MAX 2015: Day one – Big data, strategy, and motivation

Karl Palachuk

Day one of the MAX 2015 conference is Washington, DC is done. Well, except for the cocktail reception.

Here's a quick summary:

Dave Sobel, Directory of Partner Community, kicked off the gathering with a look at what's new in the last year. Fifteen releases so far this year – and another one due out this week. MAX has the largest MSP partner community of any organization in the world. Over 12,000 and headed to 13,000 very soon. Major changes in the past year are almost too numerous to name.

One very impressive thing Dave covered was the MAX team that's here for the event. I didn't count them all, but it looked like more than 30 people. This includes company management, sales engineers, developers, community folks, and more.

The biggest, most exciting push was the introduction of LOGICcards and Big Data.

As you can imagine, a tool that collects information on more than 12,000 MSPs, 60,000 engineers, 175,000 networks, and 2 million endpoints has a LOT of data. That data is constantly changing and growing. From the Big Data perspective, there's lots of good, juicy information here. So MAX has hired a team specifically to dig into this data and develop features and products to help us do our jobs better.

LOGICcards went live today during this presentation, so you can activate it on your portal right now. Just browse to http://www.logiccards.com/onboard. You may need to refresh your dashboard, but you'll see the LOGICcards icon in the upper right-hand corner.

LOGICcards uses the data you create by using your system in association with the client data inside your system. The result is a system that learns over time and makes recommendations about actions you may wish to take. This is just the beginning of what MAX plans to do with large-scale, real-time data.

You will also be able to generate some reports based on how your clients' configurations and patch state compare to all the other companies monitored by MAX. If the average patch is applied in seven days, where do you fall? What's the average age of a server? Or a Windows XP system? With 2,000,000 endpoints, you can really supply clients with good information about where they fit in the big picture.

Separately, I blogged about Ryan Morris' keynote presentation. It was a really great introduction to the business-focused presentations of the afternoon. Of course with FIVE tracks, I missed most of them. Luckily, I had drinks with a couple of presenters last night, so I heard much of their story.

Talks included an in-depth analysis for a growing and profitable MSP, creating marketing leads, trends in managed services, moving from technician to CEO to business owner, and more.

And there were at least two presentations in each track, so day one was FULL of amazing information. Presenters included Amy Babinchak and Susan Bradley from Third Tier, Carolyn April from CompTIA, and Manuel Palachuk from Manuel Palachuk International.

Of course there were also plenty of MAX-focused trainings and presentations. As Todd Haugland mentioned last week while I was in Chicago, he's running an entire "certification" track by himself.

As you know, I attend a lot conferences. Only three this month, but six next month. The MAX conferences have one major advantage over most conferences: There's a solid commitment to education on the business side of being an MSP. Of course there's no shortage of product-specific information, and I've attended a lot of that myself. But I love the fact that MAX has invested money in research and great people to help their clients move up to the next level.

After all, as Ryan Morris points out, it's either learn this stuff or you'll be in a different industry the next time there's a disruption in the industry!