This week, I am attending the annual IT Nation event in Orlando, Florida. IT Nation started as the ConnectWise Partner Summit, back in 2004, the year I bought the software at my former company Jenaly Technology Group, Inc. Fast forward 13 years and two acquisitions and here we go ahead.
My focus at this IT Nation will be a bit different from past conferences. This time, I am responsible for client engagement, as well as my ongoing virtual CIO work with several clients. I’ll be looking for ways to leverage our internal technology to improve our client engagement processes so that we continue to deliver the ultimate wow experience for our clients.
IT Nation started as an even focused solely around ConnectWise core software, what is now called ConnectWise Manage. This is the Professional Services Automation (PSA) software that the majority of MSP’s (Managed Service Providers) run their business on.
Manage is the central hub for our operations in New England for Onepath. This is where our team tracks client support requests and projects, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) data like company locations and contacts, billing and collections, marketing messaging, technical configurations, sales opportunities, quotes and procurement, time sheets, scheduling and more. It is a comprehensive tool to run your business with.
Over the years, ConnectWise has added Automate (Remote Monitoring and Management), Sell (quoting and purchasing) and Control (remote control). These form a fully integrated suite of applications that many companies have standardized on. For us at Onepath, we use some, but not all ConnectWise applications. As one of the largest MSP’s in the country, we have unique requirements to support our current and future scale. As a result, we utilize a series of tools to most effectively manage our business, ConnectWise being one of them.
IT Nation has matured to a very valuable industry event over the last 13 years. From the general sessions to the over 200 break out sessions over three days, if you don’t come away from this event with actionable items to make your business better, you must have slept through the event. I always come away with a list of learning and changes I want to implement in the business. They key becomes qualifying and prioritizing those items and setting timelines for action and reviewing regularly. It’s easy to go to a conference like this and learn new strategies to grow your business. What’s hard is coming back and actually taking action on that learning that yields positive results. This is true of any professional conference.
Over these 13 years, I’ve solidified some friendships and made new ones, both professionally and personally. This is a great industry to be a part of. It’s easy to meet people of similar mindset and the willingness to share and help others is something I had not experienced since the days of college fraternity. That’s not to say the IT industry is like a fraternity. That’s not the case at all. Rather, I’ve found in this industry what I found in my Phi Kappa Theta brothers. A willingness to continually learn and make the world a better place while making friendships that transcend time and geography.
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to work in this industry and be part of these communities of like minded individuals. This year, we will have four team members at IT Nation, three from New England and one from our Atlanta office. I’m looking forward to the next three days with them and what exciting new initiatives I will be focused on come next week.