ConnectWise Aims To ‘Add Value To A Lot Things Microsoft’: CEO
‘Microsoft’s Microsoft. The partners are heavily reliant on Microsoft so we look at the Asio purpose-built platform and how we can add value to a lot of things Microsoft to make the MSPs lives a lot easier,’ says ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee.
“I want to see the community grow and engaging, helping each other,” Magee said at a press panel at IT Nation Connect in Orlando last week. “I want to see the overall MSP industry thrive. The overall industry is doing pretty well. Partners are growing, most vendors are growing, so it’s pretty nice to see. I want to see that continue. I want to see the community and partners adopting the new technology and I want to see them realize that increased profitability.”
With a big focus on AI, the Tampa, Fla.-based vendor showcased new tools and features at IT Nation including robotic process automation (RPA) technology that offers hyperautomation and ConnectWise Sidekick, an AI companion designed for faster problem resolution, automation of complex tasks and increased efficiency. Also announced was a visual workflow orchestration feature on the Asio platform as well as ConnectWise RMM evolving to a unified monitoring and management solution that allows cloud and backup monitoring capabilities alongside a new real-time interactive dashboard.
“Our goal is to make sure our products work, and while we’re not perfect we will continue to be transparent and show our commitment to being the best partner we can,” Magee said. “Innovation continues to race forward at a breakneck pace, and we all can’t help but think of what the future holds.”
But although AI is on the top of the minds of executives at MSP and vendors, Magee touched on other aspects of the business such as ConnectWise’s strategy with Microsoft, private equity and going public, tool integrations and continuing to have an open ecosystem.
Check out what else Magee had to say below.
On Moving ‘Too Fast’ With Hyperautomation
I don’t know if we’re moving too fast, I don’t think we’re the first movers. We’ve been working on this for years. It was always the core to the DNA of Asio. So again, I don’t think we are moving fast at this point.
If you look at the history of ConnectWise, the foundation of ConnectWise from 20-some years ago to today has been about automation. Pretty much almost everything we did was about automation, streamlining, making things easier.
On Investing In Legacy Products And New Products
We’re still tweaking and modifying a balance. But I would say a lot of investments we’ve made, and partner feedback that we’ve received over time, we’ve actually delivered. [Investments in] updated project management, updated procurement CPQ (configure, price, quote) and other things.
I’m not going to steal too much thunder from what we’re going to be rolling out in Q1, but if you look at Asio and the potential of what can be done with vendors that want to integrate, startups want to build on top of existing technology and a platform where they don’t have to make the investment themselves, like a ticketing component within your application for what you want to do. If you pull that all together with data and automation, think about the possibilities. That’s kind of where we’re going.
We partner with most distributors. We’re working through some of our operational stuff so we can enable some more of our platforms and technologies and services to be sold through them. It’s more about how we can complement and streamline the challenges that MSPs have by having relationships with multiple distributors, multiple direct vendors, SaaS vendors, cloud vendors and traditional vendors. Not every distributor is going to solve every need so what we’re looking to do is make that a bit more frictionless. That’s our game plan.
On Microsoft Strategy
Microsoft’s Microsoft. The partners are heavily reliant on Microsoft so we look at the Asio purpose-built platform and how we can add value to a lot of things Microsoft to make the MSPs lives a lot easier. We tightly integrate Intune to ConnectWise RMM so you’ll see more of that. We try to make the MSPs lives easier by integrating making it so that they don’t have to keep jumping around from tool to tool.
On Private Equity And IPO
When you’re acquired by PE, the next day, if someone comes along and says, ‘Hey, we can sell you for a three, four or five multiple,’ they’re going to do it. PEs are in the business of buying and selling companies. I think prior to the change in market, you would say four to five years was a time horizon. We’ll see with the change of market how much longer that may put things in place. I’m just focused on building a great company.
I’m not the decision maker. I’m going to be tapped me on the shoulder and they tell me which way to go. I’m making the company the best company that it could be. We’re making it, hopefully, more operationally sound and when the time comes, I’ll probably be provided the direction of let’s go public or let’s go through the sale process.
On An Open Ecosystem
We have an open ecosystem. My message to partners is if you’re not going to use our stuff, use someone’s. There’s tremendous benefit and opportunity for that and so from that standpoint, there’s room for everyone.
A multitude of products and tools and services are needed. Not one vendor is capable of doing it all, not one vendor is going to be able to meet the needs of what MSPs and SMBs globally have needs for. Our job is around the purpose built and streamlining it and making it easier, that’s a big part of the why.
Look at the platform or service and how can we streamline, automate and make things more profitable. We’re not going to be the best at everything. We’re sure as hell not going to own everything and we need the vendors to continue to invest in partner success. We can’t do it by ourselves.