Pictured Above: Ron McAllister, Service Desk Team Leader, and Doug Grimm, Vice President and General Manager at Collabrance, take a picture with the ConnectWise mascot at ITN16.
This was my first year attending IT Nation, a premier conference for technology solution providers. As a team leader for a Network Operations Center (NOC), I was looking forward to a variety of things the ConnectWise event was offering as the largest event in the technology solution provider industry. A handful of our team members from Collabrance packed our bags and headed to Orlando, Florida in efforts to bring back knowledge on how we can better help MSPs and their customers with technology. A couple of jammed pack days with other technology solution providers did not disappoint!
I’ve returned back home to the cold weather in Iowa, and reflect on a few things highlights from this year’s IT Nation event:
Arnie Bellini Insightful Keynote Speaker
The event opened with a keynote from Arnie Bellini, co-founder and CEO of ConnectWise. Arnie spoke to the ever-changing landscape of technology and how MSPs can make the biggest impact to their business. Some of those technologies include cloud services, managed security, and world class service.
Arnie also spoke to ways to better serve our customers which included breaking down the service organization into multiple teams. This was reassuring because Collabrance has already began this transition. We’ve formed a Service Activation Team and a Problem Management Team which both have a direct impact on the service we deliver to our Service Providers and their customers. As we continue to grow, Arnie assured us that forming smaller and direct teams will continue us to enhance the customer experience.
Breakout Sessions for Everyone
With over 180 breakout sessions offered, there was plenty of opportunity to learn from industry experts and share best practices. The hardest part was picking which breakout sessions to attend because there were so many good topics being discussed and shared. My focus at IT Nation was to identify ways to enhance automation through ConnectWise and build a better customer experience.
The workflows in ConnectWise are amazing. Collabrance already utilizes many workflows, however I picked up some good information on making them even more effective including changing the status of a ticket when a user responds.
Full Solutions Pavilion
The Solutions Pavilion was filled with over 75 vendors, 2500 solution providers and even more SWAG to giveaway. This was a great opportunity to network with current vendors, as well as learn about new technologies in the marketplace.
One of the vendors I visited was ITGlue. Collabrance recently partnered with them, so I was able to meet with individuals we will be working with, and gain more insight on how to utilize their tools to enhance our documentation. It was a great opportunity to talk with all different kinds of vendors and explore how to enhance the experience with our Service Providers and their customers.
Networking with Fun
I quickly learned there was no shortage of FUN at IT Nation! ConnectWise reserved the Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Studios. They loaded up multiple buses and transported everyone from the conference to the park. Attendees had access to the rides and were offered great food and drinks throughout the night. It was a fun, casual atmosphere to network with others. Yes, I even met Captain America and Spiderman!
I look forward to implementing many of the ideas I learned at IT Nation and enhance the Collabrance service offering. IT Nation was a great opportunity to learn best practices in the industry, network with peers and have some fun with others who are passionate about staying ahead in the IT industry. See you again next year IT Nation!
Ron McAllister is the Service Desk Team Leader at Collabrance. His responsibility is to ensure the team delivers a flawless customer service in managing incident restoration and service level agreements. He also monitors the team’s duties at the Service Desk to provide the best user experience. He started with Collabrance 2012 and was recognized by his peers as an Outstanding Achiever in 2014. Ron has an Associates of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering Technology.