ConnectWise Grows 22 Percent; Rallies European Technology Solutions Providers

ConnectWise beat its Q1 2017 financial goals and grew 22 percent, according to CEO Arnie Bellini. Next up: IT Nation Europe 2017, which is set for April 25-27 in London.

During a ChannelE2E interview today, Bellini pointed to Bruce Tuckman's four stages of group development (Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing) to explain the company's evolution. The first stage (Forming) involved ConnectWise reorganizing (2015) and rebranding (2016) several acquired assets under a single corporate umbrella. The result was one software platform that allows technology solution providers to automate, manage, control and sell more services, he says.

"Our current stage is Storming," Bellini asserts. "We're in a big-time Storming stage. Forming is the hardest part. Storming is the most fun."

ConnectWise is privately held so the company's actual revenues and profits are not publicly disclosed. However, Bellini offered these metrics: The company's current growth rate is 22 percent, and ConnectWise now has 900 employees. "We're getting more efficient, putting more to the bottom line and investing back into the ecosystem. IT Nation Europe is an example of that."

ConnectWise IT Nation Europe 2017

Indeed, Arnie and brother David Bellini are set to host IT Nation Europe 2017 next week in London. (Yes, the company's global IT Nation 2017 is still set for November in Orlando.)

Among the key themes: Technology is taking over the world, so technology solutions providers will become more -- not less -- strategic to customers. ConnectWise, in turn, has lined up Premier Solutions and Certified Integrations across business availability, IT management, security and more. "The result is an integrated platform will massive gravitational pull," he asserts. That pull, attracts more ISVs to integrate with ConnectWise.

Bellini says his company is taking share from rivals, though multiple MSP- and IT automation companies (from Autotask to SolarWinds MSP) also claim to be in growth mode these days. It's difficult to pinpoint the overall standing of each company relative to the market, since so many players are privately held.

Still, the entrenched IT service software market faces some potential challenges. Up in the midmarket and enterprise, offerings like ServiceNow are pushing beyond IT to engage HR, finance, security and other departments. On a somewhat similar note, FinancialForce linked to has gained traction with midmarket IT consulting firms that want to automate engagements.  Most major automation systems are also striving to simplify their platforms for easier consumption.

Diving In for More

Amid those market realities, Bellini remains upbeat. He compares ConnectWise's current journey to his personal training regimen -- one that allowed him to swim the English Channel in 2013. There are some days he didn't necessarily want to get into the water, he concedes. But the daily discipline to stay focused on metrics and goals -- in life and in business -- is a difference maker, he asserts.

Hundreds of technology solutions providers will judge ConnectWise's progress during IT Nation Europe 2017 next week in London. Oh, and just for good measure: You might even spot Bellini swimming Serpentine Lake in the next few days...

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.