Several hundred managed services providers (MSPs) are on hand at Continuum Navigate 2015, starting today in Las Vegas. For ChannelE2E, the conference's first day was an opportunity to reconnect with long-trusted sources -- while also developing some new ones. Here's a recap.
10. Four Letters to Keep in Mind - HABU: Continuum's new NOC (Network Operations Center) peer group, moderated by HTG Peer Groups, gathered Sunday afternoon. I snuck in for the last few minutes and expected to hear best practices about KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and customer satisfaction metrics. Instead, I heard a healthy reminder from HTG CEO Arlin Sorensen about life-work balance. He told peer group members that a lot of their future discussion will focus on HABU -- "highest and best use" of your time. Again, it wasn't a pure business message. "Nobody can be a better mom or dad to your kids," he told attendees, the latest reminder that life-work balance must come first for MSPs.
9. Next Chapter of HTG Peer Groups: Watch for the peer groups to increasingly leverage strategy and operations (StratOps) and LifePlan coaching concepts and blueprints from Paterson Center. Some HTG members already are gaining one-on-one guidance in both areas...
8. Intel and MSP Automation: I ran into Eric Townsend, director of SMB and MSP Marketing for Intel's America's Group. He and I expect to catch up with each other later on at the conference. In the meantime, there's lots of Intel vPro for MSP chatter in the company's booth -- though I must concede... I need a briefing on how vPro has evolved for MSPs over the past two years or so.
7. Still Growing: Admittedly, some MSPs are hitting a growth wall. That's not the case at Computer Solutions Group. The Southern California company, led by Scott Spiro, has roughly doubled to more than 20 employees over the past two to three years. CSG is now a $2.7 million company -- up nearly 250 percent the past three years, according to the Inc. 5000 ranking. Spiro's biggest challenge? Working on the "not fun" stuff involving business processes.
6. Security: MyDigitalShield is pitching a simple message to attendees -- complete security, sold through MSPs to small businesses with roughly 75 seats or less. VP of Channel Sales Stuart Selbst is on hand with the messaging.
5. Listening for Feedback: Jim Lippie -- an MSP and ISV veteran -- continues to quietly build Clarity Intelligence Platform, a business intelligence systems designed for MSPs that want to better serve small business customers. Based on feedback from the recent LogicNow Max 2015 partner conference, Lippie's development team has already made some tweaks to the system. Lippie is on hand here, though I don't know if he's publicly discussing one of the nifty adjustments Clarity Intelligence Platform has made...
4. Marketing Machine: In addition to the tech sessions here, there's plenty of guidance on sales and marketing -- including advice from Robin Robins. She's set to keynote on Tuesday... and we'll be sure to share the highlights.
3. Competitive Divides: This is the year that many MSP software companies have stopped attending each other's events -- because of growing competition through mergers, acquisitions and organic R&D. I'll spend a few more weeks listening and watching before I comment on the numerous competitive camps and alliances...
2. What Does the Data Say?: I'm curious to know what -- if anything -- Continuum CEO Michael George will say about data, business intelligence and machine learning during his keynote and day-to-day meetings here. Continuum Chief Marketing Officer Jeanne Hopkins is a veteran of Hubspot -- where data drives so many decisions. And George previously led Bowstreet (data and applications integration) and OATSystems (part of the data-intensive RFID market).
1. Keeping Score: Are LogicNow and Continuum the two largest providers of RMM software, in terms of RMM revenue -- as some pundits claim here? I don't have official stats -- and I'm sure rivals like LabTech Software, Kaseya and SolarWinds/N-able (and others) have some strong opinions on the topic. I'll be poking around the next few weeks and months to get a clearer view on RMM market share. And I'll keep asking: Now that the market has grown up and consolidated a bit, is there an end-to-end MSP software platform that meets the vast majority of IT service provider needs?
Update on Item 1: A few readers have emailed me privately about item 1, asking for more clarification. I concede the entry is vague at best. I'm not sure if the experts here at the conference are lumping in additional revenues (NOC, storage, etc.) with their views on RMM revenue market share... I'll keep poking around -- and will certainly offer all vendors equal time in the days and weeks ahead.
PS: We'll be back with more coverage recapping Day 2 (Sept. 28) and Day 3 (Sept. 29) of Continuum Navigate.