Whew! We’re back from the annual CMIT Solutions Convention in NOLA, and may we just say, we had beaucoup de FUN! We were just as, if not more, thrilled to sponsor the convention as we were to attend. We always love reconnecting with our CMIT partners. Plus, staying in “the big easy” certainly wasn’t that hard on the team. We even ventured out to New Orleans’s iconic Bourbon Street and sampled local dish delicacies. While I can safely say this contributor is not a crawfish convert, the laissez faire nature of the town was enchanting. Or maybe that was the voodoo…
(5/5) - Cinco de Mayo!
The event kicked off with the Cinco de Mayo Welcome Reception. There, Continuum reps mingled with franchisees, who were all anxious to reunite with their colleagues. As a newcomer, it was readily apparent and touching to see that attendees had formed long-lasting friendships at previous CMIT conventions. As the event sponsor, Continuum treated our partners to New Orleans’s signature drink, the Hurricane. Us reps were caught in the eye of the storm as franchisees eagerly requested their complimentary drink tickets. It was Cinco de Mayo after all!
(5/6) - Fat Idea Tuesday
Day 2 started with a breakfast keynote by our CEO, Michael George. He discussed everything from the future SMB to the cloud market and our new Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering, C3. Michael highlighted CMIT’s revenue growth in managed IT services over the past year, announcing the collective grew a whopping 44% on average! The crowd erupted in applause upon hearing this exciting benchmark.
44% year over year managed services growth! CMIT ROCKS! #CMIT2014— SMBiTGuy (@cmitsmnb) May 6, 2014
For soundbites from Michael's keynote, make sure you check out MSP Radio when it hits next week!
After manning the booth for the duration of the morning, we were looking foward to sinking our teeth into the lunchtime partner panel discussion. Our VP of Product Management, Dee Zepf, joined reps from both Jive and Reflexion in a lively discussion where each panelist shared future plans for strengthening his/her strategic partnership with CMIT. The topics of security and HIPAA compliance came up frequently, and Dee shared recent strides we've been making to better address these issues. It seems like data breaches are a hot button issue for MSPs, especially in light of the Target CEO's recent resignation. The Q&A portion was largely dominated by these justified concerns.
Great input from our partner panel at the CMIT convention! These guys are the backbone of services we offer our SMB clients. #cmit2014— SMBiTGuy (@cmitsmnb) May 6, 2014
During Continuum's storytime session, Linda Kuppersmith of CMIT Stamford discussed her success story incentivizing technicians with our Tech Advantage program.
"If I outsource work to a Tech Advantage job, my profits are going up because there's no way that Tech Advantage will end up costing you more than the labor of your technicians," - Linda Kuppersmith, CMIT Stamford
She then claimed the program also helped with engineer morale and end-user satisfaction. Similarly, Linda credited our NOC on behalf of her franchise, calling these techs the "unsung heroes!"
MASQUERAAAAADE! PAPER FACES ON PARADE! With men in their sharpest suits and women wearing ornate masks and ball gowns, the hotel lobby looked like the Palais Garnier out of The Phantom of the Opera. Of course, we had to embrace the theatricality of the event with Continuum orange fedoras. They were a crowd favorite, needless to say! As the party bus drove to the venue, passengers wondered where'd we be spending the evening. Minutes later, we arrived at our destination: Mardi Gras World. Ever wonder where they store the giant, ornate floats from the Mardi Gras Parade? That's right. We passed Iron Man, Uncle Sam, and even R2D2 on our way to delicious hors d'oeuvres. As if the Mardi Gras-themed hangar wasn't NOLA enough, a jazz band struck up a chord and delighted partygoers with the celebrated music of the city!
And The Award Goes to...
At the awards ceremony, we had the pleasure of presenting Larry Kerrigan of CMIT Cambridge with the award for the fastest growing franchise. From 0 to a million and a 100% growth from last year to this year, Larry is a true champion of the managed IT services business model!
We had a great time at this year's CMIT Conference and can't wait to be back next year!
By Paula Griffin
By Lily Teplow