AT 0

Events
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RookeShieldsBackontheBoards008-vi1 The first day of the event went very well I have to admit. Autotask hooked us up with a very nice spot, we got a lot of traffic and got to chat to a lot of new folks and existing customers. For the most part, slimy vendor whoring at these events has gotten much tamer over the years as more people use them to showcase solutions and software becomes a subscription, instead of a bucket of Oxi Clean. For us, the key value as we grow is collecting live feedback that just doesn’t get to us any other way, good or bad. Most people, even live, are admittedly swamped throughout their workweek to bring up stuff that is working well or remarkably poorly, so days like this give us some insight to what we are doing and what we could be doing to make money for everyone involved.

My presentation is later this afternoon. We’re talking about OWN-Autotask support integration workflows and the difference this makes when you are reselling services. Since services/hosting thrives in tough times, managing the support of services becomes crucial and if you have to go back and forth through different portals not only do you lose money but you also lose insight and reporting capability that you have when all your support is rendered in house. That, and a few other surprises. I know this block is likely to raise all sorts of “but what about Shockey Monkey and ConnectWise?” – April/May.

If you aren’t here, or you just got lost in Gaylord and decided to settle somewhere in the Delta Quadrant and start a new life, don’t worry – we’ll have series of webcasts starting next week to onramp people onto the new support integration and all the support tools.

One thing we’ve had to come to terms with is that nobody, ever, reads the documentation. So going forward, we won’t do anything so stupid as to put our software on the front page (www.exchangedefender.com) and hope the people look at those README or Documentation folders. Instead, access to the integration and product management will be embedded behind a training webcast and a quiz – we’re growing too rapidly and too widely with our solutions and business management is becoming too complex to “release and pray” any further. If that doesn’t sound appealing, we’ve also teamed up with a bunch of people that will offer our stuff direct off their web sites, probably significantly cheaper than we’re willing to let it go for…

You can’t really tell that this is the first conference Autotask has thrown. Everything is very clean, organized and put together. Our handler Lauren has followed up with us a bunch of times during the event, Autotask staff is mixing with the crowd and introducing people to us, everyone is taking really good care of just about everything. As more vendors look to bring in their own communities together, and display this level of professionalism and event management, it sort of spells doom for the big disorganized SMB conferences with spotty content and general lack of understanding who is there and why… As a slimy vendor whore I welcome that demise because it helps filter the message – much like with MSPU – the people that are here didn’t just sign a check, they have actually developed a solution for your platform/business and we all work together.

One Response to AT 0

  1. Bob Vogel says:

    Hey, Vlad…

    Thanks for the kind words. The secret to the success of this event was eight months of solid planning, a huge investment internal resources and out-of-pocket cash, and a fantastic customer base.

    And speaking of hard work, we really appreciate the effort that your team put into tapping into our API to develop some really slick integrations and workflows between Autotask and several of your OWN products. It’s great stuff, and I’m sure that our many mutual customers will be thrilled.

    We’re glad you could join us, and looking forward to more.

    — Bob V

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