ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini: Keynote Recap
Standing before more than 900 managed service providers and VARs, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini (pictured) urged the IT nation to focus on small business opportunities and long-tail IT opportunities. Here are the top 10 highlights from Bellini’s keynote, delivered moments ago at the ConnectWise Partner Summit in Orlando, Fla.
10. By the Numbers: There are 48 million U.S. small businesses and solutions providers (“IT Nation”) own the last mile — meaning that VARs and MSPs own the small business customer relationship. “You always will be that trusted IT advisor if you make the right decisions with your business,” says Bellini. He also urged lifestyle business owners to march forward, innovate and embrace change.
9. Big Crowd: ConnectWise Partner Summit attracted 1200 attendees and 900 MSPs and VARs — “the IT Nation.”
8. Hello, Google: Bellini recently visited Google to discuss “the last mile” concept. “It’s sort of like being summoned by The Pope. You gotta go,” quipped Bellini about his trip to Google.
7. ConnectWise User Groups: ConnectWise has set up user groups across the world, with a low of 50 to a high of 120 partners at regional events that happen 4 times per year. There’s a Northwest User Group (Seattle area), the Aftershock User Group (Los Angeles Area), Locked and Loaded User Group (Dallas), Central Mafia (Chicago), Southeast User Group (Atlanta), Northeast User Group (Boston Area), the ConnectWisers (Toronto User Group). Five Hours Ahead User Group (London), LAN Down Under (Sydney and Melbourne, Australia User Group).
6. Small Business, Big Opportunities: For every ConnectWise partner, there are 18,000 potential small business customers. With all that ground to cover, the math says you’re not competing against other MSPs, Bellini asserted.
5. Sorry, Folks: Bellini apologized to the 198 partners who suffered a 24-hour Hosted ConnectWise outage last week. He says a large investment and migration to a VMware cloud will mitigate a repeat of the problem.
Also, ConnectWise has opened a European cloud. And in a week ConnectWise expects to open an Australia cloud.
4. Partnering Up: Bellini pointed to the ConnectWise Network as an opportunity for MSPs to synchronize tickets between MSPs. “It’s one-click from a ticket to a partner locator,” says Bellini. “Reality is there’s no opportunity that’s bigger than you are now.” The network allows IT nation members to find peer VARs and MSPs that have expertise in IP telephony, video surveillance, and other long-tail IT opportunities.
3. ConnectWise University: Bellini called on IT nation members to share email templates, surveys, workflow rules and other best practices through ConnectWise University.
2. It’s All About APIs: You’ll see a vendor hall growing and growing as more companies integrate to ConnctWise’s platform, Bellini asserted.
1. Open Feedback: Bellini took the rare step to show attendees how partners are rating the company’s products, support and user group experiences. On a scale of one to 10, some of the marks were quite good — 8.0 and higher. But a few of the marks were in the 6’s and the 7’s. I will try to get a complete list of the marks. Bellini’s decision to share partner feedback — even not-so-positive feedback — was well-received by the crowd.
And another key item: ConnectWise is moving to more regular release schedules — so-called service pack releases delivered at a more predictable pace. The ConnectWise 2010 release is scheduled for 2009.
MSPmentor’s coverage of ConnectWise Partner Summit (#CWPS) continues throughout the day.