoming necessary for an MSP to transform into a CSP (cloud services provider). But what does that transition look like? People are unsure.
As more and more services move to the cloud, the only remaining piece is the network, largely to provide access to the cloud. So it seems an MSP will need two key skill sets: cloud and network.”
The breakthrough company
Day 3’s keynote speaker was Keith McFarland, bestselling author of The Breakthrough Company. He offered a number of compelling strategy insights on how to shift your company forward.
There are 3 drivers that affect the trajectory of your business: Strategy, People, Execution #itn16 — Keith McFarland
— Jacqui Murphy (@jacquimurphy) November 11, 2016
"Strategy is figuring out a way to get more motion from the same crank." – Keith McFarland #ITN16
— ConnectWise (@ConnectWise) November 11, 2016
"get real about what is…" McFarland #ITN16
— Ted Hulsy (@TedseFolder) November 11, 2016
— Stephen Parker (@sjkparker) November 11, 2016
In the slide above, Keith explained:
- Strategic planning needs to be done once a quarter, not annually.
- Strategy collection should be a democracy allowing everyone’s voice to be heard, not just those of the senior executive team. But when it comes to execute on strategy, the company needs to become a dictatorship to ensure things get done. Democracy + dictatorship = “democraship”
- Inside consultants — the unfortunately named “insultants” — need to be listened to. They’re the ones who will find the flaws that need to be fixed on the next iteration.
ConnectWise rebranded its suite & launched a NOC
Though the news first emerged months ago, ConnectWise has finally pushed through some brand changes and a new, unified UI. Each component of the company’s business suite now has a new name.
- Quosal becomes ConnectWise Sell
- ConnectWise becomes ConnectWise Manage
- LabTech becomes ConnectWise Automate
- ScreenConnect becomes ConnectWise Control
Marc’s take: “It’s a great feat and a great platform for them going forward. It really solidifies their strategy of the last couple of years.”
Also big news: ConnectWise announced they’re adding a 24/7 NOC service through a partnership with IT By Design.
Auvik officially launched its LabTech integration
ITGlue launched a channel reseller program
We don’t hide the fact that we’re big IT Glue fans here at Auvik. Both our companies love efficiency, documentation, and helping MSPs succeed. And at IT Nation, the GlueCrew unveiled an exciting development they’re calling MyGlue. It essentially lets you as an MSP resell ITGlue to your clients.
Are you wearing pants?
Auvik’s IT Nation theme was all about pants. Our pants stickers were a big hit. But sorry, despite our VP’s claims to the contrary, they are not scratch and sniff.
Don’t forget the polar bears
Another hot item at the Auvik booth? The purple socks with polar bears. You know, to go with your pants. Did you get a pair? Wear ‘em and tweet ‘em at us!
IT Nation took over Universal’s Island of Adventure
…And we missed the whole darn thing. The entire Auvik team was worn out from 2 days of talking to excited attendees. We’re not complaining — talking to loads of partners is a good state to be in! — but that night sure looked like fun.
— ConnectWise (@ConnectWise) October 20, 2016
Daniel Stockman was very excited to win a TV
— Daniel Stockman (@stockmand) November 11, 2016
The biggest takeaway
“There’s anxiety in the industry right now. How MSPs have been competing in the past is not how they’re going to be competing in the future. That leads to concern, but concern leads to investigation, which leads to excitement. There is plenty to be optimistic about. In fact, this is an incredibly exciting time to be in tech.”