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ConnectWise Demonstrates Single GUI for Business Suite

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ConnectWise yesterday publicly demonstrated a single user interface -- one shell -- that will soon stretch across its major business management product lines: Professional Services Automation, LabTech, Quosal, ScreenConnect and CloudConsole.

Brett Cheloff, ConnectWise
Brett Cheloff

LabTech GM Brett Cheloff demonstrated the so-called "single shell" during Automation Nation 2016 in Orlando, Fla. Cheloff describes the single user interface as a "personal approach." For instance, technicians who live in LabTech will see and leverage PSA information from the sister ConnectWise platform without realizing the data comes from ConnectWise.  Similarly, sales leaders who leverage Quosal can live in that platform while seeing data from ConnectWise's sister offerings.

The single user interface -- a common look and feel -- across all products will debut gradually over the next few months and quarters. It sounds like ScreenConnect and Quosal will gain the new GUI first, with ConnectWise and LabTech to gain it sometime thereafter. It's a safe bet ConnectWise intends to show major progress on the single GUI front during IT Nation 2016, which is set for November.

ConnectWise's march toward a single user interface has been a multi-year journey. The march began when ConnectWise invested in LabTech in 2010, and the journey continued with the Quosal investment (2011); ScreenConnect acquisition (2015) and CloudConsole launch (2015).

Multiple MSP software companies have since embarked on similar M&A and R&D strategies. Among the examples:

  • Autotask, a longstanding rival, delivered a single integrated PSA-RMM platform earlier this year;
  • Continuum has enjoyed success blending RMM, NOC (network operations center) and BDR (backup and disaster recovery) under one roof;
  • Datto is extending beyond BDR toward unified threat management (UTM) with its forthcoming DNA (Datto Network Appliance) launch. Datto's cloud management portal will oversee both the BDR and DNA offerings.
  • Kaseya extended beyond RMM with a PSA acquisition in 2015, though I don't know if or when a single user interface across both platforms is under development.
  • SolarWinds MSP (the newly merged N-able/LogicNow business) is exploring ways to cross-pollinate across the SolarWinds, N-able and LogicNow bases.

Still, ConnectWise's single GUI initiative stretches across more products and services than most rivals. And we'll be watching for more signs of progress between now and IT Nation 2016.

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.