Why IT Nation Connect left us feeling warm and fuzzy

At the end of October, we joined thousands of others in Orlando for the ConnectWise IT Nation Connect conference – consider it a pilgrimage for affirmation, and in that respect, we were not disappointed.

As we have written before, ConnectWise exists to help MSPs be successful with a unique ecosystem built around an award-winning business management platform. This platform automates the full lifecycle of technology service delivery, from sales and service to project tracking and back-office functions. ConnectWise counts some 15,000 MSP partners around the world. Many of these MSPs provision VMware and Veeam services for their enterprise clients, both of which we support.

Back in June, the HyAlto team attended IT Nation Explore, which is designed for the folks on the front lines – the MSP service technicians and operations managers who use the ConnectWise platform daily.

IT Nation Connect, the larger annual gathering, targets the owners and senior executives of MSPs, as well as VARs, and other technology-as-a-service businesses.

This year’s event drew a record 3,772 registered attendees and 131 exhibitors. Over two days, 136 education events were held. As with all ConnectWise conferences, the emphasis is on the “cooperative eco-system.” While many attendees are obviously competitors and frenemies, there remains this collective “rising tide floats all ships” philosophy.

This shouldn’t be difficult to understand, given what was dubbed at Connect to be the “Silos of Chaos” in which many MSPs operate – many of them address a true dog’s breakfast of services for their enterprise clients, from managing password resets, security updates on individual laptops and dealing with Wi-Fi issues, up to the most mission-critical IT infrastructure and computing needs.

In such a broad market with such a horizontal breadth of service offerings, ConnectWise made the point this year of replacing the M in MSP with a more all-encompassing T – these are no longer just Managed Service Providers, but Technology Service Providers.

Regardless of the name, these service providers face the same challenges to evolve and grow. Connect does a great job of facilitating this, with breakout sessions and peer mentoring (by matching companies that don’t directly compete with each other), to help MSPs grow their businesses and MRR, and improve their valuation, should they be interested in pursuing a merger or acquisition.

The big news at Connect also included ConnectWise’s acquisitions of  Continuum and IT Boost.

Continuum offers remote monitoring and management (RMM) and a NOC/SOC platform – as Joe Panettieri writes, ConnectWise has long advised MSPs to run their own help desks and NOC facilities. By acquiring Continuum, CW can at last offer these services (along with SOC) without having to partner with a third-party. IT Boost, meanwhile, adds a next-generation IT documentation system to the lineup. ConnectWise also announced a deal with Webinfinity for partner relationship management (PRM), to help MSPs (and TSPs) simplify the relationships with their technology suppliers.

From HyAlto’s perspective, all of these efforts by ConnectWise to build itself into a holistic technology and services platform for our mutual target market shows that we are on the right track. This community of prospective HyAlto customers is huge and with CW’s latest acquisitions and partnerships, it has just gotten a lot bigger.

Attending Connect and engaging with literally hundreds of prospects reaffirmed the fact that HyAlto is offering this market a much-needed growth and monetization platform for the multi-cloud – one that remains unique. This puts us in a great position, considering CW’s emphasis on building and supporting a cooperative eco-system that includes independent software vendors (ISVs) like HyAlto.

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  • […] We’ve talked before about CW’s emphasis on building a virtuous ecosystem on the philosophy that a rising tide floats all ships. Evolve carefully matches peer groups of 10-15 companies that, while they may face similar business challenges, are not direct competitors. This engenders the trust and confidence to lift the kimono a bit and have open discussions about business performance, business challenges and ways to overcome. […]