Team Tigerpaw just got back from the IT/MSP Expo in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, and the event was certainly a sign of the changing times facing the channel. There were over 1,000 MSPs present, who were able to visit over 250 vendors and learn from over 300 speakers and channel influencers about all that is going to help them to thrive in the years to come.
This event was part of the Tech Supershow, which collocated 10 different technology-related shows. One of the new kids on the block, the Generative AI Expo, was the first of its kind since ChatGPT took the world by storm early in the year. There was no shortage of ideas and offerings for MSPs looking to become something more. If you missed the event, read to the end as Tigerpaw has produced a short video highlighting some of the incredible things we saw there ourselves!
Top 3 Takeaways from the IT/MSP Expo
A blog about a show this big could be written as a novel but fear not! Tigerpaw has boiled it down to a top 3 list for MSPs looking to grow boldly into the future! Without further ado, here are the Tigerpaw top 3 takeaways from IT Expo XL 2023:
MSP Interest in Generative AI is Rampant
In late 2022, OpenAI quietly released its ChatGPT model to the public. Within 2 months it gained over 100 million users! For perspective, it took Facebook over 4 years and Twitter almost 5 years to hit the 100 million milestone. You’ve likely seen articles on the topic in all your social feeds, some professing that Skynet is coming and others that speak to how it will transform entire industries. Like most hype-cycles, the truth probably lies somewhere in between, and IT EXPO hosted a Generative AI Expo so MSPs and other providers could learn more about its practical use and applications.
There were seven sessions on generative AI including one by our very own Tiger, West McDonald, entitled “ChatGPT: More Than Just a Machine” (contact us HERE if you’d like a copy of the presentation). The focus on this particular session was helping attendees get a deeper understanding of how to best use “prompts” to get the most out of language-based generative AI. West also provided ideas for practical applications in business. The session seats were full, so clearly there is interest in how generative AI will impact MSPs in the coming months and years.
A Metaverse for Mass Adoption?
The Metaverse has gotten a lot of bad press lately and the world is watching closely to see if a virtual world will ever find a place in the real world beyond niche applications and verticals. There were 12 listed sessions in the hosted Enterprise Metaverse Expo portion of IT Expo, so there is certainly interest.
One session in particular caught the attention of one of our Tigers as it focused on what it will take for mass adoption of the Metaverse by everyday people. The panel-session, entitled “Future of Experience: Merging Physical and Digital Worlds” featured Rob Petrosino, head of Emerging Tech & Innovation at PeakActivity, Taylor Scott, CTO/Co-Founder at IKIN, and Nelly Tacheva, Founder & CEO at TANGRA & Simply Flows. The panel dove into what it would take to successfully blend physical and virtual reality to make it appealing to the masses. IKIN announced it has a new offering “coming soon” that will finally crack the virtual and physical divide that keeps most people from using the Metaverse in the first place. Will it deliver and will the Metaverse finally go mainstream?
Printers and MSPs no longer oil and water?
MSPs pride themselves on being able to provide and manage nearly every single network asset and service their customers need to run a better business. Except printers. Why? Because the nasty little machines require complex service and turning of wrenches, as well as delivery of toner and other consumable parts that most MSPs find too frustrating and complex to manage.
Another session that one of our Tigers was part of made it clear it doesn’t have to be this way in 2023. The session, “Grow Your MSP Business with Managed Print Services” was a panel discussion featuring West McDonald, Chief Noise Maker at Tigerpaw Software, Jay Christensen, VP of Channel Sales at Printer Logic, and Brian Harris, Director at TotalPrint USA. The session made it clear that managed print can now be acquired and delivered by MSPs in an “XaaS” model where MSPs get a cut of MRR without any of the headaches and hassles of physical device management. MSPs can now manage the care, feeding, and security layers of office printing without the complexity. We’ll be paying attention in 2023 to see if this is enough to finally have the lowly printer become an accepted part of an MSP’s stack.
Tigerpaw has hired Managed Print experts and developed modules and workflows in its software specifically to help MSPs and other IT Services providers with Managed Print Services (MPS), and you can learn more about that HERE. It’s an easy and profitable way to add MRR to your monthly offering and you owe it to yourself to at least learn more about how we can help.
The IT/MSP Expo in Fort Lauderdale was a glimpse into the future of the MSP industry, showcasing the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. From the growing interest in generative AI to the potential for the Metaverse to go mainstream and the possibility of managed print services, the event was a clear indication that MSPs have a bright future ahead.
If you’re an MSP looking to stay ahead of the curve, we encourage you to subscribe to our Tigerpaw Resources page or reach out to one of our “Tigers” to learn more about how we can help you grow and thrive. With the right tools and support, you too can be a part of the change and lead the way in this exciting new era.
If you’d like to see some of the 2023 event highlights for yourself, enjoy the video below!