The Northeast Exchange: A Business Meeting with Heart

As people begin to dust off their social skills post pandemic, the tight-knit Ivanti Momentum User Group (IMUG) in the Northeast met in Portsmouth, NH October 19 and 20, 2022, to relaunch the Northeast Exchange, a two-day user group meeting for members of the Ohio, Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, D.C. and Northeast user groups. Twenty-nine customers participated on the 19th and 33 on the 20th as well as partners and Ivanti staff.

Formerly called the Northeast Summit, ​which last met in the summer of 2019, participants were eager to get their hands on a Neurons for ITSM instance to compare it to Cherwell Service Management, which they did in a full day training session. The following day ran like a traditional user group meeting. Julia Gray from Oakton Community College shared her journey as an early adopter transitioning from CSM to Neurons for ITSM. Joel Jacks and Alan Taylor unveiled a three-year roadmap for CSM and Neurons for ITSM, respectively. Roundtable discussions focused on business challenges and ideas for solving them. All the while, a technical group of Ivanti staff and partners Excalibur and StrataCom offered free consulting as one unit working for the common good of the customer.

 As much as the technical content informed minds, literal fireside chats informed hearts. Customers, partners, and Ivanti staff rekindled relationships and stoked new ones on a level unattainable in Zoom and Teams meetings barely worth their convenience. “Welcome to the Ivanti Family Thanksgiving,” said one customer as staff, partners, and customers alike pitched in to quickly arrange pizzas, beer, and s’more accoutrements on folding tables while others set the firepits ablaze to ward off the encroaching New England chill during leaf peeping season. Comradery rose and connections strengthened. Amid all the shop talk and small talk, business began to take a back seat as hearts softened listening to others share stories of personal tragedy, unveil aspirations and feelings of uncertainty, and regale each other with nostalgic memories of past customer conferences. 

The Northeast Exchange, like the user group program as a whole, strives to make a deposit back into customer relationships. The goal is to connect customers with each other and to resources to help them get the most out of their partnership with Ivanti. ​Considering some participants took PTO and paid their own expenses (not reimbursable by their company) to attend, I’d say we’re on to something. Join us next year!

The community is full of real people who are passionate champions for our customers. Many thanks to the Ivanti team of Dan Olson, Don Lacasse, Geoff Holt, Joel Jacks, Keith Oliverson, Larry Dworetsky, and Mike McMullen for supporting the event in person as well as Chris Chagnon, Eli Hunt, Steve Castallana, and Sue Barber for their extraordinary vision and commitment to organizing this event.