IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ConnectWise Names Winner of Inaugural Tech Tank Solution Development Contest

Crowned at the vendor’s Automation Nation event today, Jimmy Puckett and David Wilkeson (pictured) will receive up to $100,000 to create an add-on for the ConnectWise Manage PSA solution that automates employee bonus calculation. By Rich Freeman

ConnectWise has awarded its first Tech Tank award to the developers of MySlice, an add-on for the ConnectWise Manage PSA solution that seeks to help MSPs automate the calculation and reporting of bonuses and sales commissions.

The winners will receive up to $100,000 of funding to turn their proof-of-concept into a shipping product.

Conceived by David Wilkeson, CEO of Youngstown, Ohio-based consultancy MSP Advisor, and Jimmy Puckett, CEO of SPINEN, an MSP and application development shop in Macon, Ga., MySlice is designed to streamline a task that Puckett knows from personal experience can consume inordinate amounts of time.

“We spend two to three days a month doing our bonus calculations,” he says of his company.

MySlice was one of three finalists for the Tech Tank competition. Yaypay, a maker of accounts receivable management software headquartered in New York, took second place for a solution aimed at automating the collections process for managed services invoices. The company will receive up to $50,000 from ConnectWise to bring its vision to life.

“Collections and chasing after invoices is a very manual task and a very a difficult task, and every hour an MSP spends on that is an hour that they’re not spending on something that they’re fundamentally good at doing,” observes Manoj Jonna, Yaypay’s vice president of customer success.

The Tech Tank competition’s third-place finisher, Swedish IT automation software maker Upstream, will receive up to $25,000 to build a proposed solution integrating its MySelfServicePortal offering with ConnectWise Manage and the ConnectWise Automate RMM platform. The MySelfServicePortal system lets end users solve basic service issues on their own.

ConnectWise Chief Product Officer Craig Fulton announced the winner of the Tech Tank contest on stage this morning at the vendor’s Automation Nation conference, which is currently underway in Orlando. The company received 16 Tech Tank entries in all. The three that scored highest with a panel of in-house judges on innovation, business potential, user experience, and use of ConnectWise’s APIs and SDKs advanced to the final round.

“They really hit on some of the pain points that we hear from our partners,” says April Taylor, the vice president in charge of ConnectWise Manage.

All three finalists presented their concepts to Automation Nation attendees yesterday. The winning entry and runners up were selected based on a combination of their initial ConnectWise judging scores and attendee votes.

Both Upstream and the developers of MySlice aim to make their systems available in time for ConnectWise’s IT Nation conference in November. ConnectWise plans to hold a second Tech Tank competition in conjunction with that show, and will begin accepting entries this summer. Professional software vendors and “citizen developers” alike are welcome to compete.

The Tech Tank awards program is designed both to encourage the creation of solutions MSPs can combine with ConnectWise products to automate business tasks and to highlight the important role integration plays in ConnectWise’s platform strategy.

Unlike competing vendors like Kaseya Ltd. and Datto Inc. that are steadily assembling ever-more comprehensive portfolios of products for managed service providers to both use themselves and sell to customers, ConnectWise aspires to serve as the hub that links an ecosystem of solutions from third-party providers, while focusing exclusively itself on line-of-business software for MSPs.

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