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Live Blog: ConnectWise IT Nation 2017

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini

The IT Nation 2017 conference, hosted by ConnectWise, kicked off Wednesday in Orlando, Florida. More than 3,500 attendees are on hand — the bulk of which are technology solutions providers and MSPs.

Related: New ConnectWise Unite management dashboard extends from Cisco to Amazon Web Services support

Related; ConnectWise Capital Preps $10M to $25M Investment Fund for ISVs

Stay tuned to this live blog for the latest news, analysis, rumors and chatter from the conference. Here are the updates so far…

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini’s Keynote

Live Blog From Bellini’s Keynote: Starting Now. Bellini is diving into the key components of an ecosystem — customers, solutions, services… but something’s missing. It involves teams and team building within technology solutions providers (TSPs).

It also involves TSPs focusing on key portions of the technology canvas:

Bellini walked attendees through each of those 14 or so solutions that they can offer to customers. Among the key anecdotes:

Telephony is dead: partners should dive into collaboration. Without mentioning Cisco Systems by name, he’s surely referring to potential synergies between ConnectWise, Cisco Spark and more.



Business Continuity: ConnectWise is selling six or so solutions, and Bellini specifically highlighted Infrascale as a key partner. Datto is in the ecosystem, by the way, but not resold by ConnectWise. Bellini didn’t say that directly, but mentioned it indirectly by pinpointing the six solutions offered…

How to Dominate Market Segments: Bellini told TSPs they need to land, install, embed, manage, renew and expand their market segments. Simply landing a deal is like behaving like a box pusher. The further you go down the strategy, the more money you will make, he asserted.

Managed Services Market Segments: The market has evolved beyond MSPs. Every single technology in the canvas above requires its own managed service — managed networks, managed security, manage etc.

Ben Johnson

Example TSP: Bellini pointed to Liberty Technology CEO Ben Johnson as a leader who has set up teams to focus on customer needs — and the capabilities they can deliver. Johnson also was on hand last week at Cisco Partner Summit 2017 to explain the value of a new Cisco-ConnectWise partnership. In terms of the various managed services teams that Johnson has formed, they include managed security, collaboration and more. PS: I think Bellini mentioned that Liberty has about $7 million to $10 million in annual revenues. But I missed the specific stat. We’ll double check it later with Johnson.



Delight Customers: You need to delight customers during each step of the customer journey. There are six touch points: Awareness, evaluation, purchase, delivery, service & billing, Bellini said.

Nirav Sheth

Cisco Partnership: The ConnectWise-Cisco partnership, announced next week, involved meetings that began in April, Bellini said. Cisco’s Nirav Sheth, VP Global Partner Organization, Solutions, Architectures & Engineering, shared the stage to describe the company’s ongoing commitment to partners. When Cisco decided to go all in with this partner community — essentially MSPs in the SMB sector — “we chose to partner up with the market leader — ConnectWise,” Sheth said.

Private Q&A with Media: Bellini and Sheth kicked off a private Q&A with media at 10:30. Here’s a recap.

New ConnectWise Products & Services: The big news involves ConnectWise Unite for AWS and more.

Investment Fund: ConnectWise Capital is back and preparing a fund that will range from $10 million to $25 million for ISV investments.

Jump to page two for a recap of developments from Wednesday (November 8) to Friday (November 10)

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