GFI Max Customer Conference 2013: General Session Day One

GFI Max addressed more than 300 managed services providers (MSPs) this morning at its GFI Max U.S. Customer Conference 2013 in Las Vegas, 100 more MSPs than last year's event. On the agenda? A look at the expansion of the company's technology capabilities for MSPs.

CJ Arlotta, Associate Editor

September 23, 2013

6 Min Read
GFI MAX General Manager Alistair Forbes says the company will continue to invest in its core product new products infrastructure supporting materials
GFI MAX General Manager Alistair Forbes says the company will continue to invest in its core product, new products, infrastructure, supporting materials and customer engagement.

GFI Max addressed more than 300 managed services providers (MSPs) this morning at its GFI Max U.S. Customer Conference 2013 in Las Vegas, 100 more MSPs than last year’s event. On the agenda? A look at the expansion of the company’s technology capabilities for MSPs.

(Check out MSPmentor’s preview of the conference featuring GFI Max Business Unit General Manager Alistair Forbes here).

Here’s a deeper dive into the company’s morning sessions on day 1 of the conference.

GFI Max Sales Director Chip Bieler

  • We have more 300 attendees at this year’s conference, which isn’t your typical conference. We’re not here to pitch to you. This is a chance for attendees to come together and make money. Technology is cool, but at the end of the day it’s about making money.

  • I want everyone to think of themselves as a boxer and think of our event as a training camp. The MSP market is here, and it’s matured.

  • We have more than 3,000 customers in the U.S. Each of you are here to learn how you can grow and expand.

GFI Max General Manager Alistair Forbes

  • Last year, we were a Windows monitoring and management platform, but the world has changed. Businesses no longer just use Windows, so we began to support multi-platforms, including Mac Workspace, Linux server, VMware and mobile.

  • We will continue to invest in our spam, malware filtering email service, GFI Max Mail, which containes two main features: MailProtection, MailArchive. Both of these services can be used in conjunction with Office 365.

  • Our managed backup service has been used widely across the world. The ending of last year we introduced our seed loading service.

  • At the beginning of last year, we also also introduced our system tray application tool, which enables MSPs to raise tickets.

  • Our malware removal service is a free service that assists with the removal of malware that is found on any machine running the current version of our our managed antivirus solution.

  • Our remote background management feature gives the ability to access machines interactively. It includes a new connection mechanism. We saw an 8 percent device adoption in one week.

  • GFI Max’s MDM (mobile device management) technology was on our technology acquisition in 2012. We’ve spent a lot of time since then to build it out. The initial release will have support for Android and IOS support, Blackberry and Windows phone support will follow. With this solution, MSPs can support both BYOD and company-owned devices. Beta two will hopefully be released by September 30th. General availability is expected in October 2014.

  • We’re launching a service desk product, acquired for LogicNow, aimed at core service management functionality, which includes ticketing, service level management, engineer time tracking, etc. This is not aimed for those already leveraging a product like Autotask, but for MSPs not utilizing PSA functions at the moment. It has an integration with GFI MAX RemoteManagement. It’s going into a beta phase right now.

  • Our GFI MAX Backup offers best components for both on-site and off-site copies of data. Traditional removable media backups require media management that may depend on non-technical staff changing, storing and transporting media.

  • We have the business support website which is called MSP Business Management, providing MSPs with access to develop marketing, sales and growth materials. The interaction on the site is growing. It allows MSPs to exchange ideas with those operating in the same space.

  • Additionally, we also have a business tips section in our GFI MAX Remote Management solution, as well as a YouTube channel to provide videos of customer examples, tips, etc.

  • We recently launched the MAX IQ blog, which focuses on marketing, sales and productivity, as well as an insight on customer examples.

  • GFI MAX has put together a guide for HIPAA. We want our customers to be aware of how to be HIPPA compliant. We are willing to stand beside you.

  • In the last year we developed a community script forum called FixITScripts, allowing MSPs to share ideas with each other on building scripts. This gives customers the ability to browse solutions that are already there. It provides an environment in which you can ask questions.

  • We also have our LinkedIn page, which covers a lot of discussion in the MSP community. This group is consistently building over the course of time. This is the environment we’ve created so that you have access to this community.

  • GFI MAX is constantly investing in our core product; our development team, which grew substantially during 2013; new products; infrastructure; material support and education; and customer engagement.

2112 Group Owner Larry Walsh

  • There isn’t a customer in the world that wakes up in the morning and plans to do IT. Customers do not want to play with servers or install applications. They’re in other markets, industries — that’s their core competencies. They want you to help them move faster, effectively.

  • More than 70 percent of the channel offers some form of managed services.

  • Managed services is sexy. Managed services allows you to have higher and predictable profits, recurring and predictable revenue, scalability and flexibility, deeper customer entanglement, decreased dependence.

  • We need to look at where businesses are going, what they need. Every business has baseline technology need.

  • Managed services is not about technology, it’s about delivering results, taking things away from your customers, so they can do their own work. Managed services is about sales. You’re all sales people. You’re supposed to be selling.

  • We have to focus more on sales, instead of technology. It’s a math problem. You have to plan around the math.

  • You can’t fake satisfaction. You really have to focus in on what your customers need and want. How are you adding value to them? Retention is not a sole product of entanglement.

  • Identify customers promoting your company. It’s okay to walk away from a sale if their expectations are too high. Don’t take bad business, bad customers. We have to understand what our value is.

  • “I do not believe in the cloud. The cloud is a myth.”

  • There are four phases of the services evolution includes experimentation, confidence, managed and automation (business services providers).

  • The channel is trying to reach a state in which it provides automated services and support based on customers’ business outcomes, but the reality is not everyone in the channel is evolving, but this won’t disintermediate them from the value chain.

  • 2112 sees GFI MAX as one of two alternatives that’s going to grow because of recent acquisitions.

  • Marketing isn’t just about investment. It’s about having a plan, a message that can be conveyed to potential customers.

Be sure to keep checking back to MSPmentor for additional announcements at GFI Max U.S. Customer Conference 2013 in Las Vegas.

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About the Author(s)

CJ Arlotta

Associate Editor, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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