Quosal, the quote and sales proposal software business owned by ConnectWise, is preparing a range of business intelligence and cloud surprises over the next few months. Among the key efforts: QuosalOne, a single-user version that has quietly caught on with partners amid a behind-the-scenes soft-launch. The moves come amid a growing spotlight on the quote-to-cash market, where Salesforce just acquired Steelbrick for $360 million, and a range of niche software companies want to help channel partners accelerate their sales pipelines.
ConnectWise invested in Quosal in 2011. As part of a mid-2015 reorganization, Quosal is now a business within ConnectWise. Kent McNall, one of Quosal's co-founders, continues to lead that business as general manager. Quosal R&D -- involving about 60 people -- remains in Seattle, while marketing and other functions are now tackled at ConnectWise's Tampa, Fla., headquarters.
Much of the 2015 business strategy involved closer integrations with ConnectWise's overall software portfolio. But there's also a surprise or two lurking in the R&D labs. The first surprise involves QuosalOne -- a single-user package that was quietly soft-launched in March of 2015. Watch for it to debut in a far more official way this year.
"We soft-launched because we wanted to establish and be certain that an off-the-shelf, 'no implementation' version of Quosal would connect with our target market and be viable for our partners," says McNall. "The product has been extremely successful, and at a $69.95 per month 'all in' price for companies that need only a single user, QuosalOne has really struck a chord with our audience." Indeed, roughly 300 customers are quietly running QuosalOne, which a partner can typically deploy and activate in a single day.
Quosal, ConnectWise and Business Intelligence
On the one hand, ConnectWise wants to connect the dots between its core business management platform and peer software offerings like Quosal, LabTech Software (remote monitoring and management) and ScreenConnect (remote control). But on the other, both Quosal and ScreenConnect continue to experiment outside of ConnectWise's core IT service provider base.
For 2016, the big focus remains "creating the absolute best, most seamless buttery experience for core customers" that are leveraging ConnectWise, Quosal, LabTech and ScreenConnect, he says. "We've had integrations for years. But we absolutely want to take that to the next level. We don't use the word integration. It's about seamless experience."
"Our 2015 was very successful," adds McNall. "We had fairly aggressive goals in terms of market share and customer expansion. We met the goals both inside the IT Nation and outside of IT Nation." McNall didn't disclose specific revenue figures, but he says the platform is uniquely positioned because it's built on Microsoft Azure -- and increasingly leverages Microsoft's business intelligence tools.
In fact, Quosal is beta testing business intelligence capabilities that will likely debut next month.
Salesforce, NetSuite and More
Outside of the core ConnectWise platform, Quosal continues to strengthen integrations with NetSuite, Microsoft CRM and Salesforce. But even as Quosal integrates with Salesforce, it must now compete with the cloud giant.
Indeed, Salesforce's recent buyout of Steelbrick certainly competes with Quosal's platform and other MSP-oriented options like QuoteWerks. But McNall likes Quosal's market position. Steelbrick has about 300 customers worldwide, while Quosal has about 2,400. "We're further down the road in many areas," he says. "The industry is waking up to the critical importance of CPQ software."
To keep the innovation going, Quosal has a completely agile software development approach. The company has delivered roughly 41 straight monthly releases, but skipped a January 2016 release because so many customers are on holiday in December -- and therefore don't have enough time to beta test software. But Quosal will be back with a new release in February 2016 -- and I assume the BI capabilities will likely debut with it.
To stretch out into new markets, watch for Quosal to surface at more distributor conferences, while also participating in Salesforce's Dreamforce and doing more work with NetSuite.
Quosal isn't alone in its effort to stretch into new markets. ScreenConnect, the most recent of ConnectWise's acquisitions, is making some intriguing moves of its own. We'll be back to share those updates in a few days...