A push into Germany and the first-ever “IT Nation Europe” conference are among the priorities for ConnectWise as the toolset maker seeks to increase the percentage of revenue earned outside of North America.
The man charged with managing that overseas expansion sat down with MSPmentor during IT Nation in Orlando, Fla., last week to discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Roughly 16 percent of ConnectWise’s revenue is currently generated beyond the shores of North America, and co-founder David Bellini said his goal is to move that figure as close as possible to 50 percent.
“We need to get into the German market,” he said. “That’s the crown jewel.”
Getting there will require a great deal of planning and some significant tweaks to the ConnectWise products, said Bellini, president and managing director of ConnectWise International.
“It’s not just changing the product to their language,” he said. “You can’t take the Google translator and just run it across the (solutions).”
“It’s not just the software,” Bellini continued. “You have to support it in their language. We have to service these folks.”
In one example of the complications, some countries use commas instead of decimal points – a factor that will need to be accounted for by developers of the overseas products.
But the reward for successfully overcoming those obstacles is an unlocking of tremendous revenue potential in Europe, a key reason why Bellini moved to London 20 months ago to personally oversee the United Kingdom office that now numbers 28 employees.
“We have support, sales, marketing,” he said. “To really be able to give your partners everything, you have to be in their time zone.”
Thus far, the dramatic Brexit hasn’t had an impact on ConnectWise’s foreign operations, though Bellini anticipates there will have to be future price increases because of the resultant weakening of the British pound.
“Products being made inside of England are having an advantage in England,” he said. “We haven’t seen anything yet but it’s going to be more expensive.”
Next on Bellini’s to-do list is finalizing preparations for an inaugural “IT Nation Europe” conference, scheduled for April 25-27 in London.
Unlike last week’s massive ConnectWise gathering in Florida that drew upwards of 2,000 partners, attendance at the U.K. affair is expected to number about 350, then grow 10 to 15 percent each year.
In the future, the event will be moved to other locations on the continent. Barcelona is among the next venues under consideration.
Making it more convenient for technology solution providers in other parts of the world to attend is a critical component of ConnectWise’s effort to deepen relationships with partners on the other side of the Atlantic, Bellini said.
“The job is just starting,” he said. “When you’re not in their time zone, you’re out of sight out of mind.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the dates for IT Nation Europe 2017.
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