I’m back in the office after an eventful visit to Orlando last week for the IT Nation conference. During our three days there, the Barracuda MSP team engaged directly with more than 700 MSPs, VARs, and other service providers. Between countless conversations with those looking for new ways to grow their businesses via security and data protection solutions, we found time to show off our new integration for ConnectWise Automate, and even to play some Mario Kart with our Partners in our Recharge Lounge. Here are few observations and insights that I gleaned from the experience:
1. “IT takes a team”
I really liked the theme of this year’s event: “IT Takes a Team.” I found this to be not just a refreshing reminder that none of us are in it alone when it comes to our goals and challenges, but also a motivating prompt to proactively look for opportunities to make our teams stronger and ourselves stronger team players.
ConnectWise highlighted four pillars of what it takes to be a high-performing team: trust, empathy, agility, and modesty. Personally, I had an amazing team ”on the ground” with me at IT Nation that demonstrates these traits, but it also made me reflect on how our entire team back in the office exemplifies this pretty well. From engineering and product management to sales, marketing, partner success, and support — we execute on our mission to help drive the success of our MSP partners, as a TEAM. And to give that some thought felt good.
2. People are getting to know us all over again, as Barracuda MSP
In the past, when I’ve attended this type of event in the IT channel, most of the conversations were about specific functionality and features that MSPs were looking for. This year, the conversations were of a different nature. Largely due to our recent rebranding as Barracuda MSP, many visitors to our booth and Recharge Lounge simply wanted to find out who we were and what we had to offer.
This offered the perfect opportunity to introduce them to our growing portfolio of security and data protection solutions. Barracuda Essentials was a hot topic, and the NextGen Firewall also came up frequently, with many MSPs interested in learning more about the virtual firewall and our flexible deployment options.
3. It’s not just about the solutions
What you offer in terms of solutions, features, functionality, and price are important to anyone who’s considering partnering with you, but that’s not all that counts. It’s also about the services and resources you can offer. Our team hosted a breakout session led by Neal Bradbury and guest presenter Jake Madson, where we presented six tools that will help MSPs optimize their business.
The presentation highlighted a number of our partner enablement tools, from the one-page business plan and our new interactive cyber security risk assessment to the Ready, Set, Managed program, which is designed to help VARs and other service providers make the transition to managed services, and our MSP Professional Services offering for managed firewalls and managed backup. It was exciting to see so many of the attendees taking pictures of the slides and scribbling down notes as they learned about each tool.
4. People love integrations and other “stuff”!
Attendees were eager to learn more about both our new integration with ConnectWise Automate as well as our existing one for ConnectWise Manage. Product manager Jake Madson was a busy guy at his demo station in the Recharge Lounge, walking folks through how these integrations could lessen their workload and streamline their processes, as well as how to set them up easily and free of charge (with the Intronis Backup solution!).
Additionally, we discovered that MSPs also love 5-hour Energy drinks, free T-shirts, our blue sunglasses, and candy. All of the above were given out at breakneck speeds, quickly depleting our supply but delighting attendees left and right. It was awesome!
It’s great to be back in the office, but don’t worry — we’ll be hitting the road again soon. Our December lunch and learns are being added as we speak. We’ll visit nine cities next month. Check out our listing here, and if you don’t see your city listed, feel free to suggest a location.