Howard Tech Takes Over IT Nation in Orlando

This year’s ConnectWise conference, IT Nation, took place in sunny Orlando. It was impeccable timing, as the weather grew frigid over the latter part of the week. The Howard Tech Team – consisting of Jason, Patrick, Manny, Mike, and Fred – packed up their t-shirts and shorts to fly down to learn all things IT.

Besides having a lot of fun, the crew learned a lot! Luckily, they kept us all updated on their sessions, new technologies, and other ah-ha moments. Here are just a few of the highlights.

A Preview of New Solutions

During the conference, ConnectWise announced several new products, including ConnectWise Perspective. It is similar to FaceTime but the engineer doesn’t use their iPhone, they use ConnectWise. It will then display the view from the customers mobile device camera. This gives us the ability to troubleshoot, such as viewing error messages, allowing us to look at network gear, cables, ports and more, remotely. For example, a client can point their cell phone camera at a barcode tag on a laptop. Perspective recognized the barcode, pulled the laptop configurations and automatically opened a ticket. This makes opening a ticket even more simple, speeding up response time.

Best Practices

From a service perspective, there are a ton of new updates that will be released very shortly down the road. These features include:

  • Client Reporting: ConnectWise will be making it easier to send clients weekly reports.
  • Mobile-Friendly: ConnectWise is creating a brand new mobile app from the ground up. The focus will be on service techs like scheduling, time entry, etc. Tracks drive time, mileage, time onsite, etc. This will improve efficiency by helping our engineers focus on support tickets, rather than backend administration. This equates to more time helping our clients.
  • Improved Communication: New project status reports will allow for better communication from our system directly to our clients.

Keynote Speakers

With the theme being “TEAM: Trust, Empathy, Agility, Modesty,” it made sense to have Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Ideal Team Player,” to be the headliner of this year’s IT Nation. He discussed the importance of digging deeper in the hiring process and to look for three main characteristics of successful team members: Humble, Hungry and Smart. We brought a copy back to the office to share. All of his ideas are important in identifying weaknesses and addressing them be to “The Ideal Team Player.” Let’s be honest, we all can use that in and out of the office.

Some Call It Networking, Some Call it Flair!

We were able to meet with several of our vendor reps. As we always look for ways to improve efficiency, we made several new connections to assist with future projects and upgrades. We met with other IT service providers from across the country to discuss best practices and share experiences. By the end of our week, we all were sporting lots of pins aka flair.

An Impromptu HTA Road Trip

When all of the flights our of Orlando Airport were cancelled on Friday due to a woman’s cell phone camera exploding in security, HTA decided to road trip. The Team rented a Dodge Journey and took turns driving through the night to Baltimore. They made several stops along the way, including South of the Border, McDonald’s and Waffle House (of course). Mike documented the trip on the social networks to keep everyone posted on their travel status. They also belted out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and laughed most of the way home with comedy.

Looking Forward…

IT Nation 2017 was a huge success! It will be tough to beat it next year, however, we will have a new team traveling. Are you planning on going? keep us posted and we can plan to meet up while in Orlando next November.


At Howard Tech Advisors, we manage your IT infrastructure so that you don’t have to. Whether you need assistance creating a disaster recovery plan or you’d like to outsource your IT needs, we can help! Keep up with our weekly blog to stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends, security information you need to know to stay safe online, and tips and tricks to effectively navigating an increasingly mobile world.

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