SolarWinds Empower MSP Conference: Heard in the Halls
by Joe Panettieri • Sep 12, 2019
The recent SolarWinds Empower MSP 2019 conference in Atlanta delivered plenty of official news — particularly when it comes to managed security services. But there were also plenty of back-hall conversations and meetings that caught my attention.
Chief among them…
1. More Than A Day’s Work: At least two of the startups on-hand — Backup Radar and Warranty Master — are backed by former IT Glue CEO and Founder Chris Day. New Warranty Master CEO Dan Wensley was on hand, describing how MSPs can monetize lifecycle management services. Connect all the dots together here, and the common thread is TopDown Ventures — one of the most interesting investment firms with SaaS and MSP channel know-how.
2. Liongard – A Splunk for MSPs?: Splunk has been one of the most successful fast-growth enterprise software companies in recent years. But here’s the twist: Sometimes it’s difficult to describe exactly where the software fits into the market because Splunk fulfills so many different, highly valuable use cases.
In some ways the situation appears similar at Liongard, a fast-growing startup that develops Roar — a software platform that helps MSPs to automate their businesses. During the conference, CEO Joe Alapat and Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutkin described Liongard’s latest use case: Change Monitoring and Management — which allows MSPs to more rapidly troubleshoot issues. Since Roar documents a network or user’s original or prior settings, the platform can help MSPs to revert any changes when necessary, Liongard says.
Again, the twist: During a sit-down with Alapat, we discussed at least a dozen additional use cases for Liongard. Still, the company wants to be careful. Talk about too many shiny objects, and you run the risk of overwhelming MSPs with too many use cases. Instead, the company is promoting these specific benefits to MSPs.
3. Managed Sales Pros and The Entrepreneurial Operating System: Want to build and scale a more successful business? Quite a few folks across the MSP industry are embracing EOS — the Entrepreneurial Operating System — to do exactly that. The latest example involves Managed Sales Pros. The company, which helps IT channel vendors and MSPs to accelerate their sales, has worked closely with EOS Implementer Jamison West to set and achieve specific business goals. How’s it going? During a background conversation with me, Managed Sales Pros President Tracie Orisko rattled off some recent business metrics. In a word: Impressive.
4. ServiceTree – Another PSA Takes Root: SolarWinds MSP offers a basic ticketing software system aptly called SolarWinds MSP Manager. The company also recently acquired an IT Service Management (ITSM) platform — now called SolarWinds Service Desk. But CEO Kevin Thompson has stopped short of building a full-blown “me too” PSA system to compete head-on against ConnectWise Manage and Datto’s Austotask PSA. Still, if you looked closely at the conference vendor fair, a PSA startup called ServiceTree was on hand. The company had strong, steady traffic at its booth. I certainly noticed. And it’s a safe bet the folks at SolarWinds MSP noticed…
5. SolarWinds Thwack for MSPs – Here’s What’s Cooking: SolarWinds has an online community called Thwack. It’s big and it’s popular. An associated online community event, called ThwackCamp 2019 — is set for October. Poke around this year’s event and you’ll find MSP-centric content. Look a little more closely, and you might find a tasty treat served up by Corsica Technologies Chief Revenue Officer Dave Powell, as well as Dave Sobel, senior director of MSP evangelism at SolarWinds MSP. Let me know if you stumble upon a rather special recipe for success…
What else did you see at the conference? Drop me a note and let me know: Joe@AfterNines.com.