ConnectWise Partner Summit: Top 15 Day 1 Highlights

ConnectWise Partner Summit: Top 15 Day 1 Highlights

connectwise-partner-summitMore than 900 managed service providers and VARs are networking this week at the ConnectWise Partner Summit, which kicked off November 4 in Orlando, Fla. Here are the top 15 highlights from the first evening's events.

15. Some Distributors Catching On: I spotted the Ingram Micro Seismic and Synnex VARnex teams in the vendor exhibit hall. The Seismic folks continue to talk up their Global NOC Services (developed in partnership with NetEnrich), while the Synnex team tells me their VARnex community is generating double-digit growth.

14. VAR2VAR: Check out this new marketplace, which helps VARs to select cloud, SaaS and other services from peer VARs and technology companies. Dig a little deeper and you may discover a well-known VAR is the brain behind the operation -- Network Management Group Inc. President Steven Harper.

13. Going Global: MSP University CIO Erick Simpson tells me he'll be running bootcamps in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia in 2010.

12. We're Sorry: ConnectWise executives called and apologized to every one of the 198 partners impacted by last week's partial Hosted ConnectWise outage.

11. Link Love: Network Depot, the managed service provider that launched Virtual Administrator (an on-ramp for MSPs), is the first MSP to integrate ConnectWise with Intronis online backup. While some MSPs are still sorting out their managed storage strategies, Network Depot has been leveraging Intronis since 2005.

10. Calling Canada: Several MSPs mentioned to me that they're leveraging PC Helpline Computer Support Inc., a Victoria, Canada-based help desk support service.

9. Hello, Mate: Tim Brewer, director of corporate services from Accord, made the trip in from Balcatta, Western Australia. Roughly 5 to 10 percent of MSPmentor's monthly traffic comes from Australia, thanks to readers like Brewer. We appreciate it, Mate.

8. Business Continuity Meets Private Clouds: QuorumLabs has developed a business continuity solution that MSPs can run in their own private clouds. Several MSPs tell me they haven't seen anything like it before.

7. New Business Opportunity?: At least one VAR attending the event has spotted a potentially new business opportunity: Becoming a ConnectWise Integration Consultant who helps VARs and MSPs deploy and configure their ConnectWise systems.

6. Done Deal: CompTIA completed its buyout of MSP Partners a day or two ago. MSP Partners, now a Community of CompTIA, is here in full force.

5. The Economy -- Better and Worse: Many VARs and MSPs from the U.S. east and west coasts say the economy is improving. But MSPs and VARs from mid-west and central U.S. states say rising unemployment rates are starting to hurt their recurring managed services revenues.

4. Same Old Challenge: A few sources say SonicWall is hosting a partner gathering down the road from the ConnectWise Partner Summit. One of the "big" themes at that SonicWall gathering is an old story ... resolving channel conflict.

3. New Owner, New Brand: McAfee apparently will rebrand the MX Logic business sometime in January 2010, but McAfee will continue to maintain MX Logic's SaaS-oriented channel partner program.

2. Big Bash: gloStream hosted the evening's biggest party and immediately established mind share among attending VARs and MSPs. The company specializes in electronic medical record and practice management solutions. VARs and MSPs focused on the health care vertical seem to be swimming on Glostream's direction.

1. Google's Here, Microsoft Isn't: The launch of Windows 7 provided Microsoft with the perfect excuse to meet the next generation channel and talk up well-managed desktops. But Microsoft has skipped ConnectWise Partner Summit. Meanwhile, the Google Apps Reseller team is here in full force, talking about a shift from network-centric managed services to application-centric managed services. I noted a few weeks ago that Microsoft also skipped the N-able Partner Summit, which attracted 350 MSPs. Talk about a major disconnect: Microsoft is nowhere to be seen at next-generation channel events.

Next Up: ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini is set to deliver his Nov. 5 keynote this morning. We'll be back with more updates and perspectives throughout the day. And watch MSPmentor's sister site, MSPtweet for multiple live Twitter feeds from the summit.

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