According to Fulton, introducing single sign-on is a critical milestone in the journey ConnectWise has been on for years to convert a family of stand-alone products into a single, unified platform.
“You can’t declare you have a platform if you’re logging into multiple things and having to do all these unique things to get them to interact with each other,” he says. “With a single sign-on, we now truly have a platform.”
David Tan, CTO of CrushBank, a maker of help desk applications with headquarters in Syosset, N.Y., is looking forward to the productivity improvements single sign-on will make possible. “Basically, you sign in and you’re in everything,” he says. “It’s been a little bit of a point of frustration, so I think that’ll be nice.”
Adding SSO to the ConnectWise portfolio does more than just simplify the logon process though, according to Fulton. By authenticating users not only with ConnectWise products but with third-party solutions, the new feature arms systems like the ConnectWise Automate RMM offering to more fully automate processes that previously required a separate logon.
For example, Perch Security, of Tampa, Fla., plans to leverage the new SSO functionality to automate the response to threats identified by its intrusion detection solution. Future editions of the Perch product will create a ticket in ConnectWise Manage when they detect a new issue and then execute remediation scripts via ConnectWise Automate without technician assistance.
“That single sign-on, single authentication, kind of allows that to happen across the board without someone interacting to kick off the next step,” Fulton observes.
ConnectWise has an investment stake in Perch, whose software is part of the massive cybersecurity push ConnectWise outlined for IT Nation Connect attendees last week.
SSO plays a critical role in the user-specific dashboards Fulton previewed last week as well. Slated to arrive by February of next year, the new feature will let users create an individualized “cockpit” displaying the precise mix of information from across the ConnectWise portfolio they wish to see.
Previous ConnectWise dashboards were customized by role for technicians and salespeople, for example. Technicians who prefer that version can switch back to what ConnectWise calls “classic view” if they choose.
ConnectWise has been discussing the importance of customized cockpits as far back as the 2016 edition of IT Nation.
In prior years, Fulton would have spent more time during the keynote address he delivered last Thursday describing a wider range of porduct changes. In January, however, ConnectWise announced that the conference previously known as IT Nation and now named IT Nation Connect will deliver business development content, while the conference formerly known as Automation Nation and now dubbed IT Nation Explore will focus on product and technical content.
The company renamed IT Nation and Automation Nation three months ago in conjunction with a larger move to consolidate its events, user groups, peer groups, and training programs under the IT Nation brand.