CharTec and Labtech Software, both backed by ConnectWise Capital, each will hold conferences in Orlando on November 4. The conferences coincide with the ConnectWise IT Nation conference (Nov. 4-6) as well as the HTG 2010 Summit and Q4 Meetings. Here's a look at each conference, potential synergies for attendees, and coopetition in the managed services software market.
Let's start with the big picture. Roughly 1,000 IT service providers -- VARs, MSPs and more -- are expected to attend ConnectWise IT Nation (formerly ConnectWise Partner Summit). Meanwhile, three other closely related events will occur the same week in Orlando. They include:
- Nov. 2-4: HTG 2010 Summit, where dozens of solutions providers will meet in peer groups to discuss their business performance, best practices and goals for 2011. Most of the HTG Peer Group members have standardized on ConnectWise as a PSA (professional services automation) tool.
- Nov 4: CharTec Unherd of Conference, which will help IT service providers with their sales, marketing and social media plans. CharTec is best-known for its hardware as a service (HaaS) promotions, but the company has also been promoting a BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) appliance.
- Nov. 4: LabTech Software Automation Nation, which is designed to help MSPs master LabTech's remote monitoring and management software.
Keeping ScoreAs you may recall, ConnectWise Capital -- the investment arm of ConnectWise -- invested in CharTec (HaaS) and LabTech (RMM) in early 2010. Since that time, the ConnectWise Capital companies and ConnectWise itself have maintained a delicate balancing act in the MSP software market. A few examples:
- ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini has vowed to keep ConnectWise's APIs open, thereby ensuring interoperability with third-party RMM tools and other third-party offerings.
- CharTec has partnered with Level Platforms in the HaaS market. In some ways, Level Platforms competes with LabTech.
- LabTech recently partnered with Tigerpaw, even though ConnectWise competes with Tigerpaw.
Reality CheckDespite ConnectWise Capital's investment in LabTech, ConnectWise continues to work with a range of RMM vendors. For instance, ConnectWise is set to attend the N-able Partner Summit (Oct. 20-22, Scottsdale, Ariz.). And N-able will be on hand for ConnectWise IT Nation.
I'm not suggesting that everything is just swell in MSP software land. When vendors cooperate and compete, there's sure to be some friction behind the scenes. But as I've stated before: Maturing IT markets always see coopetition. Anybody else been watching the Oracle vs HP story in recent weeks? Yet customers continue to run Oracle and HP solutions in tandem.
As long as MSPs continue to voice their needs -- clearly and loudly -- to software providers, the needs of the masses should get met, even if there's some squabbling among the vendors behind the curtains.
See you in Orlando this November. Or in some other stop along the way...
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