IT Nation Connect 2018 keynote recap

| By: Arnie Bellini

IT Nation Connect is an opportunity for all members of The IT Nation to come together, network with one another, learn, and grow with ConnectWise. As the event has grown, so has our focus. The theme of this year’s IT Nation Connect was Connect Everything. Technology has the ability to connect and change so much of the world, and we see this as an opportunity to pass the torch to you, our partners.

The evolution of IT Nation

You often hear me say that we are dedicated to our partners’ success. To really show you how dedicated we are to this belief, we presented the new IT Nation. IT Nation Connect is the premier thought leadership event dedicated to your business and success. IT Nation Explore is designed for your service team to learn how to better use the ConnectWise platform within your organization.

IT Nation Share brings together our partners at regional user groups that foster connecting, networking, and learning. IT Nation Evolve brings business owners together for powerful, quarterly sessions designed to help member find success professionally and personally.

The evolution of The IT Nation was driven from the feedback we’ve received from you. The IT Nation is all about you, and with the new focus, we’re passing the torch to you to make our community even stronger.

The As-a-Service model

As technology evolves, there will be a change in how some providers will offer services to their clients, which will also require a new way of looking at your business. In reviewing the services available on our Solutions Menu, each one will be available as-a-service, which will open up a huge opportunity for the market.

How large of an opportunity is this? Managed technology spending is projected to grow to $154.5 billion by 2021, compared to $83.6 billion in 2016. This presents a lot of potential revenue and growth, but it also presents a bit of a challenge. As the demand for services grows, new providers will enter the market, increasing competition. To meet the challenge, I urge everyone to find their niche in the market. Truly stand out and provide your clients the expertise, efficiency, innovation, and agility they would expect from their service provider.

ConnectWise Chief Product Officer Craig Fulton took the stage to break down the as-a-service business model. As more of the market shifts to an as-a-service business model, and managed services overall, they will quickly learn it’s all about the customer experience. With as-a-service, providing excellent customer service will be a key way to not only acquire new clients, but also keep existing ones happy. ConnectWise is here to help make the transition to as-a-service successful with our new Path to Success Spotlight webinar series, which will be available in January. We’ll walk you through how to align your business so you can capitalize on all the benefits as-a-service offers.

ConnectWise product updates

Craig was excited to announce a few new product improvements coming in 2019. First is a new customer portal. This allows you to create a unique, customizable customer experience where your customers can view tickets, pay invoices, and more. Next is single sign-on for the entire ConnectWise platform, making it easier for your teams to use each ConnectWise solution. We are also offering a new user centric reporting dashboard, both coming in Q1 of 2019.

New improvements to the ConnectWise Marketplace will further help your transition to as-a-service. It will be easier to buy and provision Solution Partners’ products, map new or existing customers, and sync to ConnectWise Manage.

Exploring business maturity

Next, Arlin Sorensen, Vice President of Peer Groups, discussed business maturity, mergers and acquisitions, and how these fit into a growth strategy. By attending IT Nation Evolve peer groups, members can collaborate and communicate with their peers and get guidance on how to navigate through the different stages of the entrepreneurial journey. For even more business maturity guidance, ConnectWise will be hosting a business maturity Path to Success Spotlight series starting December 14 that will provide step by step directions on how to plan for success.

Many of our VAR partners aren’t sure how to navigate the new world of managed services and as-a-service. To guide them, Arlin announced new VAR-focused peer groups, designed specifically for VARs to help mature their services.

The security landscape

Our final topic this morning was security. Clients hold you to a high standard when it comes to keeping their network and data secure. 49% of SMBs have been hacked, and 60% of those companies never recover and go out of business. With an average data breach costing $7.35 million, you have a lot of responsibility on your hands.

For 2019, we want to help you protect your house. Visit to find solutions to help you protect your business and your clients. First, we have Sienna Group, an amazing company in our hometown of Tampa, FL. With Sienna Group, we are proud to present the Sienna Remote Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Tool that you can use on yourself and then your clients to see how your security solutions are working.

Next is the cyber defense platform from Perch, which was built specifically for MSPs. Perch is designed to show any signs of threat activity found on your monitored networks, and can automatically generate a ticket in ConnectWise Manage to alert you of the issue. This completely automated solution will further your security services and make sure your clients are not another cybercrime statistic.

Starting December 6, I’ll be hosting a Path to Success Spotlight webinar with members of the Sienna Group team that focuses on cybersecurity to teach the latest security techniques and how to implement our new tools into your services. Register today at After all, it takes a nation to fight a cyber war.

With that, we pass the torch to you. This is your nation. We’re invested in your success. Let’s make 2019 our best year ever.