ConnectWise Marketplace, an app store for VARs and MSPs, will launch today with roughly 70 applications and services that integrate with ConnectWise's business management platform. CEO Arnie Bellini, speaking at IT Nation in Orlando, Fla., just described the marketplace during his keynote. So what do channel partners gain?
ConnectWise Marketplace is a single, centralized portal that allows VARs and MSPs to find, buy and activate applications that integrate with ConnectWise's flagship PSA (professional services automation) software. MSPmentor has spent a few hours poking around the marketplace after learning about the app store yesterday. We're intrigued in a big way.
Big Deal? Yup
The stakes are high for ConnectWise and its partner base. A few examples:
1. Competing and Cooperating: ConnectWise Capital, the company's investment arm, has stakes in CharTec, LabTech Software and Quosal. In some ways those investments have triggered competition between ConnectWise and some of its closest ISV (independent software vendor) partners. But Bellini has always vowed to keep ConnectWise's APIs (application programming interfaces) open. And ConnectWise Marketplace is his latest opportunity to showcase a growing portfolio of ISVs that are working with his company.
2. Implications for VARs, MSPs: I believe roughly 5,000 IT service providers now run ConnectWise's PSA and business management software. But those IT service providers lack a central, simple way to find applications that plug into ConnectWise's platform. The ConnectWise Marketplace seeks to change that.
Assuming the marketplace works as advertised, sources say it will offer:
- One central place to get information about all the companies that integrate to ConnectWise.
- Visitors will be only two clicks away from a help desk technician to make sure a purchased integration is set up correctly.
- A way to procure applications at special prices.
- ConnectWise Exchange, a place where partners can find and share best practices for business management.
3. Implications for ConnectWise Technology Partners: Roughly 70 application and technology management software providers are live on the marketplace.
The ecosystem includes applications and services that support: Asset information, accounting, backup/disaster recovery, bandwidth optimization, cloud provisioning, CRM, dashboards, help desk/NOC, labor resources, management print, marketing, network security, online backup, telephony, quoting and proposal software, RMM, remote support, security and service ticket and spam filtering integrations.
On the upside ConnectWise is striving to grow the overall ISV ecosystem for those who serve VARs and MSPs. But some key questions remain:
- How quickly can ConnectWise review and approve applications for the marketplace, including applications that may compete in some ways with the ConnectWise Capital portfolio?
- What is the revenue model? Is ConnectWise earning a revenue split with vendors that promote their applications in the marketplace?
MSPmentor will be listening closely to Bellini's keynote this morning for more clues. Plus, we're set to sit down with Arnie and David Bellini later today.