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SolarWinds MSP Outlines Vision for MSPs

At Empower MSP Orlando, a two-day user conference, company executives detailed a product direction that includes a unified platform and a shift from device-centric to user-centric monitoring and management of cloud services. By Colleen Frye

Empower MSP Orlando, a two-day SolarWinds MSP user conference, opened Thursday at the Renaissance Orlando Seaworld.

SolarWinds MSP General Manager John Pagliuca (pictured) kicked off the event, outlining the vendor's strategic vision. He told attendees that the company’s immediate focus will be on three themes: user experience, automation, and security.

In line with that, Pagluic said the company will be launching the first generation of a network path analysis solution named NetPath. An add-on first for SolarWinds MSP's cloud-based MSP RMM product and then its on-premises N-central solution, the new system lets technicians isolate the precise cause of slowdowns or outages in the cloud or within local networks. 

During the remainder of this year and in 2018, Pagliuca continued, SolarWinds will also be bringing its MSP and other products together in a more integrated way. "All tools and technology will be simple, powerful, and affordable,” he said.

Pagliuca was followed by keynote speaker Carey Lohrenz, the first-ever female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy, who discussed how to be a fearless and adaptable leader amid market changes and evolving customer needs. A trailblazer in her field, Lohrenz talked about how she addressed obstacles and fears, and the importance of fearless leadership in what she called “the world’s most dangerous industrial workspace.”

“In my world speed is life; it gives us options—to engage, to run away, to re-engage.” It’s the same for business leaders, she said. “The quicker you adapt to a changing situation the more options you have in play.” She advised the audience to “be present and stay engaged in the work that matters. It allows your team to understand what they should be working on.” She added that fighter pilots say, "If you lose sight you lose the fight."

Fear of failure is universal, she said, but encouraged attendees to “banish your limiting beliefs.” And she issued a challenge: Do one thing every day that scares you for 30 days. That will send you on your way to becoming a fearless leader.

Attendees also heard from Greg Lissy, vice president of products, on the MSP strategic roadmap. The overarching vision, he said, is to “create a single platform with all the components you need to build and grow your business.” So the direction is deeper integration among all SolarWinds MSP products and a “single pane of glass.”

He also detailed three market trends that are opportunities for SolarWinds and its partners: artificial intelligence and machine learning, increasing privacy and security needs, and the proliferation of cloud services.

Chris Reid, a product manager, followed with a demo of NetPath, which “provides visibility into the customer experience with cloud services. It will make you more efficient to take the right troubleshooting steps, and give you competitive edge.”

Lissy said this is part of an overall move from being device centric to  more user centric. “We’re on the cutting edge with NetPath.”

After the strategic roadmap, attendees heard a panel discussion on the move from MSP to MSSP, and in the afternoon SolarWinds MSP presenters offered deep dives on new features and enhancements to current products. In addition, Tim Brown, vice president of security, presented on 10 steps to a proactive security model.

The Empower MSP Orlando conference continues on Friday.

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