IT management, MSP

ConnectWise Officially Rebrands LabTech, Quosal, ScreenConnect

ConnectWise has rebranded its IT and business management software ahead of this week's IT Nation 2016 conference in Orlando, Fla. The move, confirmed by ConnectWise's website, potentially positions the company for a broader base of technology solutions providers (TSPs), particularly entrepreneurs who want to build more profitable technology businesses.

The rebranding moves, first reported by ChannelE2E in August 2016, involves the following ConnectWise Business Suite products:

  • ConnectWise PSA (professional services automation) becomes ConnectWise Manage
  • ConnectWise LabTech (remote monitoring and management) becomes ConnectWise Automate
  • ConnectWise Quosal (sales quoting and proposal software) becomes ConnectWise Sell
  • ConnectWise ScreenConnect (remote control) becomes ConnectWise Control
  • CloudConsole, designed for Office 365 and Azure management (so far...), retains its brand

All of the products are available individually or within the company's business suite.

More Than MSPs

ConnectWise spent much of the past decade helping MSPs (managed services providers) to automate their businesses. Now, the company is seeking to broaden its market position. Instead of segmenting the industry (VARs, MSPs, IT consultants, etc.), the company wants to reach a broader base of TSPs -- which are typically owned and operated by entrepreneurs.

Much of ConnectWise's website now specifically mentions the entrepreneurial journey, and the need for TSPs to:

  • Manage their businesses more effectively;
  • Boost their sales pipelines;
  • simplify their billing and financial management;
  • standardize their IT services;
  • strengthen their customer relationships; and
  • grow their cloud businesses.

More Than a Branding Evolution

The branding changes come as ConnectWise seeks to deliver a next-generation user interface across each of its products. CEO Arnie Bellini says the GUI (graphical User Interface) changes will serve specific users in specific use cases. It's somewhat akin to different types of pilots climbing into different types of cockpits with different dashboards, Bellini told ChannelE2E in June 2016.

ConnectWise is expected to demonstrate some of the GUI and integration evolutions during IT Nation. The efforts have been more than five years in the making. ConnectWise launched an investment arm around 2010. The result included such investments and/or business relationships:

  • 2010: An investment in LabTech Software for RMM (remote monitoring and management) and a joint venture with CharTec for Hardware as a Service (HaaS).
  • 2011: An investment in Quosal, a quoting and sales proposal software system.
  • 2013: An investment in BizDox, a documentation software platform. This relationship didn't quite take off, I don't believe, and documentation upstarts like IT Glue now have momentum.
  • 2015: Acquiring ScreenConnect for remote control software.

By late 2015, ConnectWise reorganized three of those deals (LabTech, Quosal and ScreenConnect) to perform under a single corporate umbrella. The net result, Bellini vowed, would be more tightly integrated software.

Rivals Make Their Moves

When ConnectWise began its M&A investment strategy in 2010, some MSP software rivals downplayed the strategy while others took a wait-and-see approach. But gradually, some rivals have tried to emulate the ConnectWise's M&A integration strategy while others have pushed forward with acquisitions in different market segments.

Overall, a growing list of rivals (Autotask, Continuum, KaseyaSolarWinds MSP, among others) now offers multiple MSP-centric products that are increasingly integrated. Autotask makes the case that its products are truly "unified" -- meaning that the data stores and other key components are increasingly shared across products and more.

Still, ConnectWise is perhaps the first to broaden its overall message beyond MSPs -- insisting all technology solutions providers ultimately are entrepreneurial-driven businesses. Admittedly, ChannelE2E launched has had a similar mindset since our September 2015 launch.

Can ConnectWise Innovate?

For Bellini, IT Nation 2016 means it's showtime. The days of basic PSA-RMM integration are over. The heavy lifting of a company reorganization has been completed. Bellini most now prove that ConnectWise and its development teams can innovate more rapidly as a single company. He'll get his chance at this week's conference.

Track all of our IT Nation coverage here.

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.