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ConnectWise CTO: ‘My Primary Goal Is To Build Solutions That Solve Partners’ Problems’

CJ Fairfield

‘In some cases, they might be the problems partners are raising themselves or opportunities they’re sharing with us. In some cases, we infer them. For example, there might be things they might be doing manually where we might apply things like machine learning to simplify things for them,’ says ConnectWise CTO Raghu Ram Bongula.

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When it comes to security, it’s everyone’s responsibility. That’s what Raghu Ram Bongula is advocating to the channel community when it comes to the cybersecurity ecosystem.

“I believe that every engineer and every member of the team is equally responsible for security,” Bongula told CRN. “I’m a big fan of shift left procedures, shift left processes where we bring in the things you generally do at the end of the cycle to earlier in the cycle.”

Bongula came on as CTO of Tampa, Fla.-based ConnectWise in October and is up for the challenge.

He previously served as senior vice president of engineering at financial services firm Global Payments, where he led a team responsible for building new products and platforms to accelerate the future of payment technology solutions. In prior roles, Bongula has led multiple teams responsible for migrating legacy workloads to the cloud, building mobile and web solutions, and delivering APIs and real-time solutions for the financial services industry, according to ConnectWise.

Although he’s a new face in the channel, Bongula is ready to hit the pavement hard and has a lot of goals to move the company forward.

“I’ve learned a good bit about what we do, how our partners look at us, what are some of the challenges, what are some of the opportunities … but all in all it has been a great experience so far,” he said. “My primary goal is to build solutions that solve partners’ problems. In some cases, they might be the problems partners are raising themselves or opportunities they’re sharing with us. In some cases, we infer them. For example, there might be things they might be doing manually where we might apply things like machine learning to simplify things for them.”

Bongula spoke to CRN about his four main focuses going forward and how his security-focused goals make partners more resilient and efficient.

 

 Accelerating ConnectWise’s Road Map

We have a great road map that is built from talking to partners through focus groups. In some cases, looking at where the industry is going. … I‘m seeing some [partners] bring some of those ideas and we infer looking at the problems and what we could do. So all in all, we have a great innovation and product road map. My goal is to accelerate delivery of that road map. I’m putting in practices to bring in ways to kind of accelerate and deliver that value for our partners. That’s my primary goal, and that’s why I’m here.

 

Take A Security-First Approach, Always

My second goal, which is to kind of achieve the first one, is to have a security-first approach, which we already have. ConnectWise always has been a security-first company. We have a great CISO, we have a great GM—both of them are really focused on building security products and bringing security into our entire ecosystem. But that being said, security is everyone‘s problem, security is everyone’s responsibility. I believe that every engineer and every member of the team is equally responsible for security. I’m a big fan of shift left procedures, shift left processes where we bring in the things you generally do at the end of the cycle to earlier in the cycle. We built some mechanisms, but we want to improve further where we actually scan the code for 100-plus security problems so that as an engineer, you can fix it right there instead of writing the code and actually delivering it and figuring out if there’s a security issue. A lot of focus will be built to make sure we embed security into our delivery, right from day one, right from the single line of code an engineer writes.

 

More Reliant On The Cloud

Third one is we as an industry are going through more and more usage and are becoming more and more reliant on cloud. We want to further enhance that. We want to take our solutions so that most of them will be multiregion. Today we have some of the solutions with multiregion but at the same time, there’s an opportunity to further enhance availability and resiliency and stability. I think we’ve got a good bit of feedback and we will take that and put it into our road map. I’m not a big fan of solving a point problem, but looking at a problem and inferring how we can solve the larger area. [Partners] also have shared some of the opportunities for us to kind of improve and some of the things they have seen where it could further simplify their life and their teams and their work.

 

 Continuous Delivery Of Products

Last but not least is a continuous delivery practice. So continuous delivery is something which I truly believe is very important. In 2023 you’re going see that some of the products will be releasing on a monthly basis, some of them on a weekly basis, some of them even faster than that. We want to bring in a practice where we are providing the value to the partners on a much more shorter time frame, from an idea to reality, so the time can be reduced.

Another priority, and this is something which kind of goes across the board, is the user experience. User experience is super important. User experience, customer experience and protection is super important. We need to make it super simple for them to use our products, so that’s going to be a thread across the board. So whatever we do going forward, we have put a lot of effort into it but you’re going to a see much more renewed effort and a much more higher-order effort in this space. It’s all about user experience and how can we make them more efficient.

 

 

 

Learn More: Cybersecurity
CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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