Autotask is preparing to announce roughly a dozen new community initiatives for VARs and managed services providers (MSPs). At least three of those initiatives will surface here at Autotask Community Live in Miami, Fla. Senior VP Jay McBain provides some early clues on the moves. Here's the update.

Among the moves expected here...
  • Autotask Community On Tour: The concept is to take the Autotask Community Live conference on a road show to "a city near you." The single-day events will have morning, mid-day and afternoon sessions built around (1) high-level education (2) product deep dives and (3) user group gatherings. Attendees can join some or all of the sessions.
  • Autotask Rock Stars Become Autotask MVPs: Autotask will honor roughly 25 community members on May 23. Those members had been called "Rock Stars" but Autotask is shifting the designation to "Autotask MVPs" -- similar to the Microsoft MVP approach.  "It's the best and brightest people in the Autotask community," saidMcBain, who worked closely with the MVPs to crowd-source the name and logo design.
  • Autotask Referral Program: The overhauled agent program allows VARs and MSPs to earn referral fees when they introduce additional channel partners to Autotask's software.

Background

The Autotask Community Live conference kicked off this evening in Miami, Fla. Roughly 700 VARs and MSPs and technology vendors are here. In addition to the moves above, some key themes here include:
  • Staying Focused: I asked McBain if Autotask would have to push beyond the IT channel to drive growth. His point-blank answer: All Autotask community efforts will focus on the IT industry -- including a heavy emphasis here on managed print services and audio visual partners. A health care IT-related push could also emerge.
  • Calling Old Friends: I asked McBain, a Lenovo veteran, if he would leverage his personal relationships with channel leaders at Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo. His reply. To best-manage hardware, Autotask will continue to publish open APIs (application programming interfaces) while working closely with RMM (remote monitoring and management) software companies.
That's about it for now. We'll be blogging live from the Autotask Community Live keynotes on Monday and Tuesday.

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