MSP, Content

ConnectWise IT Nation Connect 2020: Day Two Live Blog

ConnectWise IT Nation Connect 2020, a virtual event, arrives at a key time for ConnectWise partners and the MSP (managed IT service provider) ecosystem.

It has been roughly one year since ConnectWise acquired Continuum. Fast forward to present day and this week's IT Nation Connect 2020 conference. During the virtual gathering, ConnectWise has disclosed product roadmap updates, new partner integrations and acquisitions. Here's a recap so far.

Keep checking this blog for updates.

ConnectWise IT Nation 2.0: What's Next for MSP Tribes?

Craig Fulton, chief customer officer, ConnectWise
Craig Fulton, chief customer officer, ConnectWise

9. IT Nation and 2021: ConnectWise has budgeted for face-to-face events in 2021, but remains ready to rally IT Nation partners during virtual events as well, Chief Customer Officer Craig Fulton tells ChannelE2E. Among the big areas of focus: Ensuring that the IT Nation "tribes" expand beyond MSP and technology solutions provider owners. ConnectWise wants to engage all employees from its partner base -- including employees focused on sales, marketing, technology, service desks and more. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fulton can't predict exactly when ConnectWise will return to face-to-face events for conferences, user groups, peer groups and more. But the company is ready to get back on the road when it's safe to do so. In the meantime, watch for ConnectWise to continue to expand that "Tribe" approach through virtual events. The events will be designed to "guide" attendees through multi-step journeys focused on specific roles (sales, marketing, tech, etc.) and goals.

8. Coming Thursday, November 12  - Entrepreneurial Operating System: Look inside many of the world's top MSPs, and you'll notice that their CEOs have read the book Traction and embraced the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) concept from author Gino Wickman. Want to learn more? Craig Fulton offers this tip: Wickman will provide this workshop at IT Nation on Thursday, November 12.

7. ConnectWise Business Software: Updates to the company's core IT monitoring, management and business automation software include:

  • ConnectWise Manage: Enhancements to the billing automation engine and a new reconciliation option will allow partners to saves hours/days in getting invoices out the door, the company asserts.

  • BrightGauge: The software is evolving from a business intelligence dashboard to a "true business maturity platform, with a pilot program opening this month," ConnectWise asserts.

  • RMM Roadmap: Watch for more and more similarity between the company's two RMM platforms (ConnectWise Automate and ConnectWise Command), Chief Product Officer Jeff Bishop tells ChannelE2E. Bishop stops short of saying the two RMM products will become one, but micro-services will increasingly be shared across the platforms.

  • Near-Term RMM Moves: ConnectWise Control is now available in ConnectWise Command and the Help Desk service is being piloted in ConnectWise Automate, the company says.

  • MSP Documentation Software: The company described Version 4 of ITBoost, including "major performance enhancements and automated capture of information from more than a dozen different providers including Microsoft, Amazon and Cisco," ConnectWise says.

ConnectWise Development Strategy, Acquisitions and Partnerships

Author: Jeff Bishop, CPO, ConnectWise

6. ConnectWise's Software Architecture: The company is on a journey to move toward more of a micro-services approach. Think of it this way: Within Microsoft Office, the company doesn't re-write the Spell Check functionality specifically for each application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint,etc.). Instead, the Spell Checker is a micro service -- written once -- that can be shared across all Microsoft applications. Continuum, which ConnectWise acquired in 2019, was far along on its micro-service architecture ahead of the M&A deal. ConnectWise is now leveraging that work to speed R&D, code deliveries and integrations across its applications, Bishop tells ChannelE2E.

Author: Brian Downey, VP of product, security, ConnectWise

5. Cybersecurity Acquisitions: ConnectWise has acquired Perch Security and StratoZen for SOC (security operations center) and SIEM (security information and event management) services. In an interview with ChannelE2E, ConnectWise VP of Security Products Brian Downey noted:

  • Continuum, which ConnectWise acquired in 2019, was good at building scalable SOC services. But when it came to managed SIEM services, Perch Security and StratoZen will really take ConnectWise's security portfolio for MSPs to the next level.
  • ConnectWise realizes that MSPs can't just keep adding costs to their businesses, especially when it comes to security. The ConnectWise security portfolio, in contrast, will make MSPs more efficient by driving down false positives and giving partners a "do it yourself" approach that wasn't previously available in the managed security services sector, he asserts.

4. Integration - Data Warehouse: Sesame Software, a provider of data management solutions, now supports ConnectWise applications. The move allows MSPs to streamline their data integrations by centralizing all their data into a fully automated reporting data warehouse, Sesame Software says.

3. Integration - Unified Communications: A new Intermedia integration with ConnectWise Manage allows MSPs to:

  • Export their entire catalog of products and services from Intermedia directly into their ConnectWise Manage Products tab;
  • map end-user accounts between Intermedia's Partner Portal and ConnectWise Manage so billing information automatically flows into the correct customer accounts; and
  • automatically schedule exports to ensure the latest, most accurate billing information is provided.

PS: We've often wondered if/when an MSP software platform provider would acquire a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider. We haven't heard any rumors in that area, but remain intrigued.

2. ConnectWise's Next Moves?: We preview them here -- including the earlier M&A rumors about Perch Security and StratoZen.

1. Recap - ConnectWise 2020 Moves So Far: We recap them here.

More IT Nation News: Send me your IT Nation news tips and perspectives -- [email protected].

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.