Dan Scott

Doug Woodburn
clock • 6 min read
Dan Scott

Name: Dan Scott

Role: Director - IT Nation Community EMEA, ConnectWise

Spirit animal: Dog

Walk-on song: Blind Faith (Chase and Status)

How would you summarise ConnectWise's channel philosophy?

To empower IT solution providers with unmatched software, services and community to achieve their most ambitious vision of success. We don't have customers or resellers, we have partners, we value their partnership above all else and the needs of our partners lie at the heart of everything we do as a company.

I was a pretty handy badminton player when I was younger… right up until… I jumped off the top of a bouncy castle

Tell us about ConnectWise's partner programme in 100 words or fewer…

Our Cybersecurity Partner Programme (CPP) enables our partners to become true advanced security advisors to their clients through team education, marketing and sales enablement with direct sales assistance and joint marketing development funds. The goal being to elevate our partners to become true cybersecurity service providers, not just proficient in the use of ConnectWise products and services.

Our industry leading IT Nation Evolve Community, through peer group programs drive business success through knowledge sharing, holding each other accountable to achieve goals and financial benchmarking to understand what's possible from the best in class.

How many partners do you work with in the UK?

2,500+

Are you looking either to expand or reduce that? If so, what partner profile does this apply to?

We're always looking to find new businesses to partner with and accelerate their journey to success.

Have you made any major changes to your partner programme recently, or are you about to?

Following on from Service Leadership joining the ConnectWise family in 2021, we have introduced the SLIQ operational maturity level (OML) growth tool to the IT Nation Evolve programme. Using SLIQ allows our members to understand the OML of their business functional areas today and the steps they can take to increase their OML & profitability to see immediate results. Combined with the power of the IT Nation Evolve peer group community, the transformational change our members have driven with the inclusion of SLIQ in the programme has been exciting to be a part of.

Describe your perfect partner?

Our perfect partner is a technology solution provider who recognises that together as a community, we can learn from one another, stop reinventing the wheel and hold each other accountable to focus on the important rather than just the urgent, with a goal of raising our member's businesses to new heights and accelerating the journey to success for all community members in both their personal and professional lives.

In which areas would you most like to see your partners invest over the next 12 months?

Two main areas of focus. Firstly, developing the leadership skills of and empowering team members to lead the business to new heights. Secondly, building a solid foundation of operational & financial data, so that the success of future business initiatives can be accurately measured and the business can make data driven decisions, rather than simply muscle and feel.

How do you see vendor channel programmes and channel engagement models evolving over the next few years?

A heavy lean into educating partners to deliver business-goal orientated outcomes for their clients, rather than just speeds and feeds on the technical features of products and solutions, as we so commonly see today. For example if you look at our IT Nation Certify programmes, we are educating partners (over 10,000 last year alone), to become true cybersecurity partners to their clients, to understand and communicate business-risk and mitigation, rather than solely in how to use the ConnectWise cybersecurity solutions and their features - the results our partners achieve with this approach are incredible to see.

What are your priorities for the next 12 months?

To expand the reach of the IT Nation Community in EMEA to reflect the changing needs of our partners businesses. For example, we currently offer peer group communities for business leaders and service leaders within TSP businesses. We will expand those offerings this year to include additional specialist areas such as cybersecurity, where our partners can benefit from having the support of their peers to accelerate their journey to success.

Do you feel ConnectWise is doing enough to cater for non-resale partners, including those that sell technology as a managed service, ISVs or agents?

Nothing is ever enough; we always strive to do more for our partners and to improve. That said, I'm proud of what we offer today through our cybersecurity partner program, the IT Nation community, partner success teams and ConnectWise University, to provide our partners with the support, knowledge, resources and direct assistance to build a strong recurring services portfolio, that incorporates our software and expert services in a way that suits our partner's business-model, so they can in turn create their own recurring services they can take to market and build valuable businesses.

Is direct-channel conflict ever an issue in your partner ecosystem, and if so how do you mitigate that?

Direct conflict isn't a challenge that we see in our ecosystem. Our primary route to market is our partners, as they have the business understanding and ability to align appropriate solutions with their end-clients, to truly bring about business transformation through technology.

Name one trait you prize highly in partners, and one you deplore?

I prize highly a partner's desire to grow, learn, feedback and engage with us in a true partnership. Deplore is a strong word, but the opposite of the above is challenging for both parties.

How do you feel ConnectWise's margin proposition stacks up against your peers?

It's been a privilege to work with our partners to help them build high-margin services using our software and expert services, that allow them to not only have the tools to fulfil their end-client's needs, but also to deliver services without either being over-resourced and sacrificing profitability, or under-resources and risking churn. I believe the proposition we have is unique in the market and offers a high-value, high-margin opportunity for our partners vs what is available in the market.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one aspect of your channel performance or strategy overnight, what would it be?

The covid lockdowns have been so tough and prevented us from being in-person with our partners and prospective partners. If I could change one thing (fortunately we're well on the way to addressing it, having been running live events since August 2021), it would be to have increased visibility and be back to where we were pre-covid on face-to-face engagements.

What's the most challenging aspect of being a channel leader?

Noise and distraction - there's so much out there, you have to be disciplined, stay focused on the things that are important and will move the needle: growing and developing our team and fulfilling our promises to our partners.

Tell us something about yourself most people won't know

I was a pretty handy badminton player when I was younger… right up until the time I did one of those things you are always told not to do as a kid, but could never figure out why it wasn't allowed… I jumped off the top of a bouncy castle, it didn't do my Achilles any favours to say the least, and after that had recovered I never got back in the badminton habit.

What is your spirit animal?

Our dog, Archie.

What would be your walk-on song, and why?

Loadstar remix of Blind Faith by Chase and Status. Why? Energy.

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