PitchIT Keeping IT Real, Follow the White Rabbit

| By: Tony Thomas

I was watching the latest Matrix movie in the series and thought about how far the franchise has come since the original came out 23 years ago. At the time, it took science fiction to a new level and established the cyberpunk genre as a serious one. I thought about Neo’s hero journey, which continues to unfold today. And then it dawned on me: Neo’s narrative is similar to the mental model we’ve wrapped the ConnectWise strategy in (The Infinite Game) and the quest that has brought us to the five-year point with our PitchIT initiative. Inspired, I choose to write this blog to share knowledge with hundreds of new colleagues we have onboarded to the ConnectWise journey and offer insights to future partners. We know it’s essential to get in the arena and take on an active role in sharing the designs we’re continuously iterating from the genesis of the founder's era to the next generation of ConnectWise leaders with our partner community. Using the Matrix franchise as the perfect metaphor, here are some chapters in the up-until-now untold story of PitchIT. 

1/7 Play an Infinite Game 

 “We’re still here!”  

Our PitchIT team has been playing an infinite game (Infinite Game by Simon Sinek, IT Nation Connect keynote speaker alumni) which we started five years ago. To build success in the TSP space, we have created a system designed to fund (with a grant, not an equity stake, by the way) an incubator/accelerator approach within the context of our industry. The activities have grown to cultivate significant enablement value for startup vendors so they may generate purpose-built value for our TSP industry. We are only scratching the surface of what will be possible. The PitchIT system has done a great job focusing on universal truths and creating valuable byproducts across our broader vendor ecosystem. We will soon be moving into the phase of turning all content, methods, and concepts into functions, advantages, and benefits for all ecosystem vendors.   

On a related note, everything we focus on with PitchIT also happens to be dependable sources of evidence for three promises we made at IT Nation Connect 2021. While we made these three promises to partners to manage their expectations regarding their relationship with ConnectWise going forward, it does not only apply to our internal focus. Any third-party vendor (aka solution provider) that is a guest of the ConnectWise world can benefit from these three promises: 

  1. More innovation, faster 
  2. Invest even more in partner growth  
  3. Make it easier to do business with.   

2/7 Get in the Arena 

“I know Kung Fu.” 

Being committed to the TSP space is a conscious choice as a solution provider. Forming good partnership habits and consistently delivering on a strong value proposition can be an antidote to profitability, productivity, exposure, benchmarking, and customization. An intentional partnership with ConnectWise enables TSP to unlock their true potential. Our cameo coaches, Brett Jaffe and Jason Knight of ConnectStrat, taught our 18 PitchIT 2022 candidates that the starting point is their “why” and made suggestions about other key areas of their business as part of our 16-week incubation program.  The accelerated approach leads to IT Nation Connect, where the top 3 selected emerging vendors will compete for grant funding to grow their businesses. 

3/7 Meet the Key Maker 

“I know because I must know. It’s my purpose.” 

The ConnectWise platform is the source of success for the ConnectWise Economy. To reach it, you will need the help of a key maker. Every solution integrator operates to extend our broader platform of business management, unified monitoring and management, and cybersecurity. Our developer network key maker and moderator Matt Preston helped our contestants (and over 300+ integrators) open new digital doors to our platform. Through API keys, our PitchIT contestants join 30,000 developer network subscribers who seek to tailor product features, advantages, and benefits through workflow, discovery, identity, automation, monitoring, notifications, data, and teamwork.  

Network support also extends to securing your tech. Once your platform is integrated with ConnectWise, we become one system fortified against a weakest link cyber-attack, sometimes referred to as buffalo jumping. Frank DePrisco of the ConnectWise cybersecurity team explains this concept and coaches vendors on how to harden their tech.     

4/7 Success Exists in a World of Self-Discovery 

“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth… there is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.” 

ConnectWise is a world-building engine. That means two things.  

First, TSPs in our world operate with one of four identities we call “modes” or “modus operandi:” Startup, Balance Builder, Value Builder, and Empire Builder. By understanding our partner’s ambitions (e.g., what they are trying to build and how much time they have), we can align products, programs, and resource value with their current mode or move them toward a goal mode.    

Product companies that choose to grow in the ConnectWise Economy leverage “Modes Theory,” as our cameo coaches Arlin Sorensen and Scott Scrogin explained.  

Second, as we expand our reach globally and into adjacent markets with similar underserved/unmet needs, the total available market opportunity creates an expansion pipeline for vendors. The ConnectWise pioneering strategy is to:  

  1. Always identify and solve TSPs’ biggest pain points and challenges. 
  2. Lead the way through innovation and by providing a transformational partnership. 
  3. Make our partners more productive and efficient by unifying the ConnectWise Platform, our services and solutions, ecosystem, and immersive community.  
  4. Help make our partners more profitable and set them up for personal and professional success. 

5/7 Jack-in, Engage The IT Nation Network of Places, Spaces, and Faces 

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." 

Current and past PitchIt contestants and winners (i.e., 2021 PitchIT winner Traceless) can attest to the value of engaging in the many community networks which promote awareness of their products and services throughout their journey with PitchIT.  The IT Nation as a network leads the way in this endeavor but also recognizes that we can force multiple alliances by partnering with adjacent community networks. Many networks throughout our community share our focus on spreading knowledge and solutions to the pains and struggles our partners share.   

Shout out to our gracious adjacent network hosts, who are the faces building PitchIT-friendly communities, including CW Boss ( moderated by Adam Bielanski of Sierra Pacific Group), Business Technicalities (hosted by Tom Lawrence), and Tech Tribe tribal leader Andrew Moon.   

Investment in IT Nation as a space to shape a superior business model, align stacks to underserved/unmet needs, and generate education content for partners from around the world is the ethos we continue to invest in heavily. IT Nation Share user groups that happen worldwide, such as IT Nation Secure happening in June, IT Nation Evolve quarterly meetings, and the flagship IT Nation Connect in November, are a proven nexus of vendor supply and user demand.  

Sean Lardo, Louie Cocchiola, and Davina Collins have been wise stewards of the industry that have coached, connected, and enabled engagement for our entire vendor community. 

6/7 Unlock the Power of the Invent Program 

“This is the construct. It's our loading program.” 

Seeing the bigger picture of the ConnectWise Economy is best achieved through our Invent Program. Invent is another purpose-built system that helps vendors build superior business models and channel strategies within the ConnectWise Economy. Loading starts with the introduction of PitchIT contestants to the business model canvas and value proposition canvas to help tailor the desirability (what are the pain killers), feasibility (what does it take to create a seamless integration), and viability (create a profit formula that is a win-win for all economic touch points in our supply chain) of their solutions. Andrea Barrow helped form our IT Nation community system and veterans on her team. Like Ken Shelter, help align all these elements.  Paul Dippell passed the Service Leadership torch to Peter Kujawa; he helps contestants link their product strategy to a channel / go-to-market strategy.  

Invent is an interconnected system of motions and actions which map to money, market share, and exposure for our partners. As IT Nation Connect 2022 keynote speaker James Clear’s book Atomic Habits teaches us, you don’t rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems. 

7/7 Every hero needs a guide 

"You take the blue pill... the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill... you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."  

Here at ConnectWise, we lead as a global team with an unwavering worldview that our mission is “To empower IT solution providers with unmatched software, services, and community to achieve their most ambitious vision of success.” Our partners demand a supply of purpose-built solutions that immensely improve their lives and are willing to pay for that value. The same goes for their clients, who are willing to pay for the exemplary IT services they deliver.  You see, the bigger picture is that we are a supply chain company that creates prosperity in what we call the “ConnectWise Economy.”   

As your vendor, we’ll help morph your license growth through hundreds of thousands of users living in our ConnectWise workspaces, tens of millions of endpoints managed by our agents, and billions of dollars generated through the connective tissue of a unified platform, integrated services, and step-by-step business transformation guidance.  

Here are some helpful links to guides and guidance to inspire you and blueprints for action intentionally designed for a purpose-built ConnectWise Economy 

  1. I want to get familiar with Mode Theory: Modes Theory 
  2. I want to join a digital tribe to observe PitchIT contestant pitches: CW Boss 
  3. I want to learn about current and past PitchIT contestants: 18 PitchIT 2022 class 
  4. I want to learn about Pitch2023: Contact Sean Lardo 

I hope you will join us at IT Nation Connect in November 2022 to learn, connect, and meet the companies I mentioned. Register here: IT Nation Connect Registration page. And don’t forget to get on the waiting list for 2023 PitchIT! 

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