Last week, SherWeb hosted its annual Accelerate Cloud Summit 2019 in Montreal, Metropolis of our belle province. The three-day event was a great opportunity for us to meet partners face to face, and for our partners to learn, network and grow. On top of this, Accelerate was a great place to get direct insight from vendors, without whom events of this scale simply wouldn’t exist.
Accelerate also wouldn’t be possible without the help of sponsors such as Microsoft, Acronis, Veeam, Bitdefender, Nerdio, Proofpoint and Microage. Their support was instrumental in making the summit a success and in welcoming partners to our yearly event.
Officially, #Accelerate19 was only two days, but we added a pre-event day to hold break-out sessions as well as one-on-one meetings between partners and their account managers. The day’s sessions were all about products, how to better sell them and how MSPs can get better at marketing.
“It’s hard to properly express the importance and value that a face-to-face with a business partner can bring. We as professionals get pulled in so many different directions with day-to-day tasks that it’s hard to make time to focus on new trends, business strategies and ideas. Getting a chance to meet in person lets us focus on business development strategies, the needs of our partners and brainstorm on how we can all win together.”
Nick Ford, Account Executive
Day 1 (official)
We kicked off the second day with a keynote by Matthew Cassar, one of SherWeb’s founding brothers. Matthew talked about our newly updated mission that better reflects where the company stands after more than 20 years in the business.
He then took us through more concrete topics, highlighting what SherWeb did for partners in 2019 and what’s coming up in the next year. One important piece covered in this area was PSA integrations introduced to our partner portal, starting with heavy hitters such as ConnectWise and Autotask and followed by Tigerpaw, Kaseya and QuickBooks. We’re also working on APIs that will allow our partners to integrate our platform with theirs, simplifying their user experience.
Other 2019 additions to SherWeb’s lineup included SIP trunking, Nimble CRM and BitDefender. Also announced was newly-added multi-factor authentication within our partner portal, as well as Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager, which is coming in 2020.
Throughout the course of the keynote presentation, you couldn’t help but notice how big a year it was for SherWeb. Our focus is always on our partners, and we work towards their goals in a number of ways. From informative blog articles and partner toolbox resources to our training opportunities, we want to make sure our partners are well-equipped to achieve the success they want for their business and more.
Lastly, Matthew spoke about another big part of our business: Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS). By selling Microsoft Azure as well as our own Performance Cloud, SherWeb wants to help partners create growth for their business. We help them achieve this by supporting them with pre-sales architecture training and white-boarding sessions, as well as all of our sales and marketing resources.
Building great cloud service bundles as told by a veteran in the business
Following Matthew Cassar’s keynote, Karl Palachuk took to the stage. Karl is not only an industry star, but is also a pioneer in the managed services world. With more than 10 books and white papers on managed services and small business management, he’s an authority on how to build a solid and healthy business. He took us through key strategies for building a profitable cloud service bundle, ensuring the right pricing strategies are adopted and tiered offerings were created.
What’s new with Office Protect and Office 365 security
After a short yet well-deserved break, we were back in the main conference hall to listen to Guillaume Boisvert, SherWeb’s director of product innovation, to learn more about Office Protect and Office 365 security.
Office Protect is a tool built with simplifying Office 365 security in mind. It improves your tenants’ security, augments your security services offering and increases your visibility with clients. SherWeb’s goal for Office Protect is to provide a tool that helps MSPs sell managed security. The solution accomplishes this by helping partners apply consistent best practice security settings, monitor tenants with no time investment and share findings with end-customers.
Launched in 2018, Office Protect is SherWeb’s fastest-growing product since the company’s inception. This comes as no surprise, with more than 84 million Microsoft log events parsed per month and over 5000 improved configurations per month currently. At its core, Office Protect makes Office 365 security accessible to all.
Guillaume closed with a few cool new features for Office Protect such as the initial assessment report, CEO-scam phishing warnings and a 3x forwarding rule detection.
SherWeb’s value added services
Right before lunch, SherWeb Director of Partner Success Mathieu Leblanc took us on a journey through SherWeb’s value-added services. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the following video should give you a better idea of what was covered in the session
How to build a predictable IaaS revenue stream
Following a networking lunch, we returned to the main hall to listen to Erik Beauchamp, SherWeb Director of (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) IaaS products. Erik has extensive experience with product management in IT and with global software development companies, but one of his greatest strengths is his passion about the products he works with. This session was all about leveraging growth of IaaS. It’s a great opportunity for MSPs to optimize costs as well as set a scaling strategy, and Erik’s main message was that SherWeb is here to help partners achieve that.
And the winners are…
We jump started the day’s celebrations with an award ceremony to showcase partners who shine in three different categories:
- Fastest Revenue Growth
- Top Cross-Selling Bundles
- Highest Partner engagement
It was an exciting moment for Marc-André Fontaine, SherWeb’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, as one of SherWeb’s main strategic objectives is to bring success to our partners.
A week in Montreal is never complete without indulging in the city’s nightlife and local food, so we all moved to the buses that would take us to our next destination. After a short ride that we were at La Scena in old Montreal, where we enjoyed a night of poutine, smoked meat and casino games. I don’t think anyone could have thought of a better way to end the day!
On a personal level, as an ‘80s kid who became a teenager in the ‘90s, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to Michael Calce AKA Mafiaboy’s keynote. Growing up, I thought everything hacking-related was done like it’s portrayed in the movie Hackers (#Crash&Burn), and it was enlightening to learn how things really worked at the time. Michael drew from his personal experiences and expertise to help us understand a hacker’s mindset. He also focused on explaining how hackers work, and how we can defend ourselves from threats.
5 Steps to building your new cloud managed service offering
Joanne Charley’s interactive session was a refreshing change-up following the previous day’s heavily detailed presentations. Neural impact’s Chief Marketing Officer walked us through a simple five-step method for a smooth transition from a break-fix business model to one anchored in proactive managed services. The session also provided online tools and templates that SherWeb’s partners can continue to use when working with their account manager.
How to accelerate and optimize your customer acquisition strategy
Mark Stuyt’s session was the perfect presentation to follow after Joanne’s. As Chief Engagement Officer at Neural Impact, Mark knows a thing or two about acquisition strategy, which is a crucial step after building a managed cloud services offering. Here’s what he thinks about collecting customers at scale:
Integrations and achieving VoIP success
After lunch, we were back in the main hall once again to wrap-up this year’s Accelerate Cloud Summit. We first heard from Eric Lacroix, SherWeb’s Product Director in charge of our partner portal, who gave us a granular look at what’s new with our partner platform, including the PSA integrations previously mentioned by Matthew Cassar. Eric was followed by VoIP architect Jason Nadeau and VoIP technical solution advisor James Welburn, who spoke to attendees about how to build a VoIP success story.
Accelerate 2019 was a fantastic event! It’s safe to say that everyone had a lot of fun while learning valuable insights, trends and best practices to help them in their practice. SherWeb represents a space where we all can share information and learn together, and Accelerate allows us to expand the circle in which this happens. We get to meet our partners and vendors, and better understand how we can all work together to help everyone’s businesses grow to their full potential. We hope to see you next year for Accelerate Cloud Summit 2020!