Channel technologies, IT management, MSP

ConnectWise Branding, GUI Evolution: Think ‘Simple’

ConnectWise Arnie Bellini
Arnie Bellini

ConnectWise is striving to simplify its products and associated branding -- leveraging key lessons learned from Apple, Google and other consumer-friendly technology companies.

"Simple is a big theme in 2016 at ConnectWise," says CEO Arnie Bellini. "We are making our solutions simpler; simpler to use with a new UI throughout the entire ConnectWise Business Suite. We are simplifying our message to the market we serve, Technology Solution providers of all kinds. We are also simplifying our branding. We want to be as simple as Apple or Google."

Indeed, think of products like Google Drive and Apple iCloud -- the names are short, sweet, easy to remember and effectively communicate what the service offers, notes Bellini. Leveraging that type of approach, the software company is planning to rebrand its core products as follows:

  • ConnectWise PSA will become ConnectWise Manage
  • ConnectWise LabTech will become ConnectWise Automate
  • ConnectWise Quosal will become ConnectWise Sell
  • ConnectWise ScreenConnect will become ConnectWise Control

ConnectWise is meeting with core stakeholders in the weeks and months ahead, explaining the branding evolution ahead of the IT Nation 2016 conference in November, according to Scott Marshall, senior VP of marketing. I understand why the company is extending this courtesy to stakeholders. But frankly, I don't think the company has much explaining to do. The new brands are short, sweet and to the point.

Perhaps more importantly, the new brands are verbs that describe how all technology companies (not just MSPs) can more effectively run and scale their businesses, while enhancing the end-customer experience.

ConnectWise Simplified GUI

The brand transitions come as the company also strives to simplify and unify its graphical user interfaces. ConnectWise acquired and/or invested in a range of companies over the past six years -- including LabTech Software (remote monitoring and management software, 2010), Quosal (sales quoting and proposal software, 2011) and ScreenConnect (remote control, 2015).

By early 2016, ConnectWise reorganized those assets and talent teams to function under a single corporate umbrella. And by June, the company began to demonstrate next-generation GUI concepts for its business suite. ScreenConnect 6.0, which launched in August 2016, provides more clues about how ConnectWise's GUIs will evolve.

Admittedly, ConnectWise won't "flip the switch" and change all of its branding and GUIs overnight. The user interfaces will evolve toward a more common look-and-feel as individual product upgrades arrive incrementally. And it will take ConnectWise some time to evolve the product brands -- both online and in terms of physical building signage, according to Marshall.

Industry Transitions

ConnectWise isn't the only IT services software company focused on simplicity. Autotask earlier this year launched a unified platform for PSA and RMM, and SolarWinds MSP is currently developing a roadmap to unify the SolarWinds N-able platform and LogicNow acquisition. Plus, upstarts like Atera have gained some traction providing simple cloud-based PSA-RMM-Business Intelligence packages.

Meanwhile, ConnectWise's own march toward simplified branding and simplified GUIs continues. It's safe to expect some web branding milestones ahead of IT Nation 2016, while new GUI milestones or demonstrations will likely surface at the conference.

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.