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For last several years, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini has insisted that he's not running a software company, despite all evidence to the contrary.
After all, ConnectWise is the professional services automation platform of choice for thousands of managed service providers all around the world. Then there's the other companies in which the Tampa, Fla.-based company's sibling, ConnectWise Capital, has made healthy investments. There's Quosal, the Bothell, Wash.-based quoting software tool, and LabTech Software, an RMM application vendor that even competes with some of ConnectWise's closest partners.
But, Bellini doesn't want to hear it.
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"We're not a software company! We're in the business of success," Bellini exclaims during an interview with CRN at ConnectWise's IT Nation conference in Orlando last week, an event that regularly draws more than 1,500 Arnieheads.
At first glance, the statement might sound like just another slogan dreamed up by ConnectWise's crack marketing team. But, when Bellini began to detail the messaging in the keynote address he intended to deliver the next morning in front of the IT Nation crowd, another message began to emerge: too many MSPs aren't getting the message.
"I don't want to sell you the software unless you are committed to success. Otherwise you're just wasting both our times," Bellini said.
At IT Nation, Bellini laid out a Pyramid of Success for partners to follow, a pyramid he later compares to a similar one laid out decades before by UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.
And in the ConnectWise version, software is near the bottom.
"This [pyramid] is my way of challenging them, of saying let's get serious about success," Bellini said.
To drive home that point, ConnectWise has created a "success matrix," gleaned on analyzing data collected from its partners over the last two years. The matrix can help show MSPs where they're succeeding, and where they're failing, Bellini said.
"We understand through our research what creates a successful company and how they got there. We can show anyone now where they don't match up with a successful path. We've rolled that out throughout our consulting organization and we will be handing them that methodology so that they can implement those best practices on their own," Bellini said.
It includes data that could be a wake-up call for many solution providers and it's something that ConnectWise plans to leverage to give some partners a much-needed kick in the seat, Bellini said.
"It's like you could order a Bowflex, but unless you show up every day and use the equipment in the way it's prescribed and get on a consistent, disciplined approach, you won't achieve the results you want to achieve. It's the same thing in business," Bellini said. "I can give you the Bowflex, [in our] software, but I can't make you use it properly, implement it properly or use the best practices embedded in the software," he said.