ConnectWise has built its Microsoft practice up massively in a very short time, and the full support for Azure should continue that trend.
TORONTO – Business management platform provider ConnectWise has announced that its CloudConsole tool’s functionality has been expanded to provide full support for Microsoft Azure. The new support will allow CloudConsole users to be able to monitor, manager and bill for Microsoft cloud services through ConnectWise, providing single pane of glass support.
The announcement was made with ConnectWise exhibiting at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference in Toronto – a venue where until recently, they would be unlikely to be found at all.
“Historically there hadn’t been much of a relationship,” said Craig Fulton, General Manager, ConnectWise Business Suite. “It has been the development of our CloudConsole that got their interest and has got us working together.”
The business has developed quickly. ConnectWise launched CloudConsole, a tool that helps with managing, monitoring and billing of cloud services, in February. Since then, more than 300 ConnectWise customer companies are managing over one million seats of Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions through CloudConsole.
“We’ve had a great time recently helping Microsoft with CSP, Office 365 and now with Azure,” Fulton said. “The industry is going to cloud. Microsoft is making it easy for them to do so. And we have a tool that helps anyone using Microsoft manage it monitor it and bill it. A major concern with CSP is handling the billing. We make one of the few tools that can easily handle this, so they see us as a big helper. Microsoft is hiring a person just to deal with the ConnectWise relationship now.”
The new Azure support capabilities in CloudConsole include Proactive Monitoring, which becomes easy for ConnectWise partners because of their ongoing access to the status of their customers’ Azure services through a central console. Billing is also made easier, and can be done in a single click. Additional billing improvements include built-in proration for service upgrades and automatic updates of billing details.
“This really is a big deal,” Fulton said. “We have had a lot of buzz at the booth about it. MSPs have moved clients to Office 365, but still have some stuff on the roof like VMs, and they want to move that too. We have done something really unique with this, giving technicians and service delivery folks a way to provide service for Azure inside ConnectWise.”
Fulton said that partners also like how ConnectWise automates the billing of Azure.
“We have a way of estimating what you might charge, and prebilling because we can estimate it,” he said. “Even in a pay-as-you-go model, we can prebill.”
Fulton said that this announcement is part of what will be a year of strong opportunities for ConnectWise partners.
“This year, we are unifying all our products into one single platform,” he said. “We were four companies, and now we are one, focused on delivering a total suite, a solution that covers from marketing all the way to billing. We have been innovating with things like CloudConsole. We want to help all our partners to add a cloud service practice to their business.”