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Where in the World is Matt Lee?

Matt has been making friends and influencing people while leaving destruction in his wake across the US.

I’ve been on the road for two weeks speaking at conferences and hanging with the gang at PAX 8 for their Channel Strong: The Positive Vibes Tour. It may sound like a rock band, but it wasn’t. Here’s our highlights of this whirlwind tour (no autographs, please).

I started out in the swampy humidity of a 95-degree day in Kansas City and traveled. And traveled. And traveled some more. We finally parked the van in Texas around 2am and got just enough sleep to wish we had more time to sleep. We presented in Texas, but the highlight of that day was hanging out for burgers and beers with the team over at Dallas Fort Worth Iconic!

Back on the road, we reached Phoenix at 2am. During our presentations, Phoenix was a balmy 120 degrees with a light breeze from the west. Just kidding; there was no breeze at all. Whoever said “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” deserves to stand in the Arizona heat for six hours straight, then come talk to me.

Next stop was on Friday in Anaheim, California. After presenting there, we headed for a weekend in San Diego with an executive from a New York based MSP we met in Anaheim. We ate Brazilian food and hung in his incredible apartment, discussing life and the fact that he saved $4k a month by moving from New York to San Diego while keeping his MSP in New York.

The next morning found us on the road again, driving across the desert to get to Houston by Monday. I’ve been through the desert and I can assure you that, contrary to popular belief, the horse DOES have a name, and its name was Sweat.

Tuesday found us in San Antonio, but on Wednesday we enjoyed a break. Well, some may have enjoyed a break, but, as you can imagine, I had a lot of catch up meetings to attend on Wednesday.

Thursday was Dallas Fort Worth (shout out Net Res!) before I finally got dropped off in Little Rock Arkansas.

I pulled my “being three places at once” superpowers and had conversations with Auvik and Microsoft at the same time I was attending the DarkWeb ID product advisory meeting while I was in Arkansas. The highlight of this week was my wife, who met me in Arkansas to spend a relaxing weekend hiking up in the mountains before coming back home.

To anyone who has never spent two weeks in a van, I rate this a “10 out of 10, would recommend” to anyone who enjoys cramped spaces with sweaty people, disrupted sleep patterns, and missing their family. Still, special shout out to our friends at PAX 8 for a great time. Lots of friends and connections made.

A little closer to home, I spent the last week in August getting one step closer with Jason to rolling out our role-based access infrastructure. We ended up with over 400 groups formed; somehow, we have more groups than we currently have employees. When complete, this process will automatically assign an employee’s group its necessary accesses, a big improvement over the manual process we have been using.

No shortage of meetings, of course: I’ve been on back to back meetings discussing security items and strengthening strategic relationships.  I also did presentations on M365 at a two-day boot camp, and presented at a Huntress Panel, coming in October to a video screen near you. The Huntress Panel was targeted at their internal sales, discussing what they need to do to continue growing.

The last week of August was a time of ironing out sour feelings with a third-party vendor to bring our relationship back on track; it was a good feeling to be back on “good terms” with this vendor.

Meanwhile, another vendor was giving us the blues regarding services. I convinced them that they needed to change their ways for us, or I’d walk and take Iconic IT (and another huge vendor) with me. In no time at all, they agreed to give us the pricing and services we needed. It’s nothing short of incredible to me that I can flex Iconic’s muscle, size, and relationships to get vendors to accommodate our needs. It’s just another example of how Iconic has become a respected name in the industry.

I spent some time reassessing and evaluating our tool sets for 2021 and worked with Auvik on building five sites instead of just one. We now have segmentation of duties; my fear with a single site was that someone in Dallas could be compromised and it would affect our clients in other geolocations.

On an exciting note, we are continuing our webinars. Look for our two- or three-episode series on The Modern Workplace and Digital Transformation, presented in partnership with PAX8 and expected to run October through December.

I’ve always been a believer in education, and as a group, Iconic IT needs to keep training. I’d like our teams to take part in ConnectWise’s training sessions, either Fundamentals for Sales/Owners or Fundamentals for Engineers  (choose the appropriate one for your position). The trainings take place on September 17 but please note that the registration window closes on September 15.

Back to Channel Strong: The Positive Vibes Tour, I took a lot of heat (pardon the pun) for being the most prepared guy on the van. I thought everyone travelled with five bags (two backpacks, one duffle bag, and two suitcases). I was ready for anything. I brought long pants, short pants, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, shoe bag, good socks, and not so good socks. I obviously didn’t need to bring any hair care products but did pack my beard care products. I had a laptop packed and a backup laptop, just in case. We rented another hotel room at each stop just for my bags.

I leave you all with a thought: if ever a tour can be cursed, ours was. Everywhere we visited, we left a trail of destruction behind us.

  • We passed through Chicago just before it erupted into violence.
  • The day after we left Iowa, a rare event called a “land-locked hurricane” hit and caused massive damage, killing around 30% of their crops.
  • Denver was event free, but that might have been because of the magical powers of Nick Nyberg and the Iconic Denver crew.
  • As we approached Phoenix, we got a view of the wildfires.
  • We were stuck in traffic leaving Southern California because of a jack-knifed tractor trailer.
  • When we hit Dallas Fort Worth, our hotel was right around the corner from a fire in a plastics factory.

Co-incidence or curse? You be the judge.

Check out the Channel Strong: Positive Vibes Tour page and you may see someone you recognize, front and center.

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