Our inaugural IT Nation Connect in Australia took place March 25-27 on the Gold Coast of Australia in Surfers Paradise. The event featured over 500 attendees, 25 exhibitors, two keynotes, 50 breakout sessions, and three parties. We covered a lot in three days, so here’s what you may have missed from our first visit down unda.
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IT Nation Connect Keynote Recap
Tuesday morning, ConnectWise leadership took the stage to welcome everyone to our first IT Nation Connect in Australia. Craig Fulton, Chief Customer Success Officer, kicked off the keynote address by talking about the importance of customer experience. Customer experience, which isn’t just limited to customer service, speaks more to the entire chain of people in your organization who work with your customers, from marketing to invoicing. With cloud services gaining popularity and clients having more flexibility and greater ability to move providers if they’re unhappy, it’s up to businesses to continue to win over their customers month after month.
In addition to increased freedom of choice, customers now have more power—and expect more from their service providers. What was once a differentiator in the technology space is now considered table stakes. In the current landscape, service providers need to be outcome-oriented, offer next level proactivity, have an alignment of expectations with their customers, and offer security risk management.
To create next level customer experience, focus on ease of adoption, creating symbols of quality that your clients and prospects will recognize, provide insights that help guide your customers, and ‘Always Be Connecting’ with your customers.
Next, Arlin Sorensen, Vice President, Brand and Ecosystem Evangelism, spoke to the crowd about the principles of business maturity and the phases within the entrepreneurial journey. Unfortunately, when owners decide they are ready to sell their business, owners may assume that because they have put in the hard work, that will translate to a sale with value. However, hard work does not equal value; people don’t buy a company to work hard. They buy a company because it has value and will provide a return over time. Owners need to work on creating a company of value and moving their way through the different stages of the entrepreneurial journey.
Arlin said that our survey results indicate 70% of MSPs are looking to engage in M&A activity in the next five years, and ConnectWise is committed to giving them the best solutions, support, and business maturity education to help support that activity. Arlin said the easiest part of an M&A transaction is getting a deal; the hard part is making it work.
John Ford, Chief Information Security Officer, finished the keynote by addressing the state of cybersecurity. With both attacks and breaches on the rise, it’s more important than ever for MSPs to focus on risk assessment than incident management.
“You’re up against Ocean’s 11. If you’re an MSP, you have to be secure.”
With that, John announced ConnectWise Identify, ConnectWise’s cybersecurity risk assessment. By knowing both your risk and your customer’s security risk, you can focus more on assessing potential risks than squashing individual security incidents. ConnectWise Identify is based on the globally-recognized NIST Cybersecurity Framework and helps you take a proactive approach to identifying and managing your customers’ security risks, create a plan of attack that customers can understand and buy into, and clarify ownership of security risks between you and your customers.
Guest Keynote Speaker: Anthony Laye
On Wednesday morning, human behavior expert and mentalist Anthony Laye took the stage to wow the audience on the power of non-verbal communication. The most important lesson he shared with the audience was to focus on your conscious mindset and asking yourself “How should I be turning up?” for yourself, your home life, and at work. By checking in multiple times a day, you can improve the energy you bring to situations in several elements of your life.
He also challenged the crowd to ‘Act as if’ and focus on their physical reactions to situations. With verbal communication accounting only for 7% of communication styles, reading physical cues is more important in assessing how people are truly interpreting situations.
IT Nation Celebration
It wouldn’t be a ConnectWise event without a party, and it’s no different in Australia! IT Nation Connect featured three celebrations that offered attendees the chance to network in the Solutions Pavilion—and on the dance floor. The Welcome Reception on Monday evening kicked off our event and allowed attendees to meet with our 25 exhibitors to see the new features in their favorite solutions and explore potentially new solutions. Tuesday evening hosted our IT Nation Celebration with libations and live music, and our final celebration on Wednesday night featured casino games for attendees to try their luck for the chance to win some prizes.
After a whirlwind three days, it’s safe to say the inaugural IT Nation Connect in Australia was a great success for everyone. We hope our attendees, exhibitors, and colleagues had a great time networking and learning in the land down unda and can’t wait for hopefully more events to come in the future.
The next IT Nation event is just around the corner. It’s never to early to get prepared!