When ConnectWise offered partners a first look at ConnectWise 2011 in mid-December, I checked in with the company to get a bit more information about the latest PSA (professional services automation) release and some related trends. ConnectWise President David Bellini and Director of Community Jeannine Edwards replied back with a few thoughts. Here's the update.
First, my usual disclaimer: MSPmentor doesn't run managed services software. Much like buying a car, MSPs should take software and tools for test drives to see which solutions best match your business. In the case of ConnectWise 2011, I posed the following questions:
MSPmentor: Is ConnectWise 2011 available on premise and hosted? Or will the hosted version roll out a little later?
ConnectWise: Yes, ConnectWise 2011 will be available as on premise option, as well as available in our Cloud and our on premise SAAS solution. The cloud version will roll out 30 days after the on premise version. We’re very committed to our hybrid approach.
MSPmentor: Over the past year, I think you've been delivering point releases to ConnectWise 2010. How has that point-approach been treating you and IT nation? Will that approach continue in 2011?
ConnectWise: Yes, we moved to a continuous release cycle in 2010. This allowed us to get our updates out to the partners in a quicker fashion, and in general makes for a better quality release. It’s proved to be a great move for us and one we will continue in 2011.
MSPmentor: Let's talk about mobile devices: Are you tracking any trends regarding tablets and mobile devices. I know there's a lot of hype about automation and managed services software running on tablets and iPads. But I'm wondering if IT Nation is really making the move to such devices?
ConnectWise: We think so yes, we see the IT Solution Provider relying on tablets and iPads more and more...and the great news is, ConnectWise runs on both.
Bigger PictureConnectWise and its rivals (Autotask and Tigerpaw Software) are evolving in some key ways for 2011. Sure, they all still compete. But each company is pushing toward blue water opportunities -- basically, opportunities outside of the traditional PSA market. In particular, keep an eye on ConnectWise Capital investments; Autotask management shifts and VARStreet developments; and Tigerpaw's effort to connect the dots between VARs and telephony services.
At MSPmentor, we'll also strive to introduce you to more of the key people who shape the PSA industry. Sure, you already know David and Arnie Bellini at ConnectWise; Autotask Founder Bob Godgart and Tigerpaw's founding family, the Foxalls. But what about the people who actually transform user requests into functioning code? A prime example: Linda Catrett Brotherton is CTO at ConnectWise, where she oversees the development of ConnectWise PSA. In 2011, we'll be reaching out to Brotherton and other folks who shape MSP industry solutions...
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