IT Nation Connect 2019 Recap: Editor’s Notebook

Here's your quick rundown of IT Nation Connect 2019, including attendance numbers, lessons learned, and acquisition details.

ConnectWise’s IT Nation Connect 2019 took place in Orlando recently. This show continues to be one of the best for solution providers interested in growing the recurring revenue portion of their businesses. After spending a few days at the show, my editor’s notebook was loaded with learnings. Here’s a quick rundown of my key takeaways.

  • Craig Fulton, chief customer officer for ConnectWise took to the stage for the opening evening’s presentation. He shared some impressive stats on attendance and the IT Nation community.
      • There were 3,772 registered attendees for IT Nation Connect 2019, making it the biggest IT Nation ever.
      • There were 131 exhibitors
      • Education is always an important part of IT Nation. This year, there were 136 education sessions over two days
      • Fun fact: This is the 15th year of IT Nation Connect. There are 8 people who have been to all 15.
      • For 36 percent of 2019 attendees, it was their first IT Nation. 42 percent have attended 2 to 4 times; 16 percent have attended 5 to 9 times
  • Goodbye “MSP,” hello “TSP.” The IT industry loves its acronyms and is always attempting to better define its members. At IT Nation Connect 2019, we saw the wholesale adoption of the term TSP, or technology solution provider. I like it, since the term TSP is more all-inclusive to cloud services providers, managed security service providers, value-added resellers, and integrators.
  • Fulton brought a series of ConnectWise partners to the stage to share their growth journeys. As you’d expect, their growth numbers were impressive. While I’m sure there’s more to their growth than simply using the ConnectWise platform, research has shown that heavy adopters of automation tools perform much better than their peers who don’t use such tools.
  • Fulton highlighted the money being poured into the IT industry as investors are keen to scoop up profitable TSPs with healthy books of recurring revenue. With this in mind, Fulton advised attendees to think critically about their businesses and how, with the right planning and execution, they can be poised for acquisition (if desired). To help partners plan, Fulton shared that Dipple’s Service Leadership Benchmark Tool is available to attendees. “Let the benchmark guide your journey of growth,” he said.
  • To aid in 2020 success, ConnectWise has a handful of educational events available.
      • IT Nation Share is a series of Q1 events.
      • IT Nation Explore is solutions-based and held June 22-24.
      • Evolve peer groups hold regular meetings. “Be held accountable to meet your 2020 goals.”
      • IT Nation Connect will be held on Nov. 11-13.
  • Jason Magee, CEO, ConnectWise CEO took to the stage and stressed that we’re all on a journey that never ends. He shared that TSPs need to continually evolve to address new chaos, new challenges, and to meet the needs of customers. He also highlighted the ever-increasing volume of cyberattacks.
  • Finally, Magee along with ConnectWise co-founder Arni Bellini, introduced the room to TSP-ISAO (“eye sow”), an independent non-profit organization created to promote real-time bi-directional security intelligence sharing. MJ Shoer is leading the organization. Read our full write-up on this exciting organization.

Mike Monocello

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of Managed Services Journal (formerly XaaS Journal) and DevPro Journal.