JoomConnect: Catching On With ConnectWise Users?
When we pontificated on the ups and downs of Drupal a few weeks ago, we kept hearing one thing over and over again: What about Joomla and JoomConnect? Well, here’s the deal: Joomla! (The exclamation point is part of their name), a free and open modular content management system, is compelling on its own. But JoomConnect — a service that integrates Joomla! with ConnectWise — is starting to generate buzz of its own.
JoomConnect is an offshoot of Directive Technology Integrators (DTi), an MSP and web design consultancy serving small and midsized businesses in upstate New York. Chris Chase, CEO of JoomConnect, says they tried Drupal, WordPress, DotNetNuke, and several other free CMS solutions before settling on Joomla!.
While it doesn’t have quite the same fanatical community as Drupal, Joomla! offers a superior e-commerce feature set in the form of the free VirtueMart shopping cart add-on. “Joomla is the 800 pound gorilla in the room,” asserts Chase.
The idea for JoomConnect surfaced when Chase’s clients started complaining that they had to remember two separate passwords: a Joomla! login and a ConnectWise login. When one of Chase’s employees presented the idea of integrating the two into a one-click login with synchronized user databases at a conference, he was met with a standing ovation.
A month ago, they began offering the JoomConnect Platform ($299), which is their configuration of Joomla! and the ConnectWise integration modules, plus a year of updates. For another $499, they’ll install Joomla! on your server for you to your specification and provide technical support for a year. If you need hosting, too, they have you covered: for $59/month, they’ll host your site in the RackSpace Cloud.
If you still want more, they also offer optional Joomla! modules like Quick Ticket ($99), which allows for the creation of tickets without having to actually enter ConnectWise (or even via E-mail) or Marketing Group Manager ($149), an e-mail list and marketing tool.
Chase does say that JoomConnect is in talks with other MSP-targeted services, including an as-yet-unnamed spam protection company. No word on whether or not JoomConnect plans to integrate with additional PSA offerings like Autotask or Tigerpaw.