MAX 2015: Day Two – More big data, roadmap announcements, and practical applications

Karl Palachuk

It was another great day at the MAX 2015 conference in Washington. The show kicked off with a discussion of hiring practices and strategies for employee hiring and retention.

The highlight of the morning, of course, was Paul Dippell's keynote on strategies for tackling a changing environment. Folks were talking about this all day, which is the point of a keynote after all. Right up until 7pm, another attendee and I were talking about the speed of change and how he's going to take Paul's message to heart as he retools his MSP business for the years ahead.

We both agreed that you can't overstate the speed of change ahead.

As I mentioned in a separate report, Paul Dippell and Service Leadership are completely dedicated to analysis of data, so the references to Big Data and LOGICcards continued unabated. As Dave Sobel reiterated, there is no other organization providing this level of access to the analytical data and tools within their managed service product.

Roadmap Time
One of the highlights of any vendor conference is the Roadmap presentation. Mike Kronenberg, Chief Technology Officer for the MAXfocus platform, presented what he called his "slide with three point font" highlighting the changes made in the past year. And then he promised at least as much progress in the year ahead.

Of course, the big announcement about moving to Bitdefender has already been made public. That move was highlighted, with an emphasis on the fact that you can make the move at your own pace. The point was made that Bitdefender comes out ahead consistently at www.av-test.org and other sites.

Other changes (besides LOGICcards) include Active Discovery, already deployed on the dashboard, and Patch Management for Adobe products and 40+ additional software packages. In addition, Q1 for 2016 will bring Take-Control capability for OSX and Field Service Management from mobile devices. Moving on, we'll see a proposal generator as well as MSP benchmarking built into the dashboard.

Breakouts
Like yesterday, there were LOTS of breakout sessions – almost 20. So, of course, this weary reporter couldn't see them all.

The MAX team covered a huge amount of territory with presentations on practical security (Ian Trump), certification (Todd Haugland), MAX Backup (Jeff Hardee and Eric Harless), and more.

And this is what I love: There were more business tracks than product tracks. Rayanne Buchianico covered QuickBooks for IT firms; Jim Hunton talked about Owning Your Customers, Susan Bradley dug into Ransomware Prevention Techniques, and I talked about using SOPs as the ultimate branding for your business.

... And More!
As I said, there was just too much to cover, so I'm hoping to catch up with the other presentations on sales, customer service, pricing, team building, security audits, after hours support models, and sales team management.

I am truly amazed at how much great business-focused education there is at this conference. I guarantee everyone will go home with a long list of changes to make – and education to catch up on.

Probably the biggest thing I saw today was the ongoing commitment by the team at MAX and LogicNow to ramp up even more in the next year. Their stratospheric growth enables them to truly think at a much higher level about where the product suite is going and to help educate partners to make sure they can successfully operate at higher level themselves.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!