ConnectWise Aims To Charm The Channel With New, Unified UI And Four Newly Named Products

ConnectWise has updated its IT service management tool to make it easier for managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver services to businesses more quickly and at a lower cost.

The company has brought its professional service automation (PSA), remote monitoring and management, quote and propose, and remote desktop capabilities together into a single user interface.

The Tampa, Fla. company said the new user interface will provide MSPs with a more consistent experience, reduce the number of clicks needed to navigate between functions, and ensure the same keys carries out the same function in every program, according to Craig Fulton, ConnectWise's vice president of product.

"You can't tell where one product ends and another product begins," Fulton told CRN. "It's just one ConnectWise."

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[Related: ConnectWise To Rename All Products As It Unifies Recent Acquisitions]

ConnectWise also officially rolled out new names for all its products, formalizing the announcement made at CRN-parent The Channel Company's XChange 2016 conference in August. The company's flagship PSA tool – previously known as ConnectWise – will now be known as ConnectWise Manage, and its RMM tool – formerly known as LabTech – will now go by ConnectWise Automate.

The company's automatic sales proposal generation capabilities – previously known as Quosal – will now be called ConnectWise Sell, and its remote desktop control tool – previously known as ScreenConnect – will now go by ConnectWise Control.

"It just made sense to align everything under one company, one brand," Fulton said. "We felt the names really helped, because it described what the product really does, and how the product can help partners."

The rebranding will make it easier for ConnectWise to talk about what it can do for MSPs, Fulton said, since some customers today don't realize all four products come from the same company. Going forward, Fulton said the vendor would be focused on presenting its entire platform rather than just a single product to solve customer challenges.

The new UI has the most in common with the legacy ConnectWise Manage interface, Fulton said, and will involve the biggest changes for previous users of ConnectWise Automate. Specifically, Fulton said Automate users can expect a management screen with more of a dashboard look and feel, which will make it easier for MSPs to spot problems and work on customer machines without losing their interface.

"It alerts you right away from a quick view in a way that it hasn't before," Fulton said.

The new UI will bring remote control capabilities directly to the PSA ticket, Fulton said, enabling an MSP's technicians to take control of a customer's machine with just a single click in the ticket. And salespeople will be able to view and modify quotes inside the specific opportunity without having to toggle between functions, Fulton said.

Automation of administrative tasks will also be a key feature of ConnectWise's new UI, which will automatically record the time a technician starts and stop using the remote control feature, Fulton said. The UI will offer drag-and-drop functionality, Fulton said, allowing users to add or delete features and move the pods around the dashboard.

Although ConnectWise will maintain separate teams for each of its four products, Fulton said the vendor is adding positions in product management, product marketing and brand marketing focused on unifying the efforts of the individual product teams. This effort will be led by Fulton, who was promoted to vice president of product and will work to unify all the products in the ConnectWise business suite.

"We're starting to build new roles in the organization that look at everything together in a unified way," Fulton said. "We look at everything holistically now instead of solving it for one specific product."

Real Time Consultants has been a ConnectWise Manage customer for a decade, and is pleased that ConnectWise Automate will begin looking and acting the same as the PSA product, said John Azzinaro, chief operating officer of the Mahwah, N.J.-based company. Specifically, Azzinaro said he's pleased that ConnectWise is focused on ensuring alerts to the RMM tool come in and are more visible.

Azzinaro told CRN that he hopes ConnectWise will also focus on improving the reliability, product development and customer support around its Automate tool.

"I think it [the new UI] is probably a good idea," Azzinaro said. "I'm glad they're making it pretty, but in some critical areas, it still doesn't work that well."