I’m blessed to work in an industry that has some really smart people in it. It is also an industry that is always subject to change, which, in my opinion, makes it the best industry to be in.
When I go to a conference, I find talking to my peers about their successes just as valuable (if not more so) as the content delivered from the stage, no matter how great it might be. Over the years, I’ve developed a great group of friends from the various conferences I attend. I genuinely look forward to seeing them, to hearing their insights and struggles and comparing notes on the market.
One particular group of friends has been centered on the CRN event called XChange and their other events. Late last year, I had this idea that I’d love to go meet with several of them and spend a day with each, sharing with them what is going on at TekLinks and gaining insights about what is going on at their businesses. Logistically, it worked out so that I could make a tour through the upper-Midwest and get a great cross-section of our industry.
As I looked at it, I would start in Chicago visiting with CEO Alex Brown at 10th Magnitude. Alex runs one of the fastest growing companies that works with Azure. From there, I would head over to OST in Grand Rapids and meet with my buddy Mike Lomonaco. OST is a large solution provider that has a traditional VAR practice as well as a growing software development practice. Up next would be Detroit to meet with Jason Lambiris at Apex Digital. Apex is a managed services provider and does a great job with their processes and methodology. Lastly, I would drive over to Toronto and meet my friends at IT Weapons. ITW is a cloud services company specializing in VDI and was recently acquired by Konica/Minolta. Doing this all in one week was ambitious and would require a lot of early morning drives and late-night dinners, but I thought it was worth it to get insights into software development, VAR, managed services, and cloud services all at once. The working title for this trip, internally, became the “Magical Mystery Tour”, an homage to the song by the Beatles.
In March, I was in Los Angeles at one of the CRN events and was having dinner with Kevin McGibben, the CEO of LogicMonitor. Last year, we did a big tool consolidation project at TekLinks and consolidated a lot of disparate monitoring tools into LogicMonitor. They are a great partner of ours and, personally, I’ve developed some great relationships with the LogicMonitor team. At dinner, I told Kevin about the Magical Mystery Tour. He thought it sounded like a great idea and offered to sponsor the trip for me.
After a lot of planning and coordination, I set out on the Magical Mystery Tour the week of April 4th. I recorded a video at each stop to share some insights with the industry. I feel very strongly that “a rising tide lifts all ships”, so I wanted to make sure that any key insights we discussed on the tour were shared with the overall solution/service provider community.
Every Thursday for the next 4 weeks, we’ll release a new video from the Magical Mystery Tour. I hope you stop back by and watch them. I think there is some really good content in them. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, we’d love to talk.
Thanks for watching!
First Stop: 10th Magnitude
I had a great time visiting with Alex. In our video, we talk about macro level trends, where the industry is likely heading, and who will be the winners/losers. While there, I also sat down and recorded an episode for their video series, the Manhattans Project. You can watch that clip here.
WHO IS TEKLINKS? A national leader in cloud computing, managed services, engineering services, and value-added resale. We’re a team of expert techies and business professionals who are passionate about building valuable relationships and getting things done right. Simply put: We make IT work for business.