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Live Blog: The ASCII Group New Jersey Conference

Scores of VARs and MSPs are attending The ASCII Group’s latest gathering in New Jersey today. ChannelE2E is on hand. Here’s a live blog update of what we’re hearing…

First, some background: The ASCII Group empowers VAR and MSP members with marketing and sales services — basically, new ways to help partners generate more customer wins. In addition to the organization’s online activities, ASCII hosts face-to-face conferences  — focused on SMB IT solutions and business building — across the country.

Here’s a quick recap of presentations and discussions we’re hearing throughout the day.

1. Security Consulting Business: Trying to figure out how to offer security-centric professional services? Check in with Jay Ferron, CEO of Interactive Security Training. He sells no hardware and software, but instead focuses entirely on security services. His $24 million business is highly profitable but will never push beyond that revenue figure. Why? Because stepping above the $25 million mark means he’d lose small business status for government contracts.

2. QuoteWerks: While most MSPs are familiar with RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) platforms, many don’t realize that you can plug sales quoting and proposal software into those systems. That’s where QuoteWerks‘ platform enters the conversation — basically helping partners to speed sales engagements with partners.

3. CyberShark: The rather interesting presentation from BlackStratus explained how CyberShark’s SaaS security service offers free monitoring of MSPs’ own networks… I’m curious to know if or how that platform plugs into other MSP dashboards and will be visiting their booth later today.

4. Carbonite: Most of the presentation focused on the company’s evolution from consumer backup to SMB backup. Loyal ChannelE2E readers already know about the journey and Carbonite’s more recent success in the midmarket with EVault… Among the synergies and updates I didn’t realize: EVault partners are starting to discover Carbonite’s endpoint backup services…

5. Datto: The business continuity company claims that it’s the only $1 billion firm (valuation) that has built its entire revenue stream through the channel — never once selling direct. Much of the presentation covered ransomware — and the fact that most Datto partners have seen their customers experience ransomware attacks. Proper backup and some other Datto best practices can dramatically mitigate those threats.

6. Autotask: The Autotask pitch is a familiar one for ChannelE2E readers — unified PSA and RMM speeds MSP productivity.

7. CloudConnect: The company described a workspace as a service (WaaS) solution based on Citrix. This CloudConnect — here at ASCII — is not to be confused with another CloudConnect that Salesforce.com acquired.

8. CloudJumper: They’re also a WaaS player. It starts at $40 per desktop and prices drop from there — “the most disruptive pricing in the market,” CloudJumper claims, with a 98 percent retention rate. On a related note, the company has hired Scott Bechtold as channel sales manager. He reports directly to Max Pruger, chief sales officer for CloudJumper and is responsible for developing new channel partners throughout North America. Bechtold is formerly CEO of Agility IT, an MSP based in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

9. ConnectWise: Keep an eye on “quick ticketing” integration between ConnectWise and LabTech, one of the most recent integrations. The company also emphasized its community approach to business — particularly user groups, meetups and the flagship IT Nation and Automation Nation conferences…

10. Data Deposit Box: Founded in 2002, Data Deposit Box technologies and solutions are currently used daily by over 200,000 customers, 1,000 resellers, 25 MSPs and private label partners for online backup and recovery, archiving, disaster readiness, secure file sharing and remote access. We’re double-checking those MSP figures — sounds like the company is just getting started in that sector.

11. Kaseya: The company now has 7,000 MSPs in its ecosystem, and 11 million endpoints under management. Kaseya claims to offer a single pane of glass for end-to-end management.

12. OpenDNS: The company is resolving 80 billion DNS requests per day, which gives it a unique way to analyze security and mitigate threats. OpenDNS, now owned by Cisco, has an MSP-centric partner program.

13. More: Keep checking in for regular updates.

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