Great First In-Person Event for ChannelNext East!

Yes, we did… Our first in-person event since the pandemic began. It feels like years since we did our last live event! Like a good carpenter, we have been measuring everything twice to prepare for this day. Looks like the outcome was great. What a treat to be face-to-face with real people again.

The future of events looks like it will be a hybrid (In-Person + Live Streaming). We also added recordings and publishing of the content on our news media and social media.

We are serving up the content to everyone in any way that they wish to consume. Today’s ChannelNEXT event content will have a much longer and wider digital-shelf life.

This was the first of three ChannelNEXT events focused on helping MSPs gear up as well as explore what smart vendors are doing to help their partners navigate the transition from a pandemic to endemic.

We kept it real with practical advice and insights. We dug in deeper with the live audience to give a wider perspective. It’s amazing what exchanging of ideas between like-minded people can do.

We are at the very beginning of the transition between pandemic and endemic. We need to do things smarter. This is where leadership matters. Hiding behind a desk in the comfort of home is beginning to sound like yesterday’s news. While we will still be doing a lot remotely, we need to start getting out to meet our peers and clients. The personal interactions are priceless.

We squeezed in 6 talk show sessions into 4 hours. It seems like this sort of candid exchange of ideas resonated very well with both the in-person and virtual audience.

We invited speakers who are 100% channel centric, experienced and trustworthy. We only want to listen to people who actually “live” in the channel, because they truly understand the pain, challenges and opportunities.

We kicked off the first session with Lenovo’s Channel Chief, Chris Fabes. Today, he is doing what a smart channel leader should be doing. Be involved, listening and responding to all channel issues. He is open to ideas that will move business up from both sides. Lenovo is also taking some time to get the “subscription” model right. Check out the discussion to learn what Chris did during the pandemic and what he is currently doing as we roll out.

The next panel focused on what MSPs have to do to level up in the digital-first economy.

Many will probably not be able to do everything that’s necessary so they will have to deal with becoming marginalized. The life-style VARs are already comfortable and have no real intentions to invest further (To them it is a cash-cow that they will ride until the end with no succession plans beyond selling, if they can). Sadly, the digital economy is accelerating faster so this end may now come even faster than expected. It’s truly a time to sink or swim.

Check out this panel discussion with Glynis Devine, Leadership and Diversity coach and Paolo Del Nibletto, Channel Chief Jolera.

Tomorrow’s MSP has a lot to do with strong and smart leadership. It also requires a digital savvy sales and marketing force. Its technology stack is going to make the difference in success and profitability. MSPs have to become digital transformation experts and trusted advisors.

There is a mountain of information available on DX and I would recommend that you read one book called “Real Results in a Virtual Economy” By Shane Gibson and Dr. Denis Cauvier. Do whatever it takes to become a DX expert! We have a lot of information about this topic on eChannelNEWS.

We had the talk with 3 vendors – Net2Phone (Communications/Telco), Sherweb (Microsoft and an ecosystem of supporting vendors) and Datto (Business Continuity, recurring revenue and Managed Services). Three different types of organizations that all had similar challenges with partners. We discussed what they did to navigate and what they are doing now to move forward. Some great lessons for all to learn here!

The last talk show was on the new best practices of MSPs. So much has changed and continues to change. We see many “experts” preaching to MSPs what to do, but do you really know what is the real deal?

If I was an MSP, I would digest this content and rethink my playbook. At least validate that you are on the right track!

Listen to the full session below:

Too often, MSPs listen to talks like these but get overwhelmed. Most simply go back to doing whatever they did before. Change is not so easy and most people simply gravitate back to their comfort zone.

If you really want to leverage this very valuable content to level up your business success, then here are two “bite-size” pieces of honest advice!

  1. Take the FREE best Managed IT Services Assessment at If you do not want to be benchmarked or prefer to keep your business private, then just sign up to see the 200 questions. These are THE questions that you SHOULD BE ASKING yourself and team at least once per year! You will be amazed by what you discover about yourself and company. I know because hundreds have already told me this. Only if you want to have the AI in the system score you then you need to tell us who you are. If you score within the top 50, then you can also earn a prestigious recognition at our annual 50 Best Manage IT Companies Awards. You will also be amazed as to what this cool award can do to help your business.
  2. Join the Channel Partner Alliance online. You get 4 weeks FREE to browse. After that, it only costs $99 USD per month. This is YOUR TRIBE of like-minded channel partners looking to solve real problems and drive success. Once you start to bond with the tribe, you may never want to leave. What’s the biggest superpower of this tribe? Your very own Mastermind Peer Group! Your life and business will never be the same once you find your perfect peer-group. With your group, you can solve any problem and drive success much easier than you ever thought. With our coaches, curated content and tools to support your journey, there is nothing stopping you! The icing on the cake is the exclusive marketplace with 100% vetted solutions that you will want and need. Start with the e-procurement tool to check price and availability as well as purchase from all major distributors. And, if you wish to authorize us to go get MDF from vendors on your behalf, then we can help you subsidize all costs. Your choice!

We wrapped up the ChannelNEXT event with the Lions’ Den where vendors had just 3 minutes each to make their case to the audience. Check out the upcoming videos and cast your vote. You can also ask to connect with them.

All in-person attendees were able to experience a Mastermind Peer-Group session to literally solve their pain points in real time. I cannot tell you more as you really need to experience this for yourself to best understand what it is. You can watch some of the video testimonials on

As always, ChannelNEXT has to be an enjoyable social event. Many tell us that it is within these social fun activities where the big business deals get done. You can see the comments from the attendees on what they thought.

This article, pictures and links to videos will hopefully give you a good idea of what the event experience was like. However, what matters a lot more is the content and take-aways. If you are an MSP or still stuck in VAR mode, then take some time to digest the content, connect with the speakers (if you have more questions) and engage with the vendors. You will see a clearer path forward.

Remember, we are always here to help you as part of our channel community tribe!