Xcellerate has hired ConnectWise, CMP Media and MSP community veteran Jeannine Edwards as customer experience officer. Xcellerate, led by CEO Tommy Wald, is an MSP accelerator that’s seeking to work with IT services providers in a range of ways.
Edwards is well-known across the MSP community and the IT channel. At ConnectWise, she helped pioneer the company’s annual partner summit — which transformed into IT Nation, one of the largest communities and annual gatherings of MSPs and technology solutions providers focused on recurring revenues. Earlier, she played a major role at IPED (the Institute for Partner Education and Development), an Everything Channel property that was a strategic piece of the former CMP Media.
Edwards arrives at Xcellerate during a key time. The company is seeking to work with MSPs that have roughly 10 or fewer employees. The idea is to plug those MSPs into a standardized technology platform and a best-practices business ecosystem. The model is based on learnings from CodeBlue, a New Zealand-based MSP that CSG acquired for $15 million(NZ) in 2015. Former CodeBlue CEO Ken Davis and several other executives are the driving forces behind Xcellerate.
Interview: Xcellerate Hires Jeannine Edwards
Edwards reports to Xcellerate CEO Tommy Wald, a former MSP who joined the company in March 2017. We reached out to Edwards to get a feel for why she joined the company, and where she’ll focus her efforts. Here’s our email conversation:
ChannelE2E: What attracted you to Xcellerate?
Edwards: A few things actually.
The Xcellerate approach to building an ecosystem of like-minded, successful MSPs is unique and offered me an opportunity to join a team of both tenured and creative thinkers.
I really wanted my next career move to allow me to reengage at the partner level and offer the opportunity to reignite my passion for building community in the MSP space. Working with Tommy Wald and team to bring the Xcellerate vision to life is super exciting at this stage of my career. I was intrigued by the “Xcellerate way’” of helping partners grow and succeed. The membership offering is differentiated by a robust, complete set of MSP services: Coaching and content based on a proven framework and built by seasoned MSP who had great success with their organizations, robust tools sets, community engagement and shared services. The sharp content plus the human element is a winning combination. I love the idea of shared goals, shared values, and inevitably shared success.
ChannelE2E: What’s your role and what are your goals for 2017?
Edwards: My role is Customer Experience Officer, and essentially, I’m tasked with optimizing the experience our members and partners have with the Xcellerate offering. Driving excellence around the customer experience is a huge differentiator in any service offering, and it’s also challenging goal to keep the bar raised as a service organization grows and scales. We’ll work hard to keep members engaged, connected, and also accountable. Additionally, we’re going to help our members and partners deliver an outstanding customer experience to their own customers.
ChannelE2E:You’ve spent more than a decade assisting MSPs. How do you think the market has evolved over that time, and how are today’s MSP needs different than, say, back in 2005, 2010, etc?
Edwards: This question keeps me up at night! Here’s the thing, I think there are evergreen table stakes in creating a successful IT Solution Provider business that will always resonate. But I think the trend around digging into data, and BI, is going to help bring some fresh perspective for the MSP community to help move business forward and achieve success. I think partners will need to invest time in energy into uncovering and analyzing data to drive BI to be more predictable and agile in their businesses.
ChannelE2E: Any other key thoughts to share amid your career news?
Edwards: I’m just really grateful to have had such a great journey so far in this industry, my time at ConnectWise was really rewarding, and the lessons learned there, the partners I had the chance to engage with, really prepared me for this next step, and I’m just really excited to have the opportunity to again work with the MSP partner community – they’re open to collaboration, networking and learning, and they’re inspiring.