“We want to make sure we bring the same simplicity and accessibility to security solutions to the MSP space that we did with PSA and RMM. Fast forward 18 to 24 months and we see a huge difference. ,” says Emily Glass, CEO of Syncro.
Between focusing on cybersecurity, building a product roadmap for MSPs, and leading the way as an inclusive leader, Syncro CEO Emily Glass has a busy 2023.
“What might change is that we start to focus more on security,” Glass told CRN. “We’ve done a lot this year. We’re getting SOC2 compliant and adding SSO (single sign-on) support. We also always have MFA so we’re always at the forefront of security. He made this the first principle of Syncro.
The Seattle-based vendor of combined PSA and RMM tools recently partnered with Channel Programs to release the 2023 Channel Technology Map, which categorizes vendors by product specialty. This gives MSPS a more complete view of the IT channel landscape across established and emerging vendors.
“When you’re looking for a solution as a potential customer, you know what kind of solution you need,” she said. “This is like a way to visually plan out all the options that are out there. There are so many solutions, so many new solutions that change all the time. How do people keep up? Especially in cybersecurity, it’s very complex. It’s great to document it. [and] Take a snapshot and see how quickly it changes if you keep updating it. ”
CRN spoke with Glass to learn more about technology maps, product innovation, and the benefits and pitfalls of leadership. Check it out below.
Why are we releasing the Channel Technology Map?
This project was launched earlier this year and has done a great job of bringing together all the vendors in this space and increasing the transparency of MSP reviews and MSP peer reviews. When you are looking for a solution as a potential customer, you know what kind of solution you need. This is like a path to visually map all the options out there. There are so many solutions, and so many new ones that are constantly changing. How are people keeping up? It’s very complex, especially in cybersecurity.It would be great to document it [and] Take a snapshot and see how quickly it changes if you keep updating it. It also gives us peace of mind and gives us the feeling that “here is a company that will meet your needs.” [It shows] Where there may be very visual gaps.
You often pride yourself on being a very inclusive leader and that you lead a remote company. What do you like most about being a leader?
I really love working with the team. Having had a reasonably long career, I’ve seen both good and bad leadership examples, and I’ve been able to try different ways to solve things…and share that with others. I love to do it. I just did an offsite with my executive team, and it’s so refreshing to come together and feel like we can all share ideas and through that, find the best solutions. What I really enjoy about being a leader is having a culture of openness and transparency and being able to pass that on and develop the next generation of leaders.
What is the most difficult thing about being a leader?
Accountability and responsibility. With great responsibility comes great responsibility. You are responsible for decisions, and making decisions is a big part of your job. So knowing that you can’t make everyone happy all the time is a huge burden to bear. One of the hardest parts is understanding that it’s going to be an impact that you have to deal with, but just move forward because that’s where the growth comes from.
How do you maintain collaboration and a sense of community in an all-remote company?
Most of our employees are located in the United States, but our work hours vary widely as we span various coasts. One is that you have to have very clear operating principles. We define core working hours, understand what responsiveness means, what typical response times are when we receive a meeting request, and how we can collaborate across different time zones. Give people an overview of the urgency of the issue. We also have one Zoom meeting each week, and we know everyone has to attend. If you can’t attend, it will be recorded, but it’s an opportunity for everyone to come together in one place to communicate about important issues, share knowledge, discuss product releases, and bring everyone together. To strengthen our sense of community, we regularly hold more in-depth virtual and even in-person gatherings.
Syncro has been remote since 2017, so I’ve been lucky to have a lot of experience doing things wrong and learning how to grow remotely. As part of that, we’ve built a lot of documentation and asynchronous collaboration techniques as a result. I think it’s very important to develop patience when you’re in a remote culture. Taking the time to document allows for remote collaboration. Also, as you grow, you can bring people into the culture and have resources for them to reference and understand. I think a remote environment requires patience, but it pays off.
I’ve often seen channel leaders in particular say that companies should go back to the office or take a hybrid approach because that’s what works best. What do you say to that?
I think Synchro is in a unique position because it doesn’t have an office space. When people meet in person, they feel a deeper connection, and having those touchpoints at regular intervals makes a difference. Seeing people in person and knowing they have functioning legs makes a difference. The connections formed in person are different but cannot be replaced online. I admit that. At the same time, I feel like I can see how when you force people to do something they don’t want to do, it can result in negative backlash. There’s a balance that has to be achieved. There is a certain level of discomfort in gathering executives together when they don’t normally travel. It requires logistics, expenses, family pressures, and support. It changes your daily routine in a similar way to hybrid or forcing people back into the office. It’s important to find the right balance for your employees and your company.
I would like to go to the product side. What do you think about AI and what role does it play in Syncro products?
AI is everywhere, not just in the MSP industry. it’s all over. Internally, he already uses ChatGPT to support his technical support team. We started experimenting with it as a training tool, with constant validation. In a remote culture, how you compile articles in your knowledge base and ensure that expertise is aggregated and used in the same way across your team is important. We use this in this way to support their knowledge, answer questions, and help train them along the way. From a product perspective, Syncro definitely takes a conservative approach. His CTO at our company and I have talked about this a lot, and as a technology company, these systems require data privacy concerns and oversight, and they’re still out of the box. I am sure. We want to make sure MSPs are protected and don’t share their information where they don’t want it. The system is still evolving. As the technology matures and we see that there is good control over sharing data and using the technology, we will definitely want to implement this.
What will the Syncro product lineup look like in 18-24 months?
Syncro is a combined PSA and RMM platform, so there is no doubt that we will continue to invest in that platform. Our partner base is growing, so we’re going to focus more on the PSA side than we did last year, and we’ll continue to do that over the next 18 to 24 months. Because that’s where automation, efficiency and growth lie. What might change is you’ll start to see us focus more on the security side. We’ve done a lot this year. Security is his Syncro’s first principle, always at the forefront as we get SOC 2 compliant, add SSO (single sign-on) support, and always have MFA. We want to ensure that we bring the same simplicity and security accessibility to our solutions to the MSP space that we did with PSA and RMM. Fast forward 18 to 24 months and it’s a huge difference.
What will you focus on in 2024?
In addition to making the solutions that MSPs can actually deploy to their end clients simpler, there will also be a greater focus on platform security. That will be a big boost for us. On the PSA side, we want to greatly simplify the stack and make sure you get everything from Syncro. So we definitely need to increase our investment on the billing side to support different providers and make sure everything is as seamless as possible. This reduces extra costs and increases accuracy. When we launch something, we need to think about how to make it as easy as possible for MSPs to adopt, how to minimize the amount of work for MSPs. There’s a lot of opportunity for us there, and it’s going to make some of the developments that we’re doing resonate with our partners. Because partners can leverage it to make a real impact on their business.
With new companies coming to market all the time, how does Syncro stand out from the crowd?
MSPs certainly have a lot of options, and we’ve seen competitors take different approaches. Syncro is a stable solution that always listens to its partners. Our focus on security has been unparalleled, and several plans coming up in the coming months will encourage people to focus even more on security. will understand. This is an important part of being an RMM platform that other companies haven’t invested as much in, and we really think that differentiates us because we’re a composite platform.