In an unconventional move that combines managed services software and business-building best practices instruction under a single roof, MSP software maker ConnectWise, of Tampa, Fla., has acquired consulting, coaching, and peer group provider HTG. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Arlin Sorensen, who founded Harlan, Iowa-based HTG and previously served as its CEO, will remain with the organization, which ConnectWise will operate as a discrete internal business unit. His new title is senior vice president of HTG Peer Groups.
Bringing ConnectWise and HTG together is a logical next step for two organizations long convinced that effective operational software and effective operational best practices instruction are essential ingredients for success in managed services, according to ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini.
“We’ve both been on this mission and this vision for a long time, and it just makes sense to put the two companies together,” he says. With demand for IT services rapidly outstripping the available supply, Bellini adds, the time is right for a joint effort to help MSPs improve operational efficiency as well.
“Technology solution partners have a great opportunity right now to grow their business if they can provide additional services and solutions, and that’s all about organizational alignment,” he says. “That’s where our partners can really use help, and that’s where we want to provide assistance.”
Both Bellini and Sorensen believe teaming up will enable them to increase the depth and scale of educational efforts that each has been conducting separately until now.
“We’re going to be able to really take the things that we’re both doing to totally different levels,” says Sorensen, pointing to the HTG Booster program that ConnectWise is currently piloting as an example. Introduced last summer and available free of charge, Booster gives HTG peer group members access to a senior business advisor tasked with helping them assess and optimize their ConnectWise software deployment. Over 250 HTG enrollees have signed up for the offering already, and Bellini expects to expand that number significantly once Booster enters full-scale production this year.
He also expects to increase the reach of HTG’s peer group operation. The company currently maintains 75 of its flagship, in-person peer groups, and Bellini hopes to at least double that figure in the future.
“The synergy of our consulting teams, the synergy of our education teams, and the global footprint of ConnectWise will give HTG the needed resources to really take their goodness and spread it throughout the entire ecosystem,” he says.
Merging HTG’s staff and materials with the instructional resources ConnectWise already delivers via its ConnectWise University division will enable the two organizations to create entirely new education offerings as well, Bellini adds.
“You’ll see the HTG consulting staff and the ConnectWise consulting staff collaborate deeply, solving problems [and] defining even more best practices and then turning that into scalable education material,” he says.
Though the benefits of turning ConnectWise and HTG into a single entity will accrue initially to channel pros who do business with those companies, Bellini ultimately hopes to make their combined training and consulting capabilities available to non-partners as well.