IT Nation: Five Questions I’ll be Asking
Next week marks a couple of the biggest events of the year in the managed services market – the HTG Peer Groups Q4 meeting and ConnectWise’s IT Nation, both in Orlando, Florida. I’ll be headed to both, armed with several questions as I meet with top executives. Here’s what I’ll be asking.
1. What’s the state of add-on application marketplaces for MSP platform companies? ConnectWise and its portfolio companies including LabTech Software have invested in making it easy for ISVs to create add-ons to their platforms. And in January, ConnectWise took it further, announcing an API initiative. How's it going and what will we be seeing next?
2. IPO? Or something else? What’s coming for ConnectWise and its portfolio companies in this arena? Last year CEO Arnie Bellini told MSPmentor that ConnectWise was looking to hire a CFO. Executives have previously said that the company is not looking to be acquired. That CFO job is still posted on the ConnectWise web site careers section. IPO experience would be nice but is not required. I'll ask about this.
3. And speaking of acquisitions, I’ll be asking ConnectWise executives (and MSPs) what they think of recent moves by competitors to create a complete suite of MSP tools from remote monitoring and management to professional services automation. It’s a move pioneered by ConnectWise when it invested in LabTech Software, but competitors have recently followed suit. Autotask bought CentraStage. AVG says its looking for a SaaS-based billing partner. And that’s just two of many.
4. How are ConnectWise MSPs embracing/working with/making money from cloud-based applications. This is the new frontier. I know plenty of MSPs have already made big strides here. I want to hear more from them and from vendor executives about recent moves, best practices and experiences with cloud business.
5. What about hosted desktops? IT Nation is the same week as Amazon Web Services AWS re:Invent conference. Last year at IT Nation there was plenty of chatter among MSPs about the hosted desktop announcement from AWS. A year later has it made a difference for any MSPs? We'll be checking on that.
Did I miss anything? What else should I be asking? Let me know in the comments or via email to jessica.davis (at) penton.com
It’s ConnectWise’s event, but I’ll also be meeting up with plenty of other vendors and with MSPs while I’m there. And I’m privileged to be attending HTG’s event earlier in the week and look forward to talking with so many managed services leaders and trailblazers during that event, too. Check back next week for full coverage.