3E Advantage Director, Brian Swan recently attended the inaugural IT Nation Connect Australia event on the Gold Coast. If you are an MSP or just involved in the channel and didn’t make it to the event, read on for Brian’s 3 minute synopsis.
About IT Nation Connect
IT Nation, by ConnectWise, is a worldwide community of IT peers, thought leaders and experts who are ready to share, connect, learn from each other and gain valuable insights in to how company leaders can grow their businesses and find long term success.
The inaugural Australian conference was held this week on the beautiful Gold Coast and this blog is a diary log of the insights I received and what I learned over the 3 days.
Day 1 – 25/03/19
5pm-8pm – Welcome Reception
23 exhibitors spread throughout the Solutions Pavilion of the Marriott Resort in Surfers Paradise were showcasing their products. There were some well known names interspersed with some local players, but all had compelling offerings to the 504 attendees, who are pretty much exclusively Managed Service Providers.
Swanny’s Takeaway – real excitement in the room and an obvious wish to share best practices regardless of the competitive nature of the industry
Day 2 – 26/03/19
9.00am Keynote –
Craig Fulton (Chief Customer Success Officer – ConnectWise)
Craig was joined on stage by Arlin Sorensen and John Ford, and the 3 colleagues gave an overview on what the conference held and how to get the best out of it. Craig focused on Customer Experience, Arlin on how to enhance value in your business and John on the rising issue of cyber security and how we can (and must) protect our businesses.
Swanny’s Takeaway – “It’s a customers world we’re living in. Provide insights to your customers – show them you care. Don’t focus on the technology – focus on your customer”Craig Fulton
10.30am Sales Compensation Modeling Demo –
Nathan Austin (co-Founder Mytech Partners Inc)
This session, which was very well presented by Nathan, demonstrated sales compensation modeling for outside sales roles, and other factors to build out total sales team compensation to drive bottom line performance. Nathan stressed that the sales mix is vital to our organisations financial performance and highlighted that product margin ranges between 10%-20% and Service margin ranges between 40%-60%
Swanny’s Takeaway – More services vs product sales = more gross margin
1.30pm The Pyramid for MSP Success –
Jamie Warner (CEO – Invarosoft)
Invarosoft™ was launched by industry veteran Jamie Warner who grew his MSP, eNerds, from 1 to 45 staff organically. This session explained Jamie’s ‘Pyramid for MSP Success’, and the important ingredients to running a successful MSP. Jamie is one of the most engaging presenters I have seen and his ‘no-fluff’ style resonated with each and every member of the audience. His Pyramid for Success is built with the following layers; Business Model, People, Systems, Product, Marketing Strategy, Vision and ‘Purple Cow’.
Swanny’s Takeaway – Purple Cow – find or make something in your offering which enables you to stand out from the crowd
2.45pm Predatory Marketing: How to Increase Your ROI –
David Siegel (Strategist – Step Change)
This session explored digital marketing strategies to generate high quality leads for your business with best practice recommendations and case studies.
David stressed his view that marketing is not difficult, but the keys are to be consistent and persistent about your messaging, regardless which mediums you use
Swanny’s Takeaway – Don’t expect results overnight – be persistent on your marketing
4.00pm How to Build a Security Practice –
Ross Sardi (CEO – First Focus)
This session was emblematic of a bit of a theme running throughout the conference. The subject of Security was very well explained by Ross and he stressed that Managed Service Providers (MSPs) need to change their thinking to make themselves Managed Service and Security Providers (MSSPs)
“Like it or not, your clients already believe you are responsible for their digital security. Educate your clients in security choices, deliver cost-effective security solutions, and build your MSP into an MSSP”.
Swanny’s Takeaway – Many customers believe that their MSP has included the best security within their Managed Service Agreements – they don’t
Read Swanny’s synopsis of Day 3 here.