IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

New Initiatives and Product Features from ConnectWise

CEO Arnie Bellini highlighted new features in the company's business process management tool and revealed some innovative partner offerings in his keynote at IT Nation 2011. By Cecilia Galvin

At its IT Nation 2011 partner conference, ConnectWise co-founder and CEO Arnie Bellini told a packed room at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek that we are in a “technology renaissance” fueled by entrepreneurship, which he described as “a calling.” In a nod to the rapidly changing IT industry fueled by this renaissance, Bellini also advised partners to “understand where things are going and adjust your business” accordingly.

Bellini then drew huge applause from the room when he announced that ConnectWise Mobile is now a native app for the iPhone, acknowledging, “We got it right now.”

Bellini also rolled out certification and training available through ConnectWise for Cisco, Microsoft, and a host of others. Now, he said, partners can live up to the promises they made in good faith to prospective hires about opportunities to continually learn new technologies, and be able to do so affordably. That is, for a limited time, students will have unlimited access to all online courses for only $35 per month per student, with an annual subscription. The training is usually offered at $75 per student per month.

Other subjects on the agenda were ConnectWise’s investment in LabTech, with its RMM tool, and its purchase of Quosal, with its quoting tool, and the integration among these products (or those from other vendors). The point? MSPs and VARs need to reduce the sales cycle to attain higher profitability, which such integrated tools provide.

Another new ConnectWise offering that Bellini rolled out are Partner Kits: new sets of tools, guides, white papers, and videos covering what the company calls “critical functional areas in an IT company” that will “share ConnectWise’s expertise and provide guidance to the partner community.” The kits, available to partners via ConnectWise University, cover help desk, sales, human resources, and ConnectWise’s guide to the modern office. According to Bellini, “Developing these exclusive resources is a reinforcement of our commitment to our partners’ success.”

A new product called Chat and Remote Control that Bellini also introduced to partners is specifically designed for use with customers not on managed services. In an on-screen demo, Bellini showed partners how a customer would open a chat with an engineer, and that would automatically create a ticket in ConnectWise. The product also enables the engineer to go into the customer’s system remotely and resolve the problem. As a gift to only those partners attending the show, ConnectWise offered 100 Chat and Remote Control unattended remote control agents—free.

Bellini next talked about the company’s new customer portal that he says is both “pretty” and “multilingual.” Amid sustained audience applause, Bellini noted that the portal automates collections and ties into QuickBooks.

If partners appreciated not only Bellini’s vision and direction but the conference setting at Bonnet Creek, they’re in luck. The company has signed an agreement to host the event at the resort for the next four years.

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