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The ASCII Group’s 35-Year Balancing Act: Page 3 of 3

Founded in 1984, the IT community remains as relevant as ever in an industry defined by unceasing change. By Rich Freeman
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THE ASCII GROUP is celebrating its 35th year thanks to a long-standing knack for balancing seemingly irreconcilable forces.
THOSE INCLUDE THE POWER of collective bargaining on one hand and entrepreneurial autonomy on the other.
ASCII’S INTERMEDIARY ROLE between vendors and channel pros has helped each get more of what it needs from the other.
THE ORGANIZATION BOTH LISTENS to what members want and educates them on what’s next in IT.

Between Listening and Leading

ASCII pays close heed to what members want through advisory committees and other means. It also, however, educates members on what they should want.

“The industry moves so fast, most MSPs don’t have enough time just to slow down, to research trends,” Koutavas says. “We help do the research for them.” Part of the group’s formula for longevity, in fact, has been repeatedly anticipating where the industry is heading and shepherding members in that direction. That was managed services 10 years ago.

“When we saw the first RMM companies coming to us, we knew that it was an opportunity for our members to scale their business in a manner that was never provided before,” Koutavas says. The next new things, he continues, are managed security and virtual CIO services.

Between Old and New

Keeping pace with a frenetically evolving industry while remaining true to its community spirit is arguably The ASCII Group’s ultimate balancing act, and the biggest reason some members have been with it for decades.

“If you’re an ASCII member, you’ve most likely been an ASCII member for a very long period of time, and you will continue to be an ASCII member just based on the networking and the friendships that you’ve created over the years,” Barlow says.

Not to mention the help you’ve gotten tackling problems most IT businesses face. “We’ve been solving those problems for over 35 years,” Koutavas says.

Photography: Rafael Ortega

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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