ConnectWise Wednesday took its open platform strategy to a new level with a move to invite its top competitors to its IT Nation conferences.
The company also unveiled changes to the content of its IT Nation and Automation Nation conferences to better reflect the different types of attendees that go to each event.
ConnectWise, which provides technology aimed at helping managed service providers manage their businesses and customers, hopes competing platform vendors like Datto-Autotask, SolarWinds and Kaseya join its IT Nation conference as a way to broaden opportunities for partners, said Arnie Bellini, CEO of the Tampa, Fla.-based company.
So far, Datto, which in October acquired Autotask to become ConnectWise's biggest competitor, has agreed to come to the IT Nation conference scheduled for April in London, Bellini told CRN.
However, Bellini said he wants more. "I'll be personally calling [Kaseya CEO] Fred Voccola to invite him to IT Nation," he said.
Datto was at last fall's IT Nation conference in Orlando, Fla. However, Datto's attendance was scheduled prior to its acquisition of Autotask.
The invite to ConnectWise's competitors to attend IT Nation is an extension of the company's commitment to providing an open platform for MSPs, Bellini said.
"We're focused on a concept of an open ecosystem," he said. "We've always had open APIs and an open platform. Now we want to open our events to anyone. It's like Microsoft going to Oracle OpenWorld, or Microsoft inviting Apple to a conference."
IT Nation was always billed as an open event, although maybe about five competitors were excluded, Bellini said.
"Now we're wide open," he said. "We want attendees to see all the solutions out there. We want everyone to mix and match offerings. It's all about choices. Everyone needs choices. And those choices include every one of our competitors."