Channel technologies, MSP

ConnectWise Business Suite: More Than A Name Change

Take a close look at ConnectWise, and you'll notice the company rebranded its IT service provider software suite earlier this year. Say goodbye to Modern Office. Say hello to ConnectWise Business Suite. I suspect that was far more than a brand change. It's the sign of something bigger coming on the integration front.

To understand where ConnectWise Business Suite is heading, you need to look back at the software portfolio's history. ConnectWise got its start in 1982 as an IT service provider, branched out into software with a PSA (professional services automation) offering, then gradually transformed the code into a more complete business management platform for VARs and MSPs.

ConnectWise M&A Strategy

Then, the M&A activity started. ConnectWise's investment arm pumped money into LabTech Software (remote monitoring and management) in 2010 and Quosal (quoting and sales proposal software) in 2011, and outright acquired ScreenConnect (remote control) in 2015.

Those piece parts became a software suite -- originally dubbed Modern Office. By June 2015 (perhaps earlier), the Modern Office term was retired, and ConnectWise Business Suite was officially launched.

Rivals haven't stood still. Autotask has acquired its way into the RMM and file sharing market. And additional rivals like Continuum, LogicNow and SolarWinds N-able have made targeted acquisitions or developed home-grown code to address additional IT service provider needs.

ConnectWise IT Nation 2015

So what's next? We'll  get the answers at IT Nation (Nov. 11-13, Orlando, Fla.), an annual partner and customer conference hosted by ConnectWise. It sounds like more than 2,500 IT service providers are expected at the event.

During previous IT Nation gatherings, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini has demonstrated some integrations between ConnectWise and LabTech Software. But I sense that truly deep integration is set to emerge over the next 12 months or so.

I'm not suggesting that ConnectWise will achieve Microsoft Office-like integration near-term. Surely, menu systems across ConnectWise, LabTech, Quosal and ScreenConnect won't look identical anytime soon.

But... As you may recall, ConnectWise reorganized its sales and support teams to offer blanket expertise across all of the suite components. You can imagine similar moves in the R&D area.

Another potential clue to keep in mind: Check the ConnectWise Business Suite landing page and this image...

You'll notice that the Owl now sits in the middle of the suite's capabilities -- which are represented by a range of icons. Sure, the LabTech robot is present. The Quosal Koala Bear is there. But there's one Owl to rule them all. Hmmm...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.