During ConnectWise Partner Summit earlier this month, I sat down with CEO Arnie Bellini to discuss several key topics -- including (1) collaboration between managed service providers (2) how VARs and MSPs can defend their local ground ("the last mile" for IT Nation) and (3) ConnectWise's channel-oriented cloud strategy for partners. Here's a closer look at each topic and our conversation.
Bellini raised several key points during his conference keynote. In short...
- Bellini worries about big vendors and cloud companies chipping away at "the last mile" -- the local customer bases that VARs and MSPs ("IT Nation") service.
- Bellini thinks the world needs a channel-centric cloud, where VARs and MSPs can virtualize their small business customers' networks. Not just the applications but even the desktops.
- Bellini believes solutions providers will be better served if they network up and collaborate -- especially on long-tail opportunities (such as IP video surveillance) that may require IT assistance you don't have internally.
1. The Last MileHere, Bellini makes a compelling case that cloud vendors could threaten traditional MSPs and VARs. Plus, he describes how solutions providers ("IT Nation") can fight back:
2. A Channel-centric Cloud?Hosted ConnectWise is only part of the company's broader, channel-centric cloud strategy. Here's what Bellini had to say on that topic:
3. MSP-to-MSP CollaborationDuring his keynote, Bellini called on IT Nation members to upload best practices information and share it across the ConnectWise community.
Privately, some conference attendees told me they were worried about sharing key marketing and sales materials with the broader community. But Bellini makes his case for the power of information sharing in this video:
Do Your HomeworkClosing thought: It's always difficult for MSPmentor to provide "equal time" to all vendors while we're attending a specific vendor-hosted conference. This blog entry is devoted to ConnectWise's efforts, but you can count on MSPmentor to continue rival coverage (of Autotask, Tigerpaw, etc.) as we catch up with those companies at future events.
So don't view our videos and individual blog entries in a vacuum. Be sure to read up on rivals and broader industry moves. And check the MSPmentor FastChat video center for interviews with a range of MSP industry experts.
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