Saturday, September 20, 2008

ConnectWise Rocks!

One of the “benefits” of my role as CEO at HTS and Founder of HTG is to attend dozens of industry events all over the country each year. This past week was in Orlando at the ConnectWise partner summit and I want to share some thoughts on this company and event. First let me say that there have been a few things in my 23 years in the industry that have made a huge difference for us:

1. Getting involved in industry affinity groups – first VTN and then growing into peer groups through HTG. What we have learned from our peers has made our business.

2. Learning to work with vendors. Once we finally figured out that vendors were not the enemy but our most important allies, and began to treat them that way and create relationships where we were just as concerned with their success as our own, we began to share in that success.

3. Putting the right tools in place. And at the risk of letting Arnie get a big head, ConnectWise is at the top of that list at HTS. I was a little slow getting there, but today, take it away and I am shutting down. It is the business operating system at HTS and soon for HTG2.0 (thanks Arnie).

The goal of the ConnectWise summit this week was to find “one”. We do that in our peer groups each meeting – what is your one thing – that gem you just have to take home and put to work immediately. You see many of us in the VAR channel are great at making lists and a little slow on the execution – like never. So this approach is a very good one and I hope you figured out your one and have already started to implement it. You HTG’ers better report good progress on that at your next meeting.

My one thing really had nothing to do with the conference at all (sorry CW) but it became clear as could be because I was blessed to be there. It is to focus more of my time building relationships with people in this industry and not only give ideas and best practices to them, but to receive more from them in return. In other words to carve out time to connect even more. We do a lot of that through the peer groups we call HTG. But like any good thing, we sort of get complacent and it was obvious to me as I was blessed to rub shoulders with so many this week, that I have to make time to learn from peers even more. There are so many brilliant folks in our industry, vendors and partners alike. And too often I still try and figure it out on my own – how stupid. There is bound to be someone, and likely many, who are ahead of me and have already made the mistakes and figured it out. So lightbulb goes on and says duh – spend some time each week just talking with folks to pick their brains but also to share something of value. So expect some calls from me.

I also just want to say thanks to Arnie and the team for building a great product. We are quick to point out the flaws, and we all know there are some, but it is really a great tool and I appreciate the quest to continue to make it better. Don’t forget to keep that support improving along the way, because exactly like that OS that prevents us from doing work when our pc won’t boot – for many of us today we are dead in the water if our CW business system isn’t running. So we are putting our trust in you and your team….don’t let us down.

The other thing I want to say is thanks for a fantastic conference. It is THE best partner conference there is in the industry bar none. And I go to a lot of them. Content is great – always a couple fantastic keynotes that are right on target – vendors are relevant and really want to engage – Arnie’s talk is always full of a good Dell bash or two – but the thing that separates this from all the rest is the quality of the partners that attend. There is no other conference anywhere that is completely made up of partners who share a common goal of growing their companies and are serious enough about it to make the investment not only in the time to be there but the money to put the right tools in place. ConnectWise is a great value and worth every cent, but let’s face it, it isn’t cheap. But if a partner spends the bucks to put it in place, there is a 99.9% probability they are serious about their business and in no way a lifestyle partner that just wants a job. I consider it the CW filter and as we recruit new HTG members there is no better place to find the quality that is exactly what we are looking for. So thanks for that. Christy and your marketing team do an unbelievable job of putting on a first rate event, but it is the quality of your partners that make it worth attending.

So this is a long winded way of saying thanks to the ConnectWise team and also encouraging all who were there to share what you learned with your own teams at home and with others, but most of all to get after that “one thing” and get it done. That is how we can change our companies and the industry. Together we can make a difference!

1 comment:

Stuart R. Crawford said...

Arlin, I couldn't agree with you more. ConnectWise is now the conference that is a MUST attend every year. It definitely leaped over WPC now. I think WPC is great as well, this one is laser focused. Now that HTG10 is 10 members that are ConnectWise partners and two that are not we can focused on business processes and systems that will allow us to grow our firms and win in our marketplace.

Stuart Crawford
Calgary, AB