ConnectWise To Add AWS, Cisco To CloudConsole, Double Number of Users By End of Year

ConnectWise hopes to double the number of CloudConsole users to 1,400 by the end of 2017 by opening the cloud service platform up to all solution providers.

The Tampa, Fla.-based IT service management vendor also expects to expand its cloud management, monitoring and billing capabilities beyond Microsoft Office 365 and Azure by the end of the year to include Cisco and Amazon Web Services offerings, according to Craig Fulton, ConnectWise's chief product officer.

"It's just one single tool they have to learn to use," Fulton told CRN. "Instead of having to learn how to use many tools, they only have to use one."

[Related: ConnectWise Exec: Documenting Process, Tracking Customer Experience Vital To Growing Business]

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Since its March 2016 launch, Fulton said CloudConsole has been available only to MSPs using the vendor's professional service automation (PSA) tool. Now that CloudConsole is available to the general public, Fulton expects ConnectWise to target larger VARs managing robust quantities of Microsoft's cloud.

"It's already a market waiting for us," Fulton said.

Solution providers can manage up to 100 Microsoft licensed seats on CloudConsole for $95 per month, Fulton said, or up to 500 Microsoft licensed seats for $189 per month. Higher tiers will cost less on a pre-user basis, according to Fulton.

VARs and MSPs can try CloudConsole free for 30 days, Fulton said, but must make a minimum six-month commitment once they officially sign up. CloudConsole is now available for users of ConnectWise's Automate remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool, according to the company, and will be extended to all other prospective users in the United States by the end of June.

Cisco reached out to ConnectWise recently and indicated they were impressed by the Microsoft integration, Fulton said.

Based on those conversations, Fulton said ConnectWise plans to build into CloudConsole management, monitoring and billing capabilities around the Cisco Spark collaboration platform, Umbrella enterprise security, Smart Net technical support, and Firepower security management portal. ConnectWise should have a Cisco CloudConsole prototype to show partners by its IT Nation show in November, Fulton said.

Many ConnectWise customers have also requested management and billing capabilities around AWS since they work in more than one public cloud, Fulton said. The vendor should have more news to share around this later in the year, Fulton said.

ConnectWise plans to market general access to CloudConsole at July's Microsoft Inspire partner conference, Fulton said, as well as through its distribution relationships with Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data. The vendor also plans to do a lot of paid advertising to raise channel awareness of CloudConsole, according to Fulton.

Larger VARs introduced to ConnectWise through CloudConsole would likely also be interested in ConnectWise Sell for its real-time pricing and availability information, proposal creation capabilities, and electronic quote delivery, Fulton said. Very large VARs are already taking advantage of ConnectWell sell, Fulton said, including one solution provider with more than 160 salespeople.

Consolidating different vendors into a single system is the biggest issue facing solution providers in the cloud, according to Jhovanny Rodriguez, vice president at Addison, Texas-based Synetek Solutions.

"If they're going in the direction of cloud management, I think it's beneficial to have one single pane of glass that allows you to look at multiple vendors," Rodriguez told CRN.

Rodriguez hopes that the focus on CloudConsole doesn't take away from the continued enhancement and development of ConnectWise's core PSA and RMM products.

"They've put together good tools in the past, and have enhanced tools like LabTech [now ConnectWise Automate]," Rodriguez said.