IT management, MSP

ConnectWise Inks Network Operations Center (NOC) Partnership

Adam Slutskin

ConnectWise has inked a NOC (network operations center) and help desk partnership with IT By Design. The move potentially positions ConnectWise to compete against Continuum, GMS Live Expert, InbayLive Virtual Help Desk and NetEnrich among others.

ConnectWise Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutskin confirmed the relationship to ChannelE2E earlier today during IT Nation 2016. Under terms of the deal, ConnectWise partners can consume IT By Design's NOC and help desk services in at least two formats:

  • after-hours support, for those ConnectWise partners that want to maintain in-house support during their business hours.
  • complete 24x7x365 support for those ConnectWise partners that want to completely outsource their NOC and help desk services.

IT By Design is a longtime ConnectWise partner that has mastered the software provider's various platforms, Slutskin indicated. The NOC and Help Desk services will be available to ConnectWise partners worldwide using the well-known follow the sun model.

How many ConnectWise partners can leverage the service? Slutskin doesn't see any limits: "We don't have scalability concerns. I don't foresee scalability issues."

Still, outsourced NOC and Help Desk Services involve a tricky blend of IT knowhow, on-demand scaling, and cross-platform IT expertise. Managing heterogenous networks, servers, applications and endpoint devices can be a tall order.

Competitive Landscape

Among the potential ConnectWise-IT By Design Rivals:

  • GMS Live Expert, Inbay and Live Virtual Help Desk, which essentially are pure play NOC and Help Desk service providers for MSPs.
  • NetEnrich, which recently rehired Justin Crotty to double down on the IT channel while strengthening its management and monitoring services for Microsoft Azure.
  • Continuum, which offers outsourced NOC, RMM (remote monitoring and management) and BDR (backup and disaster recovery) services to MSPs.

MSPs should pay particularly close attention to the potential ConnectWise-Continuum competition. Their approaches to the NOC and Help Desk markets have differences.

Continuum's Approach

While ConnectWise is partnering on NOC and help desk services, Continuum controls its overall offering across NOC, RMM and BDR services.

Continuum CEO Michael George

Instead of hiring technicians, MSPs should outsource those needs to Continuum's staff, the company asserts. The approach allows MSPs to focus on marketing and sales rather than scaling up or down their tech teams amid market fluctuations, Continuum maintains. Moreover, Continuum is preparing to push into Security Operations Center (SOC) capabilities later this year or in 2017, CEO Michael George indicated during his company's conference in September.

Can the ConnectWise-IT By Design partnership match Continuum's NOC and Help Desk services? We'll be watching.

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.