XChange 2023

Xchange 2023

The XChange August 2023 conference presents an unmatched platform for leading solution provider decision-makers and technology suppliers to come together to build strategic business relationships, determine business agendas, and set the future direction of the channel.

The in-person event in Nashville, Tenn. delivers forward-thinking strategies, the latest technology solutions, and best-in-class market intelligence to accelerate your business forward and drive revenue in an evolving marketplace.

Get all of CRN's coverage of the event here and follow along on Twitter at #XCH23.

And be sure to check out CRNtv On Location @ XChange August, featuring can't-miss news and highlights from the event.



Judy Security Adding MSPs For Its ‘All-In-One’ SMB Security Platform
The Judy Security platform is an ideal fit for SMBs that need to meet requirements from cyber insurance and their own customers, one MSP CEO told CRN.

How Lumen Technologies’ Network Is A Bridge To Strategic Services, SASE, Security
“The attach is there. People aren’t coming to us and saying: ‘I want to buy security from Lumen, but they are already embedded in … [Lumen] has done a good job of wrapping services around traditionally network-driven branding, said one Lumen partner who has seen an 80 percent uptick in its Lumen strategic networking services portfolio this year alone.

Nerdio CRO: Eye On GenAI, More Security Capabilities And Training Camps Coming
‘If someone’s going to make a paradigm shift in their business, you have to show them how,’ Joseph Landes says.

TruNorth’s CEO Wants To Make Microsoft Dynamics More Affordable, MSP Friendly
‘One of the things we are actively working on is how do we move that price point down,’ says TruNorth Dynamics CEO Ole Gjerde.

Xerox Pushes A More ‘Channel-Ready’ Approach
‘It comes down to three things, what are we doing to improve our partner experience, what we’re doing to bring new opportunities which represents revenue growth opportunities and what we’re doing to continue to thrive in our print and document management core business,’ says Karl Boissonneault, leader of Canada operations and North America channels at Xerox.

Liongard Launching Cybersecurity Posture Tool To Help MSPs Generate More Revenue
‘It will enable them to help get the customer to take the steps they need to take to be in a good place to have cyber insurance defensibility, because that’s a major area of challenge for MSPs,’ says Liongard CEO Michelle Accardi.

15 Hot Products MSPs Need To Know In Security, Cloud, AI
A number of vendors took to the XChange show floor to showcase new offerings aimed at MSPs that hold the potential to improve partners’ business. Here are 15 standouts.

The Workplace Of The Future Is More Flexible, Adaptable: Panel
With the growing presence of Gen Z, the continued demand for remote work options and the need to empower neurodiverse employees, workplaces will increasingly need to be flexible to thrive, according to experts who spoke at XChange August 2023.

MSPs On Growth During Economic Uncertainty: ‘Traditional IT Is Dead’
‘I think most partners out there at this point realize that traditional IT is dead. They need to pivot, they need to move with the flow because customers are buying smarter, they’re shopping smarter, they’re looking for that ROI,’ says Karen Penticost, Envision Technology Advisors’ vice president of development and operations, during a keynote panel at XChange 2023.

Call To Action: MSPs Must Get Involved In Legislation And Regulation Of IT Services Industry
“At some point, there’s going to be a problem and the state legislature [is going to say], ‘I need to have a piece of legislation and look like I’m doing something about this problem.’ … We need to figure out what we as an industry want and don’t want, and we want to be involved in that conversation,” says Karl Palachuk, founder of the National Society of IT Service Providers.

New Orchard CEO To MSPs: Grab—And Keep—That Seat At The Leadership Table
‘If we don’t keep a seat at the leadership table, we run the risk of commoditizing our relationship and commoditizing our service. And there’s a chance of losing that messaging,’ says Rusty Goodsell, CEO of software vendor New Orchard.

Pax8’s Rob Rae: ‘The MSP Is Still Going To Be The Center Of Everything’
‘MSPs are less like solution providers today and more like strategic partners to their ultimate end users,’ says Rob Rae, corporate vice president of communities and ecosystems at Pax8.

Kaseya’s DePalma: Autotask, IT Glue Platforms Are ‘Really Critical To Entire IT Complete Story’
‘Especially IT Glue, your documentation tool, that’s going to integrate with all these things. This will speed up every single piece of process that you’re doing with your clients. We’re trying to make it as holistic as possible,’ says Michael DePalma, vice president of business development at Kaseya.

Security Frameworks Are Key To MSPs Looking To Secure Clients: Pillr
‘I don’t care which [security framework] you pick, but pick one. Don’t try and build your own. Don’t say “We’re like a combo of NIST and ISO and we use a little bit of CIS.” That does not work. You have to pick one security framework, one standard, go with it, implement it,’ says Adam Gray, Pillr’s chief science officer.

Compliancy Group Exec To MSPs: Your Customers’ Risk Is Your Risk As Well
‘That’s right, you get blamed for absolutely everything. You can mitigate your own risk, do it yourself, get compliant, make sure that you are doing your part and your client is as well because their risk is yours. Use a system—mine, somebody else’s, I don’t care—use something that centralizes it and puts it into a place you can manage it or you will fall down and your risk is not mitigated,’ says Paul Redding, vice president of channels at Compliancy Group.

How ThreatLocker CEO Danny Jenkins Once Saved His Company With Data-Stealing Malware
While struggling to raise investment in 2018, Jenkins recalls that his last hope was writing malicious software to try to beat a local firm’s antivirus tool: ‘If this doesn’t steal your data, I’m actually going to close the company down.’

Why ‘Just-In-Time’ Admin Privileges Are Just What MSPs Need: Exec
Helping MSPs to achieve ‘zero standing privilege,’ through implementing account privileges that expire after a period of time, can offer massive risk reduction, according to an executive from CyberQP.

Preparing An MSP For Private Equity: ITPartners+ CEO Lays It Out
“The best way to approach it is instead of thinking what’s in it for me and how much am I going to get out of it, ask, ‘Hey, what are your strategic goals, Mr. Private Equity? Switch your narrative from ‘What am I going to get?’ to ‘Here’s how I can complement you,’” says ITPartners+ CEO Kevin Damghani.

ScalePad’s Eric Torres: Compliance As A Service Is The Next Wave
‘The compliance landscape can be a bit scary. There’s so many different rules, regulations and frameworks that are out there… and we have a plan in place. ... You boost your security posture, you stay current with the laws and regulations, and this will allow you to move upmarket,’ says Eric Torres, vice president of channel at ScalePad.

Finding The Right Talent At The Right Time: Four MSPs Share Their Strategies
Vennard Wright, president of MSP Wave Welcome, taps into local universities, offering internships and training students to be ready to enter the workforce with the skills MSPs need. ‘There still is a disconnect in terms of what they’re learning in college and what we need in the industry,’ he says.

Software, Cloud Are ‘Carrying’ The Channel As Hardware Spending Drops: Circana
However, solution providers can expect a rebound in customer spending across categories starting in 2024, says Circana analyst Mike Crosby.

MSPs Seeing Record Sales With Big Growth In Security Services: XChange 2023 Vendors
‘I thought with all the economic uncertainty that there would be more clients looking to cut back spending on projects,’ says Huntington Technology Vice President William Bluford. ‘So far we haven’t seen that. Everything is going strong. SMBs are finally starting to realize the value of technology, especially cybersecurity.’

ConnectWise Exec Teaches MSPs How To Conquer M&A Chaos
‘What you don’t want in this context is to mess up things for clients. Do not mess up things for employees. And do not break processes that are currently working,’ Matt Topper, security evangelist at ConnectWise, tells an audience of MSPs at XChange 2023..

High-Value MSP Security Services Can Fend Off Low-Cost Rivals: Galactic Advisors
‘If you add in things like recurring third-party assessments and a vCSO solution, now all of the sudden your solution is completely different,’ Bruce McCully said Sunday.

AI Tools Can Tackle MSP Pain Points: Pia Channel Chief
Pia, a company spun out from an MSP that developed its own automation tool, aims to help solution providers streamline their businesses as issues such as the economy and talent shortages loom heavy.

2023 Annual Report Card Winners: Solution Providers Give Top Grades To Key Vendors
For the 38th year, solution providers scored vendors across 25 technology categories based on their performance in product innovation, support, partnership, and managed and cloud services. Here’s a roundup of the companies with the highest overall scores.

Xchange 2023

MARCH 2023

MSPs Speak Out: How Vendor Relationships Have Changed Post-Pandemic
At XChange March 2023 this week, CRN reporters asked MSPs in attendance whether they are seeing vendors changing how they are doing business with them in a post-COVID world and whether the changes have been helpful or not. Here’s what they had to say.

MSP Exec: Invest More In Tools, RPA To Facilitate Growth
‘The key thing of this, and the reason why this is even necessary, is our customers are changing,’ says Phillip Walker, customer advocate CEO Network Solutions Provider, at The Channel Company’s XChange March 2023 conference. ‘With that said, their demand is going up. You have margins that are falling, profitability is suffering, you have to increase sales and lower cost. That riddle is how are you going to do that and bring on more systems.’

10 Solution Providers On Fast-Growth Cybersecurity Opportunities In 2023
Executives from MSPs and other solution providers pointed to areas including threat detection, cloud security and endpoint security as key growth opportunities.

15 Hot Products And Offerings For MSPs In 2023
Attendees at the XChange March 2023 conference in Orlando, Fla. became among the first to get a look at a variety of new hardware, software, and services technologies aimed at helping solution providers, particularly MSPs, find newer ways to serve their customers.

Pax8: Microsoft Dynamics Offers MSPs More Revenue, Competitive Edge
‘The market penetration from the managed services space is really low. Only 2 percent of Microsoft 365 users are actually using Dynamics, so there’s massive opportunity there,’ Pax8’s Rob Rae tells an audience of MSPs at XChange March 2023.

MSPs Are ‘In A Better Position Than Any Industry’ If Recession Hits: Expert
‘The Fed has been tasked with doing the impossible, and that is the idea that they could bring down inflation and raise interest rates without tripping the economy into a deep recession,’ says Peter Ricchiuti, business professor at Tulane University. ‘They’re threading a needle and nobody’s saying it, but so far it’s going pretty well. If you’d like to see inflation drop quicker, that would come with a recession.’

MSP Exec On Scale: ‘Run Your Business Like A Professional Sports Team’
‘The only way that you can innovate your services portfolio is to know exactly what it is that you’re offering to your customers and exactly how you’re delivering it,’ says Don Monistere, CEO and president, General Infomatics.

Via Technology President Manuel Villa: Seven Secrets To SLED Success
The SLED market is like a cat, said SLED superstar Via Technology President Manuel Villa, with the secret to success being that it’s not about focusing on the “lots of ways to skin a cat,” but rather the” lots of ways to love a cat.”

Solution Providers Are Split On Whether To Offer Multiple Security Stacks Or Just One. Here’s Why.
While each strategy has its advantages, ultimately there’s no ‘right answer’ when it comes to how many options to offer customers, a panel of solution provider executives said at XChange March 2023.

GTDC CEO Vitagliano: Distributors Are Evolving To Be ‘Ecosystem Orchestrators’
‘The ability to do the compatibility testing, the ability to have the interaction with the vendor community, the ability to help you all navigate all of the providers that are out there, particularly in the security space, somebody’s got to be able to help with that. And distributors can and will have the capability to do that,’ says Frank Vitagliano, CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council, at XChange March 2023.

Security Hot Take: Not Every MSP Should Be An MSSP
‘We all think we’re all experts in different areas. And we don’t share a lot. But [it’s] important is for us to start opening up in this new landscape of security, just in working with other teams, regardless of how sound yours is,’ one MSSP told the audience during a keynote panel at XChange 2023.

Quickpass Exec: Cyber Insurers Have Privileged Access Management Top Of Mind
‘All of a sudden [cyber insurers] are starting to enforce lots of new policies and ask lots of questions. One of the questions that they are very keen on is accelerating privileged access management,’ says James Hatzell, vice president of revenue at QuickPass, in a session at XChange March 2023.

Challenge-Based Procurement ‘Just Makes Sense,’ Solution Providers Say
The method gives solution providers a chance show creative deployments in their proposals and can provide the government with more than one way to solve a problem, Marlon Paulo, executive vice president of professional services at City Innovate, says in a panel discussion at XChange March 2023.

How ThreatLocker Is Becoming An ‘Ecosystem’ Of Security Tools For MSPs
As many MSPs struggle with ‘vendor sprawl,’ one tells CRN it’s a welcome sign that ThreatLocker continues to expand its portfolio of MSP-focused endpoint security tools.

Outsourced Or In-House, MSPs Can’t ‘Abdicate’ Their Marketing Strategies
‘A lot of MSPs want to take marketing off their plate. They want to have someone else—in-house or not—do it, but I can assure you that if you do that, you will not be successful,’ says one MSP during a panel discussion at Xchange March 2023.

OpenText Winning Over MSPs Seeking One-Stop SMB Cybersecurity-Data Protection Stack
“It’s one vendor, one brand, one program, one partner strategy, one go to market so customers and partners don’t need to work with multiple vendors,” said OpenText Vice President Ghassan “Guss” Lababidi. “OpenText Cybersecurity can provide all of it.”

How A Little Threat Intelligence Can Go A Long Way For MSPs, Says ConnectWise Exec
‘We don’t have unlimited time and unlimited money, so we’ve got to focus on where our efforts want to have the most effect. That’s where threat intelligence comes into play,’ says Bryson Medlock, ConnectWise’s security researcher and threat intelligence evangelist, at XChange March 2023.

SMBs Need Tools For Cyber Threat Detection Too: Xcitium
While there are plenty of excellent products for threat detection and response available today, many are too expensive for smaller businesses, an executive from cybersecurity vendor Xcitium says.

ScalePad’s Torres To MSPs: ‘Automate As Many Of The Manual Processes That You Have’
‘What you can easily standardize on is your service delivery. Every one of your clients should have the exact same experience whether they are your biggest client or they’re brand new,’ says Eric Torres, vice president of channel at ScalePad, in a session at XChange March 2023.

Glasshive Exec: Effective Communication Means Keeping The Message Simple
‘A lot of times, we tend to send out content or collateral that you think the end user wants to see, and it’s not really what they want to see. So we have the power to actually see and have that visibility to see how our campaigns are performing,’ says Christine Ululati, Glasshive’s vice president of vendor partnerships, in a session at XChange.

Here’s Why MSPs Should Explore Adding vCSO Services: Galactic Advisors
It’s worth looking into vCSO (virtual chief security officer) services as managed IT services become commoditized, says Bruce McCully, CSO of the cybersecurity assessment and consulting firm.