Live Blog: ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini Keynote

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini delivers his annual keynote at IT Nation 2015 starting at 8:00 a.m. ET this morning. Here's a live blog of the keynote -- along with key developments so far at the major IT service provider conference for MSPs.

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini at IT Nation 2015.
ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini at IT Nation 2015.

IT Nation Keynotes from Bellini (today) and The Profit's Marcus Lemonis (Friday) will focus on four things: People, Process, Product and Passion, ChannelE2E has reported. There might also be themes involving alignment and innovation.

For instance: The ConnectWise booth at IT Nation now contains all of the company's major software brands -- ConnectWise, LabTech, Quosal and ScreenConnect. At previous conferences, each brand essentially was its own company. Those days appear.

ConnectWise IT Nation 2015 Live Blog

  • Intro Video: ConnectWise is now one company, with all products (LabTech, Quosal, ScreenConnect) under one corporate roof.
  • SMB: Bellini is pitching the opportunity in small to midsize businesses -- companies with 500 or fewer employees.
  • It's Still Early With Cloud: Only 7 percent of current Microsoft Office licenses are in the cloud -- but 50 percent of companies will move everything to the cloud within 5 years, he added. He seems to be setting up news for rumored Office 365 management tool.
  • NEWS: ConnectWise Cloud Console Announced: Bellini confirms ConnectWise Cloud Console, a single dashboard for managing cloud applications. Partnerships with Microsoft, Tech Data and Ingram Micro in place.
  • Internet of Things: He loves the hype. And RMM monitoring for people health will become a reality.
  • Digital Security: Bellini pointed to the importance of digital security. Is some news coming? Nothing officially announced yet. HIDDEN UPDATE: ChannelE2E suspects ConnectWise has a deep relation$hip with Relyenz.
  • Company History: Bellini is walking attendees through ConnectWise's company history, from 1992 through present day. The milestones are familiar (IBM PCs, NetWare LANs, the Web, and more).
  • Reorg: ConnectWise, LabTech, Quosal and ScreenConnect. "We were engaged. Now we're actually married. All four companies are now merged into one company."
  • New Titles. Bellini remains CEO of ConnectWise but takes on the added title of Chief Product Officer. OUR SPECULATION: ChannelE2E waiting to learn LabTech CEO Matt Nachtrab's current/new title... ?
  • APIs: "We want you to have choice. We'll compete with anyone, but it's really about your choice." Bellini referring to APIs for ISVs.
ConnectWise is developing a single user interface across its 4 core products.
  • NEWS: Single User Interface: ConnectWise is working on a single GUI for its four core products (ConnectWise, LabTech, Quosal, ScreenConnect). Last ChannelE2E heard, that type of capability was still several years off. But perhaps ConnectWise is accelerating the effort.
  • Marketing Tools: Keep an eye on a tool called Campaign Director, which helps IT service providers to develop and nurture leads.
  • Big Applause: The new ability to transform an opportunity into an agreement in software. Lots of software updates on procurement and projects. Check in with ConnectWise for the specific features/functions because I'm not a features/function guy.
  • User-Based Billing: In addition to tracking products, ConnectWise is enhancing user-based billing. If a user is added during a billing period, the invoice can manage that during a prorated period.
  • Custom Invoice Designer: Big applause for ConnectWise 16.1 feature that will allow IT Service Providers to customize their invoices with user-based info.
  • Three Weeks: ConnectWise version 16.1 and the demoed features will be available to partners within three weeks, Bellini mentioned.

Office 365 Management, GPSLocator

The other big announcements involve Office 365 management tools -- including pro-rated billing. You can find it at free limited trial.

ConnectWise GPSLocator allows service providers to track and automate time entries for service ticket locations.

Also, keep an eye on ConnectWise GPSLocator, which allows IT service providers to track the location of customers, the customer locations that triggered trouble tickets, and the location of customer service representatives. Then, it automates all the time and billing through links between GPS smartphone data and ConnectWise.

Other IT Nation 2015 News and Rumors

Reminder: Check back right here starting at 8:00 a.m. ET for live blog updates from Bellini's IT Nation 2015 keynote.

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.