Category: Forrester Blog

Cyber

Zero Trust For Healthcare Orgs Is Just What The Doctor Ordered

Whether it’s a ransomware attack, data breach, or another unnamed method that exposes and exploits private, sensitive, or proprietary data, 2021 is shaping up to be the “year of the breach” with healthcare orgs among the prime targets. Last week, Humana became the latest healthcare org to fall victim to cyberattack when hackers leaked medical data of over 6,000 patients, acquired through a third-party app for Medicaid Advantage members and agents.
In the first half of 2021, 360 breaches exposed almost 23 million patient records – which is higher than any other 6 month period since the US Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) began keeping track.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise because healthcare organizations:

Manage and store lots of valuable data; vast amounts of data is shared between an increasing number of physical and virtual entities both inside and outside the entities’ IT network.
Maintain large expanded third-party networks that can be exploited (physicians, researchers, business associates, insurers, payers, etc.).
Rely heavily on technology for virtual care, connected medical devices, diagnostics, and patient engagement.
Struggle to secure sensitive data as it flows between their hospital clinical engineering/IT networks, clinician remote access points, virtual care platforms, third-party healthcare partners, and even patient home networks.

The considerable amount of blind data sprawled across the healthcare ecosystem, sitting on flat, vulnerable networks with poor access controls has made healthcare the low-hanging fruit for hackers who’d rather work smarter, not harder.
While there’s no single remedy, adopting Forrester’s Zero Trust strategy can help most healthcare delivery organizations. In our recently published report,  The Zero Trust Security Architecture For Healthcare my colleague Alla Valente and I discuss how new risks the post-COVID delivery model puts Zero Trust front and center in healthcare delivery organizations. Among the recommendations are the need for an overarching security strategy, visibility into the risk associated with third-party party data sharing relationships, and accelerating innovation without jeopardizing safety, privacy, and security.
If you are responsible for security at a healthcare provider and would like to learn more about this, please schedule an inquiry call with myself or Alla today.

Cyber

It’s Christmas In July For Three Threat Intelligence Startups

Christmas came early for three vendors in the threat intelligence and attack surface management space this past week. In a reported all-cash $500 million deal (no need for layaway when your market cap is north of $2 trillion), Microsoft acquired threat intelligence and attack surface management vendor RiskIQ. In Europe, Swedish vulnerability risk management firm Outpost24 announced its acquisition of threat intelligence provider Blueliv. Today, Rapid7 announced its acquisition of threat intelligence firm IntSights. The approximately $900M (Forrester’s estimate) spent on threat intelligence signals how the pandemic has increased the importance and value of attack surface management and threat intelligence in reducing vulnerability risks and protecting brands.
(Source: Flickr)
Cyber threat intelligence vendors need access to telemetry to continually identify, track, and model cyber threats. Smaller cyber threat intelligence vendors without managed security service providers/managed detection and response services or a software-as-a-service (SaaS) security control offering need to get creative with their collection plan — or they can get acquired by an established security vendor with a robust suite of SaaS security controls and managed services. IntSights’ acquisition by Rapid7 and Blueliv’s acquisition by Outpost24 should have tremendous benefits for all bases. With additional threat intelligence capabilities, vulnerability risk management vendors should improve their prioritization models to focus even more on exploitation, rather than Common Vulnerability Scoring System scores.
Recent acquisitions of attack surface management vendors (Palo Alto Networks acquired Expanse last year) suggest these products are more valuable as components of larger security ecosystems, with limited futures as independent companies. As an attack surface is more than just what is Internet-accessible, there is tremendous opportunity to integrate the external visibility from attack surface management with the internal security controls to completely map all the connections and assets of an enterprise. I can think of several ways that RiskIQ’s technology can be integrated with Microsoft’s security controls to deliver immense value. Alternatively, RiskIQ could give Microsoft an opportunity to make more of its immense security telemetry available to the security community. Jess Burn and I are scrambling to update our in-progress research on attack surface management. Watch this space for the final report this summer — unless there is another acquisition to blog about in the meantime!

Cyber

Using Our Tools Against Us: Adversaries Continue To Abuse Trust In The Supply Chain

I believe that GLaDOS (the evil AI from the Portal video game franchise) may have been trying to make a point about the state of security with her song “Still Alive.”  The fictional, artificially super intelligent computer system from Portal once sang, “…But there’s no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake…” I’m pretty sure she was describing how we continue to be our own worst enemies by inherently trusting our supply chain until there’s nothing left to destroy.  
We trust so much in our organizations – systems, partners, and vendors – for deploying software, monitoring network performance, patching (both systems and software), procuring software/hardware, and performing so many other tasks. A recent ransomware attack used one such system to successfully target thousands of victim companies. 
In this most recent example, attackers targeted Kaseya VSA IT Management Software which was designed to allow IT admins to monitor systems, automate mundane tasks, deploy software, and patch systems. Attackers were able to exploit a zero day to access customer instances of the product and use the native functionality of the product to deploy ransomware to those customers endpoints. 
Further compounding the problem was that managed service providers (MSPs) use Kaseya software to manage their customer environments. When the attackers compromised Kaseya, the MSPs inadvertently and unknowingly spread the ransomware to their customers. 
This is only one example of how attackers continue to abuse trust in unique ways that leaves many security and IT practitioners to wonder, “Why didn’t something like this happen sooner?“ 
Attackers Are Getting Bolder 
Ransomware group, REvil continues to get even bolder. Make no mistake, an attack like we saw against Kaseya was prescriptive and purposeful to inflict the maximum amount of damage to the most amount of targets. Immediately after the attack, they bragged about infecting more than a million devices and set a ransom demand of $70 million that if one organization paid, they promised that the decryptor would work across all organizations who were affected. 
This shines a light on a troubling trend we’re seeing where attack targets are shifting from individual organizations to exploiting platforms, like Kaseya or SolarWinds, that allow for multiple organizations to be ransomed. Attackers continue to research the tools we all rely on to find ways to abuse the native functionality to effectively execute an attack.  This latest attack abused an old copy of Microsoft Defender that allowed sideloading of other files. 
Software Is Vulnerable All The Way Down The Chain 
“Let’s be honest. Neither one of us knows what that thing does. Just put it in the corner and I’ll deal with it later.” – GLaDOS 
All the tools that organizations rely on to – such as tax software, oil pipeline sensors, collaboration platforms, and even security agents – are built on top of the same vulnerable code, platforms, software libraries that your vulnerability management team is screaming from the hills to PATCH or update immediately. 
Organizations need to both hold their supply chain partners, vendors, and others accountable for addressing the vulnerabilities in the software that they’ve built on top of this house of cards as well as know that exposure they have by deploying said software within their environments.  
Run Faster Than The Next Guy, Take Defensive Steps Now 
In our blog “Ransomware: Survive By Outrunning The Guy Next To You,” Allie Mellen and I discuss protecting against ransomware by hardening systems to make your organization a hard target. Supply chain attacks bypass defenses by exploiting your trust in systems. To protect against them, you have scrutinize the inherent trust you’ve placed on your supply chain. 
To start, organizations should take an inventory of the critical partners that have a large foothold within their environment, such as the vendors used for collaboration/email, MSPs that manage and monitor infrastructure, or security providers that may have an agent deployed to every system. After compiling your list, you should: 

Ask those partners what they’re doing to prevent you from being the next victim of a destructive attack. Ask about how the gating process for pushing updates to your environment. How do they QA updates before they’re pushed? Ask solution providers how they secure their code and assess that code for vulnerabilities.
Find out if they have the appropriate processes and architecture in place to prevent the type of lateral movement we saw with the latest attack. Ask how they secure their own environments, especially their update servers. Ask to see audit or assessment results from third-party assessors. 
Review your service agreements to find out what contractual responsibility those partners have to keep you safe from ransomware and malware. Understand what rights you have to demand compensation, if you are the victim of an attack due to a service provider’s systems being used as a delivery vehicle. 

Forrester covered third-party risk in our top recommendations for this year. Organizations should take aggressive steps to implement some of the prescriptive ransomware advice we’ve blogged about before as well as take a look at some of the additional ransomware resources we’ve collected to limit the blast radius of an attack. 
If Forrester clients have any questions on anything covered here, please reach out to schedule an inquiry with us.  

Cyber

The Space Wide Web Is Ready To Launch

The Space Tech Industry Is Looking Up
The new space race is truly underway following Richard Branson’s monumental first passenger trip to space, beating Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin passenger flight by more than a week. The Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft did not pass the so-called Karman line, unlike Jeff Bezos’ plans. It did, however, reach the edge of space, according to NASA’s definition. After 17 years, what an amazing accomplishment of vision, tenacity, and innovation.
There is even more to space innovation than the fledgling space tourism sector. Somewhat out of the public eye, there is a fast-growing space tech industry. Space tech is more important to modern business than perhaps most people realize. It is one of many other emerging technology changes happening quietly, off the radar of many clients. The concept of space as a service has shifted from real estate into orbit as software-as-a-service models take the space sector by storm. Space has the potential to be the cloud beyond the clouds, with entrepreneurs large and small creating a global space tech ecosystem covering data and AI systems, aerial imagery, remote sensing, and more. Space tech importantly also promises full high-speed, low-latency global internet access no matter how remote you are.
Morgan Stanley’s Space Team estimates that the roughly $350 billion global space industry could surge to over $1 trillion by 2040. But there have been many hurdles to date, with more barriers to overcome, mostly to do with cost, complexity, and concerns over space debris.
Innovation Overcomes The Hurdles In The New Space Race
Traditionally, access to space has been extremely expensive and largely the domain of government space agencies. Lower prices for launch services after 2010 enabled significant space launch market competition that had not been present previously. Following the end of the space race, spaceflight has been characterized by greater international cooperation, cheaper access to low Earth orbit, and an expansion of commercial ventures. SpaceX, for example, has demonstrated the benefits of reusable rockets. Developments applied from smartphone technology have reduced the form factor and cost of low-earth orbital satellites. The features that a satellite needs, including fast processors, built-in cameras, and a variety of sensors, are already part of smartphones. As new technologies are further developed, and the sector becomes more commercialized, space will be the new frontier for business.
On June 30, Virgin Orbit lofted seven satellites into their target orbits, taking a big step toward a regular and reliable commercial launch service. The same day, SpaceX’s ride-sharing satellite launch service deployed 88 small satellites into orbit. The payload included international commercial ventures with use cases for earth observation, location tracking, internet of things, and space-to-earth data analytics. With more low-orbit satellite launch missions planned, we will start to see a new digital infrastructure in the sky offering new global data sets, abundant connectivity, and innovative space-as-a-service solutions.
Satellites already produce terabytes of data daily. This will create significant challenges in dealing with the sheer scale and complexity of downloading swelling volumes of data cost-effectively and securely. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft recognized this, establishing ground-station-as-a-service offerings from their cloud platform services in the last two years. Ground station as a service provides communication and control of satellites, data processing, and integration at scale from AWS, Azure, or the Google Cloud Platform. There will also be new data network models to tackle this complexity and to ensure that value can be derived from these new data sets.
Space Technology Can Open New Opportunities And Make The World A Better Place
Enabling the global internet
Space tech has the potential to democratize internet access. About half the world does not have internet access or broadband connectivity. A prime reason is that infrastructure connectivity is just not available. As highlighted at the recent Mobile World Congress 2021, ensuring that everyone, especially those in remote locations, has access to quality connectivity is a basic precondition for digital participation. SpaceX’s Starlink is developing a satellite network to deliver low-cost internet to remote locations. Starlink is now delivering initial beta services and hopes to have as many as 42,000 satellites in its mega constellation. That’s a lot when you consider there are just over 3,300 active satellites currently orbiting Earth today.
China has also established a company to build a satellite broadband mega constellation. Amazon’s Project Kuiper is launching a low-Earth-orbit constellation of 3,236 satellites. Amazon aims to provide reliable, affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world. Stationing and operating satellite communications systems clearly enable these big players to expand their control over the communications infrastructure necessary for providing their services. Users will still need specially designed antennas the size of a pizza carton to link up to the satellites. Another company, AST & Science, aims to provide a space-based cellular broadband network (SpaceMobile) accessible by standard smartphones.
Protecting our planet
Earth observation has long existed, but the ability to monitor in frequencies and precision high enough to enable the detection of even millimeter-level daily changes on the Earth’s surface has not. Newer advanced satellites promise this precision and currently offer detailed images to 25-centimeter resolution. Thanks to the growing constellation of satellites combined with artificial intelligence and space-to-cloud data analytics, we can learn much more about our planet in near real time. For example, ICEYE’s geo-satellites can rapidly revisit any area on the globe, enabling repeating ground track image acquisition from the same location multiple times per day.
The ability to identify and monitor changes in the range of millimeters enables entirely new applications, including predicting, preventing, and responding to natural disasters, adverse weather, building collapses, floods, crop failures, and other catastrophes. Spire uses radio frequency data using a technique called radio occultation to provide a parallel model to predict weather by measuring ocean wave height and the atmosphere. This overcomes challenges in imaging faces such as darkness and clouds. There is an emergent market of innovative solutions offering data and imaging as a service that will provide increasingly deeper knowledge and insight about our fragile planet and how we can better protect it. Satellite surveillance will be a privacy concern, but the benefits to the planet will outweigh the risks.
Space risks
The space tech industry is not without its risks. Cybersecurity threats are to be expected. Satellites, for example, could be targeted through electronic warfare (jamming and spoofing), microwave weapons, laser dazzling and, most worryingly, cyberattacks. With the rising population of satellites, space debris presents potential danger to all space vehicles, including to the International Space Station. To address this problem, LeoLabs is developing a network of ground-based specialist radars to track assets in space and debris as small as two centimeters.
Explore the infinite possibilities
There are infinite possibilities of space tech and what it can mean for business and, importantly, our planet — from space internet of things to asset tracking via satellite to AI-enabled Earth observation with its vast data analytics capabilities to help us better protect and manage Mother Earth.
We are now at the cusp of an exciting new industry. Space is opening up for everybody. Explore what it means for you.
Tell us what you think. Do you see space tech disrupting your business? What do you see as the potential opportunities for this emerging technology area? Is this a topic that you would like to see more research from Forrester on?
Please contact me at [email protected] We at Forrester would love to learn more.

Cyber

It’s Time For The Infosec Industry To Address Gender Bias And Bullying Head On

The week of July 12 was a big one (not in a good way) for showcasing the persistence and depth of harassment and exclusion for women in cybersecurity. Those on infosec social media were flooded with bikini selfies protesting the harassment that a woman received for posting her own bikini selfie. Men and women took to Twitter posting their #infosecbikini pictures, generating a wave of awareness, goodwill, and solidarity, which was amazing and should be applauded.
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
As if to slap us all in the face, and remind us that we still live in the dark ages as far as harassment and exclusion are concerned, someone decided to turn those pictures (of solely the women, none of the men) into an infosec bikini calendar, without seeking the permission of these women. You cannot make this stuff up.
As we all riled and protested and retweeted and told our own tales, what surfaced was a sense of deep rage. Along with our rage, we were surprised to feel an overwhelming fatigue, exasperated not only by the many long months of pandemic isolation and confusion but also by a sense of cumulative trauma resulting from the daily cases of harassment and undermining of women in cybersecurity. This was not an isolated incident — this was merely the latest and most visible example. These kinds of experiences are a daily occurrence for many women in this space, starting in higher education and training environments. Until recently, these experiences typically only come up in hushed or angry back-channel conversations. Industry veterans shook their heads, having experienced the spectrum of this trauma before, and those new to the profession watched the events in disbelief.
Tackling Infosec Gender Diversity Head On In Research
Even prior to this, the revolving door of issues facing women in security and risk led a few of us in the S&R team to write research helping our clients to deal with those issues. Most were supportive, and others were skeptical. We were challenged to answer why, out of all diversity dimensions, single out gender as a topic of research. Do issues that our clients and colleagues raised with us about harassment at tech conferences still exist? It’s 2021, after all. Yet everywhere we turned, including in our own backyard, there were gender-related cultural challenges.
The events of the week of July 12 reminded us in no uncertain terms that our research is more important than ever, and it aims to bring awareness to the top 10 most commonly raised gender-related questions, such as:

Do I continue to show up to male-dominated security events? How do I do that safely?
How can I do a better job at encouraging women to apply for security roles?
Is it OK to bring women into my organization while toxic masculinity is blatantly occurring in the team?
How do I deal with the various prejudices associated with my personal decision to have children?
How do we retain our most experienced women, at the top of their careers, as they experience menopause?

As we collaborated and wrote, as with all great pieces of research, we were challenged, and we challenged. Some of us wanted to promote the importance of networking and personal branding, only to be reminded that those were the domain of the very privileged. Some of us wanted to guide our clients to lean in, until, mercifully, others reminded us that “leaning in” is in fact unnecessary emotional labor. Here is what we have agreed on:

Lean in, but also know when to draw a line on emotional labor. Asking women to solve all these challenges above can result in high levels of stress and compound feelings of difference and isolation. The emotional labor involved with these efforts, coupled with a potential loss of time spent on career-related activities, can set back the very people that inclusion efforts are designed to support. Before taking on leadership roles in employee resource groups or other gender initiatives, understand how your organization will compensate you for that work and account for it in your performance evaluation. If it is seen as “extra” work with no additional reward or, even worse, a distraction from your daily job duties, push back. Be wary of vague promises of visibility to senior management — you may get some visibility, but unless senior management views the work as high-value and ties it to career potential and performance, the visibility won’t translate to career advancement.

Treat gender issues for what they really are: systemic business and social issues. It is all too easy to think that you need to deal with all these gender-related issues and take personal responsibility, especially when so many people tell you to lean in. You may succumb to the notion of the imposter syndrome, doubting your abilities, feeling like a fraud, and wishing you could increase your confidence. While it’s important for all of us to take some personal responsibility, there is only so far that your confidence can take you when the system is broken. Cybersecurity does not have a “women’s issue.” Instead, it has a culture where women regularly face systemic racism, sexism, and bias.

Your male allies are as crucial to influencing change as you are. To ensure that everyone in your organization takes responsibility for some of those challenges we’ve discussed, you need allies within the organization. Your allies aren’t necessarily of the same gender, race, or diversity dimension as you. They work side by side with you and other women to drive organizationwide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and effect cultural change. They will amplify your messages and challenges, translate it into the language of those who don’t want to understand it, call out unwanted behaviors, and model correct behaviors.

We look forward to sharing this upcoming research with you — follow us all on social media for announcements.
What we look forward to more than anything, though, is breaking this circuit and making infosec a safe and inviting place for future generations. Join us in the mission of changing this culture, and always #choosetochallenge in whatever way you can.
If you’re an infosec pro and would like to contribute to this research, please reach out to Melissa Bongarzone, senior research associate.

Cyber

Top 143 Social Media Groups For MSPs, VARs, And Tech Channel Professionals

The channel is very large, highly diverse, and incredibly decentralized.
Channel partners know that to be successful, they need to carve out a niche — whether that be by line of business, by industry (and, increasingly, by subindustry), by size of customer, geographically, technologically, and by business model. These six vectors are not mutually exclusive, and buyers of technology are looking for a match across all of them.
One of the biggest mistakes vendors and distributors make is a “field of dreams” approach where they will (over)invest in internal community tools, figuring that partners will come.
In reality, partners have built levels of trust (over decades) across communities of peer groups, user groups, business coaches, in-house technology platforms, media, podcasts, analysts, and events. Understanding what partners read, where they go, and, especially, who they follow is the formula for successful channel recruitment, communications, and loyalty building.
Communities offer a smaller group of like-minded people (perhaps even competitors) who share similar experiences and challenges, have the ability to collaborate, and help improve decision-making. The feeling of belonging is strong, as well as the affinity of membership. There is a feeling that communities are more democratic, as they are built by the membership, and participation is encouraged and celebrated.
Understanding influence across this massive ecosystem is important for vendors. Many partners rank visibility and community involvement highest of their criteria for vendor partnership — even higher than product, pricing, programs, or margin potential.
During this time of growing electronic ubiquity, the need for trusted and expert sources of information has increased significantly. In fact, the pandemic increased the use of social media by 490 million users (or 13.2%) in 2020. The amount of competitive choices for products and services, combined with vast information on the internet and endless buzz through social media, has created a scenario where cutting through the white noise has become one of the most important skills of channel professionals.
The social groups below have a combined 1,513,888 accounts registered by channel professionals. This obviously has hundreds of thousands of duplicates among groups and platforms, but the large numbers speak for themselves. Most communities utilize different social media tools to drive conversations, engagement, and platforms for distribution of ideas.
It is estimated that 90% of internet users participate (and get influenced by) social media in one way or another.
Many vendors view social media as an advertising platform — to the tune of $49 billion in 2021. Channel professionals should view it differently: as a way to engage with partners at a grassroots level and build personal and professional relationships in between face-to-face events. The pandemic drove this point home, and several events-centric companies struggled to adapt.
Channel-related social media groups have very effective personal spam filters. Anything that doesn’t add value to the community will be rejected and have a negative result for the vendor/person behind it. Selling to a community will be ignored and likely get you kicked out.
Beyond the human requirements of personal interaction and belonging, social groups provide tangible benefits to all involved. Unfiltered information based on common experience will always trump random white papers and case studies posted on the internet. The give/get relationships within these groups inspire openness and, in most of the communities I have seen, a level of bluntness that is refreshing.
Now, let’s dig into the details:

We all know that Facebook is the largest social media platform (by far) and continues to grow its 2.74 billion monthly users. The stickiness factor is off the charts, as 1.82 billion of those users log in every day.
I conducted some simple (nonscientific) research across the 48 owners of channel-related Facebook groups, and 31 of them took my quick survey. My hypothesis was that Facebook Groups were quickly replacing LinkedIn Groups as the primary gathering spot for tens of thousands of partners.
This was supported by 77.4% of group leaders who were satisfied or very satisfied with their engagement on the platform. In addition, 87.1% are investing the same or more focus as compared to a few years ago, with an impressive 35.5% of them investing “significantly” more.
The results were not as positive when asked whether Facebook was doing enough to build features and promote the groups to the broader audience. In fact, 71% of respondents were neutral to negative on whether Facebook was doing enough.
Some owners commented that the search engine was too weak and that too much tech shaming is being allowed (moderation issues), while others worried about upcoming advertising and monetization strategies and a general distrust that Facebook Groups would be around for the long term (i.e., living on rented land).
Here are the top 48 groups based on membership size (not engagement):
FACEBOOK GROUPS

#
Group Name
Admin
Members
Description

1
IT & MSP Business Owners Group
Chris Wiser
11300
Chris Wiser’s Exclusive Group for IT & MSP Business Owners!!! This group was designed as a support community for those people working to improve their IT & Managed Service Provider businesses. We feature discussions to help your business and to help you grow.

2
IT/MSP Entrepeneurs
Stetson Blake
7700
This is a place for current and new business owners in the IT and MSP industry to share resources and advice, and to ask questions related to business, marketing, and sales. No question is stupid—this is a group about learning and growing both ourselves and our businesses.

3
IT Business Owners Group
Scott Sanders
4200
https://www.itbog.org -The IT Business Owners Group offers a member directory, Google map, vendor discount guide and educational resources on our website

4
Everything MSP Group
Dan Tomaszewski
3300
Everything MSP, the online community for MSPs, launched at Autotask Community Live in September 2017. We are happy to add this Facebook Group for our community. Outside of general conversation, the goal of this new group is to focus on specific topics that can help MSPs.

5
Tech World’s Half
Michelle Ragusa-McBain
2800
This is a private group to collaborate on encouraging and keeping half of the total workforce – women – in the Technology Industry! Yes, things will be tough but with each other by our sides, we can tackle any and all obstacles. #WeAreRemarkable #HappyInTech

6
SyncroMSP Users Group
Shawn Scott
2500
SyncroMSP User Group for users of the SyncroMSP Solution to share tips, tricks, how to’s and Best Practices. Share discussions and advocate for new features.

7
All Things MSP
Eric Anthony
2500
This group is for MSPs, IT companies and vendors who want to join conversations about managed services.

8
CharTec® MSP Group
Alex Rogers
2000
The goal of this group is to provide a space where MSPs & IT companies can openly discuss all industry-relevant issues including product reviews, struggles and successes, trends…ect.

9
IT Owner’s Compass
Lori Tisinai
2000
I.T. Owner’s Compass – Get help navigating your IT business. We’re a community that encourages others to move forward on their goals, business and personal! This space was created as a safe place to share thoughts, exchange and explore ideas for those who own or manage IT

10
Connectwise Tips & Tricks
Jonathan Bullock
1800
This group is for MSPs and is run by MSPs. We are not affiliated with Connectwise. We exist to provide community support to Connectwise users due to a lack of support from the developer.

11
IT/MSP Buy-Sell Goods & Services
Lori Tisinai
1700
Do you have equipment you want to sell or cannot use? Do you need a part? Do you have a service that is IT/MSP related, as of now, services are free to post. I know we don’t really need another IT/MSP group, but we can BUY/SELL or give a way.

12
CompTIA’s Advancing Women in Tech Interest Group
Kathleen Martin
1400
AWIT works to: • Empower women with resources and information to positively impact their technology careers • Inspire women to choose careers in technology • Help technology businesses create cultures that support a diverse workforce

13
Tech Marketing Group – Tips for MSP & IT Service Businesses
Matthew Rodela
1400
A place to share marketing tips and tricks for growing your IT business.

14
ConnectWise Boss
Adam Bielanski
1300
We’re obsessed with ConnectWise. For the latest info on new software releases, security features, and much more for streamlining your business processes and profits in 2019 and beyond… JOIN THIS GROUP to discover what’s POSSIBLE with ConnectWise!

15
MSP marketing
Paul Green
1300
A group for MSP owners & managers around the world to discuss marketing ideas. Strictly for MSPs only. This is a vendor-free zone

16
MSPeers – MSP/IT Peer Group
Alex Payne
1200
This group is for like minded people to assist one another by networking with their peers, for getting help with projects, meeting others within the IT/MSP industry. Play nice, we only want to support one another in here.

17
DattoCon
Rob Rae
1200
Welcome to the DattoCon conference group where you can network and communicate with other attendees, speakers, sponsors, and Datto staff! Feel free to post questions you may have about the event or industry.

18
Ransomware and Security
Amy Babinchak
1200
We’re here to share information about fighting ransomware and staying on top of general security issues. Focus is on small and medium businesses

19
Modern MSP
Amy Luby
1200
Founded 2004 as MSP Revolution & SMBManaged Services yahoo group, moderated by Amy Luby. The way to sustainable, profitable growth is through a Managed Services business model.

20
Ulistic Insiders
Stuart Crawford
1100
This group is an open discussion about the IT industry for friends, clients, partners and anyone who wants to share tips, tricks and strategies for effectively marketing and sales operations for their IT business.

21
MSP BUSINESS OWNERS
Jimmy Kno
1100
If you own an MSP and want to chat with other MSP Owners then this is the group for you. Technical and Business discussions welcome.

22
You know you grew up with SBS if…
Harry Brelsford
899
This group is dedicated to those of us that grew up as SBSers in the 1990s, 2000s and now the 2011+”teens” with Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS). Share your triva, fun facts, success stories, lessons learned and everything that made this time special.

23
Australian IT Industry Group – Sysadmin, MSP & Break/Fix
Stephen De Tomasi
862
Live in Aus and work in IT? You’re in the right place. Australian Sysadmins, MSPs, Break/Fix Techs and Vendors are welcome here. Share your knowledge and connect with others here.

24
MSP Unleashed
Shawn Sexton
821
This group was created so that IT/MSP business owners can collaborate on ideas, sales/marketing tactics, tech help, and much more! Please keep everything civil.

25
MSP Sales Revolution – Mastering Cybersecurity Sales With Jennifer Bleam
Jennifer Bleam
729
THE cybersecurity group for IT companies who want to add significant profit to their company by selling cybersecurity to their clients (and prospects,) learn from a close community of fellow IT business owners, and share wins (and losses)

26
Datto’s MSP Forum
Rob Rae
685
Welcome to Datto’s MSP Forum a group dedicated to facilitating dialogues that fuel MSP growth! Here you’ll find a group, not filled with vendors or promotions, but instead filled with MSPs and valuable peer-to-peer conversations on a variety of topics

27
MSP Business Owners
Mike Slodowski
684
MSP Business Owners discussing issues around the industry and what tools and processes are available. This group is going to focus on companies that MANAGE the IT infrastructure of their clients.

28
N-Able (SolarWinds) MSP Open Discussion Users Group
Robert Kircher
655
The purpose of this group is to provide those of us who use N-Able MSP products and services a place to discuss business practices in relation to how we use these and other products in our day to day operations.

29
IT & MSP – Talk and Discussion – Business Owners – No Sponsors
Lisa Hendrickson
620
This is for the IT & MSP owners and senior staff to discuss issues and problems in the community. It will not be sponsored, commercial talks, pushing product etc will not be tolerated here.

30
MSP Regulation and Legislation
Amy Babinchak
612
Why we started this group. For many years there has been occasional talk about licensing IT professionals. Some were for it to raise the bar to entry; other against because of the fluidity of technology.

31
Women of The Channel
Christina Crow
528
A place where Women of The Channel can share stories, inspire others and celebrate achievements. This group will also feature great content from The Channel Company’s Women of The Channel events, including but not limited to keynote speeches, presentations, videos and more.

32
CMMC,NIST, all things Compliance – Serving MSP/MSSP Community
Tim Golden
490
Cybersecurity | Risk & Compliance The Compliancy Guys /________/ Weekly chats at 3pm EST on Thursday /________/ The Compliancy Guys is a consulting company focusing on the business compliance. Join here: https://thecompliancyguys.com/

33
The MSP Corner
Fernando Leon
469
The MSP Corner

34
MSP Mentor Community Group (Powered by Channel Futures)
Allison Francis
434
Closed discussion forum for members of the MSP Mentor Community Group only.

35
MSP Covid Help
Lori Tisinai
324
One place to keep posting about what you are doing, what you see other doings and resources. Please offer help and resources.

36
CompTIA’s Emerging Tech Community
Kelly Stone
322
This community seeks to continually identify emerging technologies that can help transform business operations, create business opportunities, overcome challenges, leverage new routes to market and pave the road for the future business of technology.

37
SMB Professionals I.T. Group
Chris Bangs
322
SMB IT professionals are faced with new challenges like never before, including new commoditizing innovations, aggressive competition from outside verticals entering the channel, emerging technologies, and more.

38
Sophos MSP Connect Flex
Scott Barlow
288
Sophos MSPs utilize a vast portfolio of industry leading solutions that secure clients against modern cyber threats. Designed as a complete system that is synchronized to predict and adapt to attacks using artificial intelligence and easily managed from a single cloud based platform.

39
IT & MSP Rockstars
Scott Beck
270
An exclusive group for IT & MSP Business professionals wanting to build their personal brand, become the local expert and grow their organizations profitably! A community filled with tips, tricks, motivation and support that will help you grow into the rock-star MSP that you already are!!

40
MSP/IT Professionals Water Cooler Chat
Tim Golden
223
A place for MSP/IT pros to have some brain relief and fun!

41
IT & MSP Business Growth Group
Ian Lane
213
THE IT & MSP Business Growth Group Hi and welcome, This group is for IT and MSP Business Owners wanting to grow a more productive, profitable and engaged Business, including specifically how to really nurture the best from your Team and Clients.

42
The MSP Initiative
George Bardissi
204
https://mspinitiative.com/ MSP Initiative was started by independent individuals and companies from around the IT & Managed Services landscape who wanted to come together and help build a new voice in the community.

43
MSP Voice Community
John Smith
199
This is the community group for IT business owners and managed service providers (MSPs) to share ideas and thoughts on the industry. Feel free to share industry information and your own thoughts on the business. Sponsored by MSP360: https://www.msp360.com/

44
The MSP Marketing Lab
Scott Millar
160
Do you run an MSP? Want to know what marketing is working and generating leads We test marketing campaigns and share the results in this group.

45
Canadian MSP and IT Pros
Steve Dion
137
A place for Canadian MSP’s and members of the IT channel to gather, share and support.

46
MSPTag MSP Trusted Advisor Group
Paul Daigle
119
MSP Trusted Advisor Group – Strategy, Execution and Accountability. Tap into a pedigree of MSP executives and professional services. A community that provides MSP professional services and walk you through the multiple levels of growth.

47
MSPGeek
Ashley Cooper
106
MSPGeek is a community that focuses on all aspects of MSP related discussion. Previously LabTechGeek, we also happen to be the largest ConnectWise community in the world.

48
MSP (IT Managed Service Provider) Processes Creation and Automation
Daniel Wang
100
This group is focused on defining the processes for the MSP business and using automation to help execute those processes faster, more accurate, and cheaper.

From a business audience and demographic perspective, LinkedIn should far and away be the leader in social groups. With 740 million people using the platform, the early lead it built around social communities and groups has quickly become a ghost town in many cases.
I also conducted some simple (nonscientific) research across the 81 owners of channel-related LinkedIn Groups, and 37 of them took my quick survey. My hypothesis was that LinkedIn Groups were losing their luster for engagement, and many groups have devolved into one-sided vendor spam engines. I don’t think LinkedIn (now Microsoft) ever found a way to monetize the engagement and has lost its early-mover advantage to Facebook Groups and others listed below.
A surprising 51.4% of group leaders had a negative perception of engagement inside their communities. In addition, 40.5% are investing less time and energy as compared to a few years ago, with a concerning 27.0% considering shuttering their groups on the platform.
The results got worse from there. When asked whether LinkedIn was doing enough to build features and promote the groups to the broader audience, 91.9% responded from only a moderate amount to none at all.
When asked where their user base was going, the majority responded over to Facebook Groups. Surprisingly, Twitter came in second, which really doesn’t have the community engagement tools that these platforms do. Other mentions included private web forums, Reddit, Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, and even Clubhouse.
Some owners commented that the platform needed a better design and UI face-lift; the ability to direct-message all group members (no longer supported); better activity-based notifications; cutting out spam, noise, and clutter; better segmentation of content; and better tools to grow and recruit new members to a group.
Here are the top 81 groups based on membership size (not engagement):
LINKEDIN GROUPS

#
Group Name
Admin
Members
Description

1
Telecoms Professionals: IoT, LTE, M2M, OTT, Internet of Things, Mobile, Telecom
Ian Johnson
747940
The group for Telecoms & Media to discuss: IoT, 5g, New Devices & Technology, Mobile, Billing, IPTV, Cloud Computing, LTE, WiMax, Connected TV, Edge Computing, Telecoms Marketing & Advertising, PR, Jobs, Events, Social media, VOIP, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Symbian, 3G, wireless, SaaS, Broadband, OSS.

2
B2B Technology Marketing Community
Holger Schulze
134703
We are the #1 LinkedIn group exclusively focused on B2B tech marketing. This group is designed for marketing professionals to get the latest digital marketing news, enable networking, sharing of ideas, best practices and opportunities.

3
Channel, Sales & Account Management Experts (37,000+)
Ian Moyse
44011
A group for Channel Managers, Account Managers & Salespeople (in Resellers, VARs, Distribution & Vendors) to connect together and share experiences and best practice in sales & marketing.

4
The IT Sales Global Community
Lucas Stiefel
43631
The ITsales Global Community is exclusively for information technology sales professionals including, Account managers, Sales managers,Business managers,Channel managers and all sales executives around the world.

5
VARs / Resellers / Distributors
Brian Court
43217
VARs have plenty of challenges to be successful. Competing on price is to die a slow death – so how do we add value to customers, increase our margins, our footprint in a customer and ultimately increase our ability to succeed in an ever changing environment.

6
Alliances & Channels Friends (Strategic Alliance, Business Development, Partnership, Channel)
Serge Costa
30667
The founders of this group have extensive experience in leadership of strategic alliances and management of global partnerships and sales channels. The founders of this group have extensive experience in leadership of strategic alliances and management of global partnerships and sales channels.

7
CompTIA – The Computing Technology Industry Association
Kelly Stone
24071
CompTIA is a member-led organization comprised of thousands of tech-focused companies and professionals. We are the go-to resource for unbiased insight, guidance, and tools to help companies drive more effective outcomes with their customers.

8
AVIXA
Hanane Abdalla
24054
This is a group for AVIXA Members and other AV professionals to share their expertise through discussions and networking. Please refrain from posting messages related to promotion of company/product/services or messages containing job listings.

9
Channel Partners Network
Brittany Watts
22614
An online extension of the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Channel Partners Evolution and Channel Evolution Europe, this group is dedicated to the indirect sales channel for communications products and digital services. Its charter is to provide an ongoing forum for indirect sales partners to network.

10
PartnerPoint – An Online Community of Microsoft Partners
Brian Ocheltree
14888
Formed in 2005, PartnerPoint is one of the largest & most active online communities of Microsoft Partners w/ over 50,000 members from around the globe. As one of the largest Microsoft Partner groups on LinkedIn, our community includes all partner types.

11
Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals Community
Kimberly Miller
11673
ASAP is the only nonprofit, professional community with members across the globe dedicated to alliance management who seek successful outcomes for strategic alliances, partnerships, ecosystems, and key channel partner relationships.

12
Managed Service Providers Network
Allen Mapalo
10934
Managed Service Providers are invited to discuss ideas about services, implementation & marketing. Groups focus is success in the IT MSP market.

13
MSP 501
Allison Francis
10819
This discussion forum is a place where managed service providers, VARs, ITSPs, consultants, etc. can engage in productive discussion about industry issues. Follow our other social accounts for even more MSP news and talk!

14
The Reseller Network
Grant Ward
9966
The Reseller Networks’ primary objective is to connect companies to help establish reseller, affiliate, distributor, retail and partner relationships to help grow businesses effectively and cost effectively nationally and internationally.

15
MSP – Managed Service Provider
Amir Quraishi
9817
This Group is for Individuals or Companies who are an MSP – Managed Service Provider.

16
IT Channel Alliance
Tiffani Bova
8740
This group is focused on the IT go-to market sales strategies focused on channel programs and enablement tools for VARs, System Integrators, Solution Providers, ISV, Managed Service Providers and Direct marketers. Identifying trends and current state insights will be the goal of this group via Q&A.

17
Alliance Best Practice
Mike Nevin
7037
A group dedicated to exploring best practice principles in business to business relationships. Particularly and specifically strategic alliance relationships. Typical key search words: partner, partnering, alliance, alliances, alliance best practice, best practice, alliance execution, collaboration.

18
Alliance Management and Business Development Network
Jim MacNeil
6637
The Alliance Management and Business Development Network provides a forum for an open exchange of ideas specific to the principles behind managing alliances.

19
ChannelWeb Network
Jennifer Follett
6244
A group for IT channel executives, VAR, systems integrator and solution provider executives and employees to find each other and share ideas about business and technologies that advance the agenda of the IT channel.

20
Managed Service Provider (MSP) Best Practices
Steve Simmons
6077
If you want to share ideas on how to successfully build and grow a Managed Services company, then this is the place for you. Meet other IT professionals and leaders involved with Managed Service Providers (MSPs) or IT Services delivery. Network and trade best practices for marketing, sales, pricing, and upselling.

21
Move the Channel – Marketing, Sales, Planning & Enablement
Travis Smith
5865
Move-the-Channel is the go-to resource for Channel Marketers, Channel Sales Leaders, Channel Enablement & Ops, and Channel Chiefs interested in what is working to drive profitable revenue growth. This one-of-a-kind LinkedIn private group provides channel executive members with access to industry executives.

22
Business Development & Strategic Alliances / IT & Telecom
Serge Costa
5609
Group for professionals involved in Channels & Alliances / IT & Telecom. Affiliate Agreement Alliances Channel Development Channel Partnership Channel Sales Channel Distribution Sales & Channel Management Indirect Channel eCommerce and Distribution OEM Planning Partnership Programs Channel Strategy.

23
Channel Executive Magazine
John Oncea
5559
The Business Solutions Network’s vision is to facilitate connections and foster collaborations throughout the IT channel and software community. VAR Insights (VARrinsights.com) feeds fresh business-enabling content to VARs in the IT channel on a daily basis through multimedia delivery of newsletters.

24
CRN UK – technology channel professionals
Sara Yirrell
5440
This LinkedIn group provides a networking opportunity for business people working in the UK technology distribution channel. It is run by CRN, Incisive Media’s publication for VARs, integrators and converged resellers. CRN is the UK’s leading business publication for the technology channel.

25
Technology Services Professionals – Collaboration & Networking – TSIA
Emily Murray
5379
This group strives to be the preeminent source of online networking, best practices and peer-to-peer collaboration for technology services professionals. Brought to you by Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA).

26
Channel Futures
Jessie Truscio
4787
Leading Channel Partners Forward – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChannelFutures/ Twitter: @ChannelFutures

27
ITdistri worldwide IT Distribution Specialists
Alain Godet
4701
ITdistri group aims to help vendors exchange on their experience on IT distribution in the whole world. Resellers are also welcome, to discuss about their distributors in any country.

28
Channel Live Discussion Group
Miles Bossom
4490
The Channel Live Discussion Group provides a forum for professionals working within the Voice, Data, IT and Mobile trade Channels to share ideas, interact and discuss topics of current interest.

29
PMAP – Partner Manager Alliance Program
Taylor Moran
4321
The Partner Manager Alliance Program group has been created to promote discussion and cooperation among channel professionals working in channel management/sales roles within IT and Telecommunications vendors.

30
Channel Sales for Hire North America
Lynn Bryant
3869
Are you a North American channel sales person looking for a career opportunity? Are you a company or recruiter looking for a strong channel sales specialist? Look no further than Channel Sales for Hire. North America only please.

31
The Channel Institute: Training for Channel Managers, Channel Marketing, Channel Sales
Mike Kelly
3627
The Channel Institute is an ISO certified training body that sets the global standard for training in channel management and channel marketing. Our courses are reviewed by the Industry Advisory Council, comprised of channel thought leaders at leading technology companies.

32
CompTIA Advancing Women In Technology Community
Kelly Stone
3222
The Advancing Women in Technology Interest Group is dedicated to empowering women with resources and information to positively impact their technology careers, inspiring women to choose careers in technology, and guiding technology businesses to create cultures that support a diverse workforce.

33
Telecom Channel Partners
Frank Wilkens
2882
Designed for Var’s, Vendors Agents and Dealers to meet with carriers and offer solutions throughout the world.

34
Channel Rewards & Incentives Best Practices
Andrea Benavides
2714
Our group’s network shares best practices around indirect channel incentive and loyalty rewards programs. Top-performing rewards and incentive programs share certain characteristics in the realm of channel relationships that contribute to their success.

35
Alliance of Channel Women
Khali Henderson
2621
Founded in 2010, the Alliance of Channel Women is a not-for-profit organization of women in the indirect sales channel of the telecom and IT industry. The Alliance of Channel Women brings us together to empower and advance women’s careers and leadership roles in the technology channel.

36
VAR Marketing
Jim Larkin
2542
Focused on IT channel marketing, channel sales, MDF management, social media, building pipeline and co-marketing best practices. Specific topics include; cloud marketing, SMB selling, lead generation, lead nurturing, marketing trends, and vertical marketing.

37
Dutch IT Channel Club
Witold Kepinski
2171
Welcome to the Dutchitchannel.nl Club at LinkedIn: a Dutch & worldwide networking group for all people who work in the IT-channel: vendors, distributors, resellers, system integrators and consultants. Dutchitchannel.nl Club enables participants in the Dutch IT business to exchange knowledge

38
Channel Focus
Caleb Brown
2136
The Channel Community is for channel sales and marketing executives in software, hardware and the telecoms industry responsible for aspects of channel marketing and sales, channel development, marketing communications and business strategy.

39
Indian IT Channel Alliance
Alok Gupta
2134
This group is for Indian Information Technology Channel and is focused on the IT go-to market sales strategies focused on channel programs and enablement tools for VARs, System Integrators, Solution Providers, ISV, Managed Service Providers and Direct marketers.

40
ChannelCrowd
Alan Paterson
1915
ChannelCrowd , is aimed specifically at Sales, Marketing and Supply-Chain professionals and other executives who have a shared interest in Channel Management.

41
MSPAlliance Group
Charles Weaver
1885
This group is for all existing or prospective members of the MSPAlliance. If you’re not a member of the MSPAlliance, join today for free and join over 25,000 MSPs & cloud providers world-wide!

42
Australian IT Channel
Mark Winter
1874
VARs have plenty of challenges to be successful. Competing on price is to die a slow death – so how do we add value to customers, increase our margins, our footprint in a customer and ultimately increase our ability to succeed in an ever changing environment.

43
The Channel Company
Lindsay Sawyer
1817
The Channel Company is the premier provider of IT channel-focused events, media, research, consulting, and sales and marketing services.

44
Alliances & Channels Friends / USA
Serge Costa
1703
OEM Partners Distribution Project funding capital equipment, knowledge expertise intellectual property Cooperation Collaboration Synergy technology transfer knowledge expertise specialization, shared expenses shared risk. Alliance Partner Channel Resellers Indirect Collaboration Distributor

45
MSP University
Erick Simpson
1640
MSP University (http://www.mspu.us) provides education, training, fulfillment and consulting services to Membership Organizations, Vendor Channels, Franchises and independent IT Service Organizations worldwide. We are the ultimate vendor-neutral resource for all IT Service Providers

46
Channel Insider
Howard Cohen
1481
The Premier News Resource for the Channel Community – Channel Insider is dedicated to the providing IT resellers and partner community with the technology and market intelligence to increase revenues and grow their businesses. Channel Insider addresses the $450 billion marketplace

47
Taking your partner channel from good to great
Lori Stutsman
1374
If you run a partner program within a technology company, this group is for you. Get tips on how to help your partner team maximize your channel’s sales and marketing efforts and how to influence business decision makers with powerful content that tells a unique and memorable story.

48
IT Channel Newspaper & community
Vikas Gupta
1341
Our vision is to provide detailed information of IT & telecom and make it easy to reach the customers needs through IT Voice. It is as simple as looking at the whole world with a bird’s eye view.

49
Channel Marketer
Sherri Butts
1274
Channel Marketer Report (CMR) is a targeted e-media publication covering the the latest solutions, trends, news and strategies to help vendors optimize their marketing both to and through their partner networks. The publication will only help point to solutions and processes that can help track results

50
Channel Gurus Europe
Greg Taylor
1270
A place for senior level channel sales and marketing executives from the software, hardware and telco industry to share best practices and strategies

51
MicroScope Channel Network
Alex Scroxton
1261
MicroScope is the longest running channel publication in the UK and has built a reputation for delivering hard hitting news and definitive analysis of the IT supply chain in the UK. No rumours, no speculation, just the facts.

52
Microsoft Partner Group from Redmond Channel Partner Magazine (RCPmag.com)
Donovin Matthews
1197
Breaking news, features and commentary about the Microsoft channel designed to help readers navigate the unique technical, business and even political issues that come from being a Microsoft partner.

53
CompTIA UK Channel Community
Estelle Johannes
1150
The CompTIA UK Business Technology Community centers around the Business of Technology by helping members build and expand their businesses and careers.Together, we explore business opportunities and challenges and put a focus on the UK region as a world leader in technology innovation.

54
Channel Update – An agent community for positive change
Rob Camargo
833
Official Group for channelupdate.com we provide user generated news content and an open forum for Telecom Agents involved in the indirect channel. We’ve made a place where agents in the industry can come and discuss topics relevant to them and share ideas on how to make their needs available

55
B2B & Channel Marketing Insight Community
Jon Clarke
744
A networking community for anyone with an interest in the latest trends and insights in B2B and channel marketing. Join our community if you want to share ideas and news on: customer insight; buying journeys; behavioural economics; social selling; and inbound marketing.

56
Alliance For Channel Success
Jeff Hilton
737
IT Businesses and Channel Program Owners can join the Alliance For Channel Success and use its programs to help grow and develop increased business success. The purpose of this group is to foster discussion between leading channel program owners, partners and channel development professionals.

57
Beyond channel enablement … motivation
Tony Serino
729
Motivation trumps enablement. Perhaps it’s personal, but the term “Enablement” as used in “enabling the channel” grates on me. First, because it presumptuous and even condescending … and second, because it sets the performance bar too low to make a difference.

58
Partner Relationship Management Tools & Best Practice
Chris Marshall
717
PRM and other partner management tool selection and usage best practice.

59
EMEA Channel Vendors / Distributors / VARs / Resellers
Brian Holohan
655
Welcome to EMEA Channel Vendors / Distributors / VARs / Resellers. Join the group if you are involved in the industry. Feel free to promote your company, but please keep this in the “Promotion” section, the “Discussions” section is restricted for conversations on industry news / trends / strategies.

60
MSP/ VAR Marketing & Operations Group
Paul Barnett
591
My name is Paul Barnett and I am the Marketing Director for Virtual Administrator (VA for short). During my time at VA, I have worked with hundreds of small VARs and MSPs from all over the country.

61
IT Channel Partners
Elias Ndreu
591
IT Channel industry is a group that connects IT channel professionals. You can share anything important (news, updates etc) about the IT channel industry and how to improve your network

62
Frankly MSP Community
Steve Petryschuk
553
Welcome to the Frankly IT Community LinkedIn group! We’re excited you’ve joined the community. You’ll find conversations and resources meant to help you: • Building & managing a high-performing IT team • Ways to optimize your service desk or help desk • Best practices for IT project management

63
Channel Marketing and Communications
Gennifer Biggs
538
Successful marketing and clear, concise communications are an ongoing struggle for many in the IT channel. As channel comms specialists, we’re trying to share on insight and best practices.

64
Channel Sales & Marketing Jobs UK, Ireland and Europe
Zoe Chatley
501
This group has been set up for all Technology channel sales and marketing professionals who are looking to make their next move. Whether you just want to see what the market is like or you are seriously looking for your next challenge, this group will give you access to the latest jobs in the channel.

65
Channel Partner Alliance, Formerly VARCoach
Julian Lee
495
As we continue our mission to help Resellers, VARs, MSPs, ITSPs, MSSPs and ISVs to become bigger, better, stronger and smarter through better business practices, we have expanded beyond providing Coaching services. We offer best business practice assessments; Peer-group collaboration

66
VAR Marketing Tips and Tactics
Mark Badran
478
This group is dedicated to helping Sage, Microsoft, Acumatica and other software resellers discuss and discover marketing tip and tools available to technology VARs. You’ll learn useful marketing tips that will help you climb the ranks on Google, leverage social media, discover effective inbound strategies.

67
Global Channel Network
Joe Kiddle
472
News and discussion from across the U.S, U.K and EMEA IT channel, including breaking stories, exclusive research and industry events.

68
CompTIA ANZ Channel Community
Moheb Moses
458
This community seeks to be the voice of the entire ANZ business technology community, for small-, medium- and enterprise-focused businesses. As part of a nonprofit, vendor-neutral industry association, this CompTIA community offers a unique voice in the industry where all can participate

69
ChannelTune
Laurent Glaenzer
433
Channel Tune is a community of international business executives involved in channel management. We share practices, trends, visions…to reach new business through our channel. This group is moderated by: Lemon Operations

70
Mid-Market Channel Professionals
Heather K. Margolis
433
We’ve started this group for mid-market channel professionals to share ideas, questions and resources with each other while building channel programs, communications to channel partners and resources to market through channel partners.

71
Global Channel Management
Johnny Walker
406
Global Channel Management is a group created to share best practices and industry knowledge with seasoned channel sales and marketing professionals. Our group aims to uncover all relevant aspects of Channel Investments including Product Realization, Product Development, Channel Programs.

72
Global IT Community Association (GITCA)
Felipe Zuñiga
395
Representing over 800 member organizations and over 3.7 million IT professionals, GITCA is the world’s largest international not-for-profit independent organization powered by dedicated volunteers devoted to the development and growth of the IT community by providing services to support leaders

73
Strategic Alliances & Partner EcoSystem
Sridhar Throvagunta
379
Strategic Alliances WhatsApp group is a self-managing team of alliance professionals coming together to enhance their knowledge and careers. The twin dimensions of the charter are as follows: 1. Business & Technology Discussions 2. Professional networking for mutual advancement

74
CompTIA Emerging Technology Community
Kelly Stone
374
As a group of emerging technology thought leaders, this community will seek to continually identify emerging technologies that can help transform business operations, create business opportunities, overcome challenges, leverage new routes to market and pave the road for the future business of technology.

75
Channel & Reseller Certification Forum
Gordon L. Johnson
372
Come chat with other channel chiefs and certification professionals about reseller certification programs and solving the challenges of increasing your reseller engagement and performance. Discuss what makes world-class certification programs; tips, technologies and incentive programs that drive certification

76
The Channel Meet-Up
Emily Cotton
372
B-to-B-to-B has unique challenges. Channel partners are under pressure to keep up with the new era of marketing, as traditional sales and marketing approaches are no longer helping customers make informed buying decisions.

77
Channel Partner Strategies
Jordan Linford
321
If you are in channels sales or marketing then this group is for you. It is made to share best practices, tips and advice for improving and optimizing the indirect channel.

78
IT Channel Insight
Gilly Zammit
250
IT Channel Insight is a one-stop source of information for IT resellers, managed service providers and channel partners.The idea of this group is to discuss major concerns and problems that MSPs and channel partners are encountering in their business. Please feel free to share your ideas.

79
Middle East Forum for Channel Partners
Angelina Jardin
242
This group is poised to provide partners with a wealth of information and educations, giving us a platform to discuss new tools that help us realize ICT’s full potential to transform our customers’ businesses.

80
PRM ~ Partner Relationship Management
Eric Herschkorn
185
BtoB Partners Relationship remote . Social selling i(ex “Business Social Networking”) nteraction with the evolution and convergence trade of commercial. We use this business model to redefine a new one for B2B. PRM is the group of the think tank “Des idées pour Innover”.

81
Marketing Multiplied – Channel Marketing Community
Mike Moore
130
A group for communication and collaboration among Channel professionals around the book Marketing Multiplied: A Real-World Guide to Channel Marketing for Beginners, Practitioners, and Executives. The book will be available in early 2018. www.marketingmultiplied-book.com.

According to the company’s figures at the end of 2020, there are 52 million daily active Reddit users worldwide. This marks a 44% year-over-year increase from the previous year. In mid-2018, we took a closer look at Reddit when it became the number one platform for channel partner professionals.
If LinkedIn Groups are turning into ghost towns, Reddit may be the closest thing to the Wild West in the channel. The degree of anonymity is scary for many entering for the first time, and the content can be unfiltered, uncensored, blunt, and littered with expletives.
The content quality is surprisingly good with its user-generated voting system, and spam will be voted down or out quickly. Moderators also have strong tools to keep things moving. The demographics of the broader technology channel, of which 87% are male and 74% under the age of 50, lends itself to Reddit’s appeal.
The main /msp channel has 112,000 users, with 84,000 of them active in any given month. Along with Discord (below), it has engagement rates that are off the charts.

Clubhouse is the newcomer to the social media scene and, while still in invite mode and only recently releasing an Android version, has 10 million weekly active users, up from 600,000 in December 2020. The app is starting to gain traction outside of North America and is currently the number-one most-downloaded app in Germany, Japan, Slovakia, and Turkey.
The channel-related pickup has been a bit more subdued, but the audio-only real-time format may support a subset of partners who prefer to consume information in a conversational format. It has been a home to many entrepreneurs in the startup world, and I think that can translate into partners who are also looking for collaboration beyond just commenting on posts and scrolling.
Here are the top seven groups based on membership size (not engagement):
CLUBHOUSE ROOMS

Group Name
Admin
Members
Description

Tech Partnership Alliance
Bader Hamdan
3000
Ecosystem Partnerships – Alliances – Channels. Empowering Your Go-To-Market Journey. Wondering how a partnership works, align with ☁️ cloud, launch a SaaS marketplace offer, integrate ISV tech stack, or drive joint GTM with partners?…

MSP/MSSP NSIT/CMMC/SOC
Tim Golden
313
A place for Managed Service Providers MSP and managed security services providers MSSP can chat about tools, tech, tips and more

Channel Growth Hacking
Michelle Ragusa-McBain
169
Join the Technology Channel Ecosystem’s key #Influencers #ChannelChiefs and #ThoughtLeaders for #ChannelGrowthHacks that take you from incremental to break through growth. Also a gathering place for advocacy for #WomenInTech and #Diversity…

Modern MSP
Amy Luby
116
w/ Amy Luby, Scott Sanders, Gjeret Stein, Bagaudin Satuev — Calling all MSP business owners! Join your peers each week in a casual conversation around building a profitable IT services business. Bring your successes, challenges, frustrations & ideas to share with your peers.

IT Business Owners Group
Scott Sanders
99
Discuss topics relating to owning an IT service business with an emphasis on managed services.

ICE MIGHTY NETWORK CLUB
Nadio Granata
70
The place to discuss the role of the Channel Partner and Alliance professional. Topics include but are not limited to: SaaS/Leadership/Sales/Marketing/Best Practice/Technology/Inclusivity/Diversity/Workplace/Age of Human

Partnership Leaders
Asher Mathew
35
Partnership Leaders is the community focused on business development, alliances, channel and partnerships executives and professionals at modern technology companies. Join us at — > www.partnershipleaders.com

The number of people using Slack daily exceeds 10 million. It also has wide exposure across many types of partners, from the very small to the very large. In fact, 43% of Fortune 100 businesses pay to use Slack. The average user is logged in for 9 hours a day, which makes it comparable to email in many partners’ toolkits.
The engagement is also very high in mostly technology-related conversations, as well as best-practice and coaching-style groups. The content can be highly segmented, and the permissions that admins get are among the best of any social platform.
The other thing that differentiates Slack is the infinite amount of integrations with other software platforms — including with many vendors and distributors themselves.
Here are the top four groups based on membership size (not engagement):
SLACK CHANNELS

Group Name
Admin
Members
Description

MSPGeek Slack
Martyn T. Keigher
6833
MSPGeek was founded in 2013, as ‘LabTechGeek’, by Martyn T. Keigher & Greg Buerk. Their goal was to build a platform to provide ConnectWise Automate (formerly LabTech) administrators the ability to communicate and collaborate on common challenges, issues and ideas.

Cloud Software Association
Sunir Shah
2702
Over 4,000 of the cloud software industry’s partnership leaders have joined the Cloud Software Association for a good reason. It’s a lot easier to make relationships, close deals and learn from peers inside the network.

IT Pool Party
Chris Burns
1918
Today, it’s a slack community of MSP owners that share ideas, services, and more with other MSPs around the world. Our slack group was created by Chris & Paul, who both own MSPs in South Florida.

Discord is an online social community platform, initially created as space for gamers to communicate with one another. While gamers retain a strong presence on Discord, the platform now has a significantly wider appeal, with 140 million monthly active users — including a growing base of channel partner professionals.
Over 13.5 million “servers” or topics are visible on Discord, with millions of them active every week, spanning almost every field imaginable. Much like the demographics mentioned above for Reddit, Discord serves a younger, more technology-enabled partner base. The average user spends only 5 hours a month on the platform, but I see this growing substantially as the engagement starts to replicate Reddit.
A couple of servers gaining momentum in the channel are MSPs Я Us and OITVOIP. They are approaching 3,000 users who are very active and engaged.

Other Social Platforms
Twitter has 353 million users or as they report themselves; 192 million “monetizable daily active users”. Twitter’s user growth in 2020 was originally forecast at about 2.8%, but the pandemic pushed that up to 7.9%. It tends to be a huge megaphone with celebrity users driving most of the engagement. I have seen very little evidence that vendors, distributors, or partners themselves are running successful communities on the platform.
Instagram has 1.2 billion monthly users with 43% growth in site traffic, year over year (driving around 5.3 billion visits per month). A Facebook owned property, vendors have dabbled with visual “branding” type accounts but I have seen very little commenting or active engagement.
YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users and is the second most-visited website by traffic after Google search. From a community perspective, it is home to many video warehouses and well as podcasts and vodcasts, but has very little useful “group” functionality.
Tiktok was the #1 most-downloaded app in 2020 and has 689 million active users. Like other consumer-driven platforms here, there is no channel-related activity.
Snapchat has 498 million people using the platform, with 265 million active every day. Again, like other consumer-driven platforms here, there is no channel-related activity.
Pinterest has 459 million active monthly users with a 37% increase from last year. During the pandemic they added 100 million but it is mostly consumer driven and no meaningful channel-related business is conducted on the platform.

Other private forums:
I also watch closely the growth of non-consumer platforms that serve the broader channel. From private newsgroups run by associations such as ASCII, to technology tools with integrated social tools such as Spiceworks, to growing forums based on focused subjects such as TechNibble, there are hundreds of other places that drive community involvement and rich partner engagement.
Because these are “closed” environments, it is difficult for many vendors to enter, participate, and build community engagement.
Know of a great channel or partnership social group that I missed? Let me know, and I’ll add it to the list.

Further Channel-Related Reading
What I See Coming For The Channel: 2021
Channel Software Tech Stack 2021
How Did I Score On My Channel Outlook For 2020?
Channel Marketers Need To Become Community Marketers — Here’s How
Are Distributors The Future Of Distribution?
The 100 Best Channel Podcasts Of 2021
Marketplaces Make Their Mark In The Channel
The Decade Of The Channel Ecosystem Accelerates With Massive Software Consolidation
Through-Channel Marketing Represents The Third Stage For Sales And Marketing Leaders
Channel Data Is A Competitive Differentiator
Measure What Matters: Unlocking The Power Of Partner Ecosystems Demands Powerful Measurement
Time To Rethink Channel Incentives And Program Management (CIPM)?
Channel Automation Becomes Table Stakes For Partnership Success
Can You Deliver A Great Partner Experience Without Great Onboarding?
Do Channel Vendors Need Public Relations Anymore?
Channel Reimagines Physical Events, Looking To Reopen Slowly

Cyber

COVID-19 Drives Delivery Model Transformation And A Sustainability Revolution In The Security Consulting Space

“The Forrester Wave™: European Cybersecurity Consulting Providers, Q3 2021,” launched today. Fifteen firms are featured in this report, representing a cross section of large international security consulting providers and more regionally based security pure plays. The European security consultancy market has seen a large transformation in the past 16 months in how it delivers value to clients. From our conversations with customers and providers during the evaluation, we found that: 

Remote delivery did not cause much impact to client projects. I was expecting quite a lot of complaints about how terrible Zoom was and how delayed projects had become because of the problems with remote working. To my surprise, very few complaints surfaced. Most centered around the familiar themes of price, value for money, overpromising, and under-delivery, which are par for the course for this market. However, the success of remote delivery shows that a lot of clients and the firms themselves will continue to work in this way, with substantial financial savings and environmental impact. The impact of this change is somewhat underestimated as the single biggest cause of emissions for consulting firms is client travel, and this shift represents a golden opportunity to make this change permanent.
The traditional reliance on “onsite” and “in-country” consultants will erode. Firms in this study reported that the remote work model had other benefits. Firms were able to make much greater use of their remote delivery capabilities in near-shore delivery locations in Europe and globally. Some firms with a more premium reputation were able to offer more competitive pricing to their customers, with some reporting that “we didn’t know you could do that.” Onsite work will persist but should be based around work that requires intensive, in-person collaboration, rather than relying on the long-held tradition that consultants should be onsite to “sell” more consultants or clients’ desire to see the consultant’s payment in blood in person.
Consulting firms need to move away from innovation theatre — it’s so 2015. One painful feature of several Forrester Wave evaluations was observing questionable, wobbly camera work from several firms trying to demonstrate physical lab spaces with machinery, IT equipment, and innovation rooms/lab facilities during the middle of a pandemic. Firms were focusing on the fact that they have these spaces, as opposed to what they’re actually using such spaces for. Having flashy facilities and expensive coffee isn’t enough. Consulting firms need to focus on how these facilities deliver new IP and create services that deliver tangible client outcomes. Customers should ask firms what the point is and what they will get from it in tangible outcomes.
Use pricing models based on outcomes and risk-sharing mechanisms. Security consulting firms are reacting to increasing pressure on their margins from savvy negotiators and ex-consultants who now work for clients. Consulting firms in this study still price most of their work using the traditional time-and-materials and fixed-price models (making up 60% to 90% of deals). However, many firms are using risk-sharing models, outcomes-based models, asset pricing, and pay-as-you-go service models to create new and more cost-effective ways of consuming their services. A project to rationalize a security toolset may accept payment by taking a percentage of savings obtained by following the consultant’s advice, as opposed to being charged for the time incurred to deliver the advice. 

Are you a Forrester client wanting to find out more about how the different providers ranked against each other? Read “The Forrester Wave™: European Cybersecurity Consulting Providers, Q3 2021.”

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