ConnectWise also unveiled a number of enhancements designed to make the lives of technicians easier.
ORLANDO – ConnectWise is reworking its old informational marketplace into a modern eCommerce site where MSPs will be able to seamlessly order products from individual vendors through ConnectWise. It is scheduled to go live on June 24, with two vendors available, BitDefender and Webroot. Several others are slated to follow shortly afterwards.
“We realize that we have not always been the easiest company to buy stuff from,” said Jeff Bishop, the company’s Chief Product Officer, in the opening keynote. “We have created a truly transactional marketplace where our partners will be able to buy product, which will launch on June 24. We are really excited about getting this out of the door.”
While ConnectWise has had a ‘marketplace’ for years, it was informational only, Bishop said. “It was a place for us to talk about what the vendors, and about how they integrated to the products. There was no ability to purchase anything. You clicked a button that said ‘have an account manager call me.’ We have now added a transactional layer to it.”
The new Marketplace is built on an eCommerce CMS platform, but the management functionality was all designed in-house by ConnectWise.
“It is simple to use, and MSPs will be able to knock the whole thing out in less than a minute,” Bishop said.
The first two vendors available on June 24 will be Webroot and BitDefender. The next three – which Bishop said are a few weeks away, are StorageCraft, Storage Guardian and Acronis.
“It takes a while to roll them out because the integrations are very complex,” Bishop indicated. “While we are all API-focused with our products, we have not been focused as much on backend products. The first two are just about ready because we have gone through the billing cycles for those two products. The others are a few weeks away.”
Bishop acknowledged that this competes in a small way with ConnectWise distributor partners, but that he doesn’t think it will have much impact.
“There is some overlap, but this is really for partners who want the convenience of being able to purchase some licenses from a single vendor through us,” he said. “This ability to purchase through us will be a handful of licenses compared to what the distributors sell.”
Another new product announcement is ConnectWise Now, a interactive interface that lets partners manage all areas of their business, from sales and marketing to service and finance, from a single location. Originally a part of ConnectWise Control [ScreenConnect before the company-wide rebranding initiative], it is now alsoa part of Automate, ConnectWise’s RMM software.
“This is very different from what we had before,” Bishop said. “We had reporting and dashboarding, but this is truly interactive dashboarding that can span multiple vendors. That’s more interesting.”
“Connectwise Now is an amazing new feature,” said Brett Cheloff, VP of Automate. “It’s a complete functional dashboard that lets you bring everything in to one place, and where it’s incredibly easy to make your own space. For example, you could customize it so that it shows data from Automate, Manage, and Webroot.” This allows for better visibility into specific metrics of the MSP’s choosing, such as high priority tickets, active remote-control sessions, cloud health, patch compliance, and sales pipeline.
Cheloff also highlighted a new ‘fly out’ capability in his keynote that you allows a user to get information to ‘fly out’ of tiles on a dashboard to access further information without having to change screens.
“It lets you see important stuff,” he said. “We have been working heavily on getting as much as possible for service techs in through dashboarding. Most techs will be able to do 99 per cent of their work from the dashboard, including patch management and monitoring databases. You can approve, deny or ignore from the screen.” Third party patching can be done this way as well.”
Cheloff also that single sign-on capability is now available throughout the entire ConnectWise product suite, so that partners can manage user access to all applications from a single location.
“You can now log in using an email address, and can connect to anything that you need,” he stated.
Cheloff indicated several other things that have been done to improve things from a technician’s standpoint.
“We added a really cool way to monitor scripts, so you can now go to a script history tab instead of bouncing around many different places,” he said. “We also added a tab to go into a system session instead of a user session, You can do anything you want – without disrupting the user. What’s cool about this is that you can live the life of the stealth IT ninja when working with clients.”
ConnectWise View from Control has been added to Automate, to provide the ability to see remotely what’s going on. A support Session Viewer has also been added into Automate.
“This lets a more experienced tech provide support to another tech and help him out,” Cheloff said “This and View will show up in July licenses,” he added, to cheers from the crowd.
Bishop also provided a sneak peek at what’s coming in the next quarter or two.
“We have a dozen things that are in different phases of alpha or beta,” he said. “We will prioritize things for Q3 and Q4. We do want to make some ‘Wow’ moments in that timeframe, particularly around agreements and invoicing inside of Manage.”