IT Nation 2014: ConnectWise Integrates, Updates, Simplifies
ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini announced several updates to the professional automation services platform during his keynote address at IT Nation in Orlando today. Among the many updates are integrations that simplify and speed cloud migrations, improvements to the user interface, email tagging for service tickets, integration with customers’ Active Directory to let technicians identify users, and more.
“What we are looking at today is massive technological change,” Bellini told a packed conference room. “Every industry is being changed dramatically… Computers can hear and watch and measure and locate anything we want them to.
“…the real operating system of the world is the internet.”
Bellini provided a few examples of how companies and innovations are changing how we live. Tesla is a car company that started with a computer and built a car around it.
“Tesla will change the transportation industry the way we know it today,” Bellini said. It’s a disruptor, and there are a lot of other companies that aren’t happy about that.
Another change – electronic toll roads that let cars speed through by collecting payments electronically.
Uber is another example, changing how people hire car services.
“It’s not something that’s so sophisticated. It’s not just about these large companies,” Bellini said.
Here’s a look at the enhancements, updates and new features Bellini and hist staff announced during the keynote
The following are some of the UI improvements:
- New user interface enhancements improve navigation. For instance, one addition is a “recents” button that gives users quick access to the last 30 screens they accessed.
- ChatAssist now provides direct support to each MSP employee. In ConnectWise 2015 MSP users will no longer have to go through a ConnectWise administrator.
- Search has also been improved with what ConnectWise is calling “brain friendly” search.
- Screens have become more customizable. You can hide tabs by each user. You can hide certain fields. You can make certain fields required. You can also collapse areas to make it easier for you to bring other areas onto the screen. But the biggest improvement hear is perhaps the ability to drag and drop the pods to different positions on the screen, based on what information you want to see.
- Another new thing: the Partner Information Network available at Connectwise.com/PIN. This gives partners the opportunity for a two way conversation with developers to influence future features and fixes. It’s the place to go “if you’d like to have your voice heard to help reinvent ConnectWise.”
And among the next set of "reinventions" are the following:
- A new email tagging system for the Email Connector that lets you tag tickets. Tickets can be tagged to let you change the status, configuration, and contacts. Tags can add time, add resource or mark as done. More tags will be added. If the system doesn’t recognize a contact, it will create the contact.
- A new ChatAssist dashboard will allow you to see all the live chats happening in your organization in real time. ConnectWise is also offering a 30 day free trial of ChatAssist.
“The real purpose of this was to revolutionize support,” Bellini said. “To connect a ticketing system with a communication system that could extend down to the desktop of every one of your end users. it gives you ability to be way more responsive to end users than the the internal employees than their own IT departments.”
BizDox and more
Also coming up to speed at this IT Nation is the BizDox story. ConnectWise invested in this company, looking to add documentation of IT systems as an option for its Modern Office suite (which includes LabTech Software and Quosal).
ConnectWise has also made changes to its project management module, enabling the ability to add a resource to multiple project tickets at one time.
Integrations in the ConnectWise’s Modern Office Suite (which include ConnectWise, LabTech Software, BizDox, Quosal, and more) have brought Quosal’s capabilities to mobile platforms. Quosal users can submit expense reports and time sheets, plus signatures on quotes directly from their mobile devices. Bellini said that support will be added shortly for Windows Phone, too.
“We are taking the technology we have in front of us and connecting it,” Bellini said.
Putting business intelligence to work
ConnectWise also showed big updates in business intelligence and reports. A demo showed a dashboard of sales by team member that could be drilled down into to reveal more information about issues with performance.
“We are changing the way you interact with reports. Let’s see where they are at, what kinds of opportunities are open. What about their revenue and margin over the past 12 months. You’ll be able to drill into all these things and get more metrics as well. “
Another demo showed the Cloud Manager, which lets your company create standards for IT performance and then shows customer assets that are out of compliance with those standards. From there, you can automatically create a Quosal proposal for, say, an Exchange 2007 migration. That proposal can be sent with a video chat message to the customer.
To fulfill the order, ConnectWise has created a migration tool that lets you choose from a list of IaaS providers including Amazon Web Services, Azure, Rackspace, Cloud Sigma or your own private cloud. This wizard-driven migration tool lets you migrate services from legacy implementations to modern ones fast. The demo, from quote to migrated email box took about seven minutes.
Those interested in the beta for this feature can contact email@example.com
The marketing challenge
Finally, ConnectWise has added a marketing component to the platform that simplifies doing email campaigns, creating landing pages and web forms.
And another new feature is Sherlock, a natural language search that generates reports.
There’s more in terms of API integrations and platform updates, and I’ll be speaking with Jeannine Edwards later to get further details. Watch MSPmentor for more updates from IT Nation.