ConnectWise is marching toward a unified graphical user interface for its business management software tools -- including ConnectWise, LabTech, Quosal, ScreenConnect and more. But what will the new unified user interface look like? Some potential clues have emerged with ScreenConnect 6.0 -- a new upgrade to the company's remote control software.
According to ConnectWise, the new ScreenConnect 6.0 offering features:
- User interface (UI) redesign. The redesigned web UI makes it easier for technicians to work with multiple groups, navigate between machines, and find additional information, the company says.
- Communication improvements. Enhancements include a new indicator light and audible alert to notify technicians when a guest needs assistance. Plus, a new chat widget has arrived, the company says.
- Mobile device and operating system upgrades. ConnectWise is striving for feature parity across Windows, Mac and Linux, plus deeper support for Android on mobile devices, the company says.
ScreenConnect and the March to a Unified GUI
ConnectWise acquired ScreenConnect in early 2015, making it the latest addition to the overall ConnectWise Business Suite portfolio. By 2016, ConnectWise had reorganized its software investments into a single corporate entity, paving the way for deeper integrations between the tool sets.
Yes, ConnectWise is developing a single graphical user interface — one shell — that will eventually stretch across its products (ConnectWise, LabTech, Quosal, ScreenConnect, CloudConsole). LabTech GM Brett Cheloff revealed the single shell concept during Automation Nation 2016 in July. But here’s the twist: CEO Arnie Bellini believes each type of user needs his or her own type of “customized cockpit.”
The new ScreenConnect is a major step in that direction, according to ScreenConnect GM Jeff Bishop. The new GUI uses a four-column layout, though other ConnectWise Business Suite offerings will have a three-column layout based on specific user needs, he says.
Bishop says the new ScreenConnect won't throw off existing users. Among the reasons: Familiar icons and terminology are still in place across the various dashboards. The GUI will receive further refinements when version 6.1 debuts around the time of IT Nation 2016 in November, he adds.
ScreenConnect 6.0 Graphical User Interface
Here's a look at some components of ScreenConnect 6.0's new GUI:
MSP Software Suites Emerge
Plenty of MSP-centric software companies have followed ConnectWise's lead into the suite-centric business. Among the examples:
- Atera, a niche player, has built an integrated PSA-RMM platform from scratch.
- Autotask unveiled a unified PSA-RMM platform earlier this year, though the integration at this point is more about data sets than look and feel.
- Kaseya acquired Vorex this year and has been promoting low-cast PSA as part of its broader MSP software strategy.
- SolarWinds acquired LogicNow this year. A new SolarWinds MSP business division will include a unified road map for the company's N-able and LogicNow assets.
Meanwhile, ConnectWise is pursuing multiple opportunities beyond the business suite strategy. ScreenConnect, for instance, could appeal to multiple vertical markets. And the tool has also gained some traction within corporate IT departments.
Indeed, ScreenConnect is used by more than 15,000 companies in 178 countries, ConnectWise says.