IT Nation 2013: Rumors and Gossip in the Hall

The IT Nation 2013 conference triggered chatter and gossip around ConnectWise, AVG, Amazon WorkSpaces, Continuum, Kaseya, OpenDNS and more. Here's the recap.

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

November 18, 2013

4 Min Read
IT Nation 2013: Rumors and Gossip in the Hall

During the IT Nation 2013 conference, hosted by ConnectWise, there was plenty of official news. But what about rumors, chatter and the “unofficial” developments heard in the hall? Here’s the update.

1. ConnectWise Seeks CFO: This one is official. CEO Arnie Bellini and President David Bellini are looking for a CFO to lead finance at the business software company. David Bellini currently oversees that portion of operations but the hunt is on for a third executive to take on the CFO duties — further empowering Arnie to focus on vision and David to manage day-to-day operations.

2. Swimming’s Triple Crown?: ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini swam the English Channel earlier this year. Next up: Swimming around Catalina Island and Manhattan. I think he might become the first person over the age of 50 to complete all three feats in a single 12-month window.

3. Dashboard Alternatives: ConnectWise and Autotask each are promoting dashboards for enhanced MSP management and customer insights. But there are additional players in the market — including BrightGauge and ConnectSmart — that work with multiple PSA and RMM software platforms.

4. Rallying Partners: AVG Technologies, owner of Level Platforms’ Managed Workplace software, knows it needs to deliver predictable, high-quality software upgrades. In private, some MSPs told me they are leaving the Managed Workplace platform following the recent AVG buyout. But also during the conference, VP Luke Walling and other AVG leaders met with Managed Workplace partners to (A) gather their feedback and (B) make sure R&D is meeting MSPs’ needs. Overall, it sounds like AVG will lean heavily on R&D to deliver more predictable release cycles that keep MSPs loyal — and attract new MSPs.

5. ClikCloud’s Partner Program: ClikCloud, a pay-as-you-go digital marketing service, has launched a Powered by ClikCloud partner program. Vendors and Distributors can now leverage ClikCloud to power channel partners’ websites, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing and more. ClikCloud was launched by Kaseya veteran Dan Shapero, who also remains active in CompTIA.

6. ConnectWise Communicator vs. DeskDirector: ConnectWise’s ModernOffice Communicator is a forthcoming tool that will empower IT solution providers with live chat, video and voice communication capabilities. But another company at the conference, DeskDirector, offers similar features in the market today… …

7. Amazon WorkSpaces Name?: Amazon WorkSpaces is a new desktop as a service offering. But here’s the twist: independenceIT, another hosted desktop service provider, owns the Workspace (singular, lower-case S) trademark. This could get interesting.

8. The New Plan: Level Platforms Veteran Dan Wensley has launched Plan 27, a sales automation and marketing services company. Plan 27 works with its clientele to implement a customized sales, marketing and branding program.

9. Encryption, Hackers and Ransom: A Webroot security panel focused heavily on hackers that increasingly encrypt customer data and hold it for ransom. The hack involves CryptoLocker trojan horse malware. Yes, some Webroot tools can help MSPs to avoid the encrypted data mess to begin with. But when customers fall prey to the encryption scam, MSPs are often forced to scramble their security teams to find a solution. And increasingly, some MSPs are changing their SLAs to point out that encryption scams are not covered.

10. Final Count: ConnectWise Director of Community Jeannine Edwards estimates roughly 2,498 people attended IT Nation. I believe that makes it the largest pure IT channel event in the world — not including vendor-centric events like Cisco Partner Summit and Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

11. Continuum: Big moves coming? That’s all I have to say about that — for  now.

12. Missing: Kaseya did not have a booth or a corporate presence on the show floor. I suspect the no-show involved all the recent M&A Kaseya has pursued, rather than any particular decision to skip the conference…

13. Managed Print Services: Xerox announced a new remote managed print solution at the conference, integrating first with LabTech Software. It sounds like extensive beta testing and more platform support will arrive in Q1 2014. Update, Nov. 20: Xerox says the solution is not just for managed print services; the better description is “remote printer monitoring.”

14. Security as a Service: OpenDNS says it is enabling MSPs to managed security as a service, using ConnectWise. Here’s some background on OpenDNS for MSPs.

15. Per-user Pricing: The age of per-device pricing is coming to an end — rapidly. ConnectWise will deliver 2014 upgrades that offer user-centric views of IT projects, support and more. It’s part of a growing trend across the MSP market as end-users juggle multiple devices.

What did I miss? I’m all ears…

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like