Exclusive: ConnectWise Goes Global With Push Into U.K., Australia

ConnectWise is going global.

The IT management platform company is expanding beyond North America and opening offices in the United Kingdom and Australia to gain a global footprint, setting up offices in central London and Sydney.

The offices are still under construction, but the London office is anticipated to open January 2015, and the Sydney office in the first quarter of 2015. ConnectWise plans to hire 35 people in London and 20 in Australia over the next year.

[Related: 15 Features Coming To ConnectWise In 2015 (And Beyond)]

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"We're all in," said CEO Arnie Bellini in an exclusive interview with CRN.

Going international is crucial, Bellini said, both to address a larger market as well as better service existing partners headquartered or with offices abroad. Bellini said that ConnectWise already has a large number of partners in both the United Kingdom and Australia.

"It’s the right time to do it for a number of reasons. The main reason is we want to be where our partners are. We think that’s important," Bellini said.

London, in particular, Bellini said, will act as a platform to launch into the rest of the United Kingdom and Europe. Sydney also will open doors for ConnectWise in both Australia and the ASIA PAC region, he said.

"We love London. We really think it’s the epicenter of not only the United Kingdom but much of Europe. We're recognizing that it's of critical importance to have a presence there," Bellini said.

The launch also is significantly timed as ConnectWise readies to launch multilingual versions of its IT management platform. ConnectWise also is adding capabilities for billing in local currency, which Bellini said is a benefit for partners as their price for the platform will be fixed rather than fluctuating with exchange rates.

While Autotask, a competitor of ConnectWise, also has a significant presence in the United Kingdom and has opened an office in Sydney, Bellini said that didn't factor into choosing the locations, and he doesn't anticipate it will have any measurable effect on the international expansion.

"We don’t really pay much attention to our competitors. This was the right time for us to march into London and Sydney into our expansion," Bellini said.

Raja Pagadala, managing director and founder of London-based The Final Step, has been a ConnectWise partner since Feb. 2009. He said he expects having a local ConnectWise office will give his company better access to on-site support from experienced staff instead of remote support, and better engagements overall. He said he hopes the expansion will provide a deeper understanding of the European market and product life cycle, driving a more localized product.

"It’s good to see that ConnectWise is taking a long-term strategic view, and making a significant investment into Europe rather than just a dip-our-toes approach," Pagadala said.

Going forward, Bellini said ConnectWise will continue to expand internationally, with Germany as the next target for expansion.

"They're just fabulous for the first step in global coverage. That’s what this is, our first step in global coverage ... but we're doing it in a big way," Bellini said.