TruMethods Schnizzfest: A Mini ConnectWise Emerges? (Sort of)

TruMethods is (1) an MSP consulting firm with a growing community, (2) led by MSP veterans and (3) pushing into cloud-based tools for MSPs. The strategy is somewhat similar to ConnectWise, without head-on competition.

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

June 21, 2013

3 Min Read
TruMethods39 Bob Penland and Gary Pica are educators and MSP veterans pushing into cloudbased software
TruMethods' Bob Penland and Gary Pica are educators and MSP veterans pushing into cloud-based software.

TruMethods, a peer group and MSP coaching organization, could start to resemble ConnectWise (in some ways) over the next two years or so. That evolution continues today at Schnizzfest, the organization’s annual conference in Philadelphia. What’s expected? Keep an eye out for myITprocess, an emerging cloud platform for MSPs. But that’s not all. 

First, a little background. I’m not suggesting that TruMethods or ConnectWise will ever compete head-on. Rather, I’m describing a world where they have similar technology passions — highly localized IT services, MSP education and engagement, and cloud-based software for business automation.

Consider ConnectWise’s history. The company started as an IT service provider in Tampa, Fla. Next, it launched a PSA (professional services automation) software platform — which has since evolved into a more extensive business software platform. Plus, ConnectWise built out user groups across North America, Europe and Australia.

Now let’s shift our focus to TruMethods. CEO Gary Pica and CTO Bob Penland are MSP (managed services provider) veterans. Pica sold his MSP business to mindSHIFT, later acquired by Best Buy (BBY). Next, Pica and Penland (also a Kaseya veteran) started building TruMethods, an MSP consulting organization and peer group of sorts. 

But they weren’t done there. Pica and Penland have also invested in a Pennsylvania MSP. 

Here Comes myITprocess

Their next move? A full-blown software business. Over the past year or so, TruMethods has been building and testing myITprocess — a cloud-based service to help MSPs offer and master vCIO (virtual CIO services).

It’s a safe bet TruMethods will offer a myITprocess status update at Schnizzfest. And perhaps even more details will surface at ConnectWise IT Nation in November 2013.

Bottom line: Pica and Penland are busy building (1) an educational community, (2) their own highly targeted, regional MSP and (3) a cloud-based service for peer MSPs. In some ways, it’s ConnectWise all over again — assuming TruMethods’ software/cloud service catches on with MSPs nationwide.

Bigger Themes For Attending MSPs

What else should MSPs expect at Schnizzfest? Here are five key questions to ask:

  1. Cake: Gary Pica always tells MSPs to sell customers the entire user experience (Chocolate Cake) and not the individual ingredients (eggs, milk, flour, etc.). Is there a Cake update coming?

  2. Exits: mindSHIFT attended the conference two years ago and described M&A tactics. Later that year, Best Buy acquired mindSHIFT. Next, mindSHIFT acquired another TruMethods member: White Glove Technologies. Surely, there are M&A discussions happening at Schnizzfest in the back halls. Which companies will trigger the next MSP exits? I bet a few are attending this week’s event.

  3. Five Keys to MSP Success: Pica’s simple, effective list is right here. Will he update it?

  4. Optimism: Some MSPs are feeling market fatigue. But ask Pica about Bob Beamon’s long jump at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Pica weaves a great story, describing how MSPs should think like Beamon — try to beat your best performance by just a little bit each day. You never know when a small step forward will actually turn into a massive leap forward.

  5. Family: Pica is yet another person who keeps it real. Sure, he works hard. But he’s always quick to ask about family — the important stuff. Look around the event, and you’ll find plenty of Pica family members working the conference.

FYI: MSPmentor Managing Editor Jessica Davis and Associate Editor CJ Arlotta are on hand at the conference. Stay tuned for updates.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

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

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