Interview: ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini
Arnie Bellini has multiple irons in the fire. As CEO of ConnectWise, he’s using several tactics — education, collaboration and software integration — to help grow the overall managed services market — and drive customer interest in ConnectWise. In additional to competing with traditional rivals, ConnectWise could wind up facing off against new competitors. Here’s a sampling of the thoughts he shared during an April 18 phone conversation with MSPmentor.
Education — Bellini continues to evangelize ConnectWise University — an online learning system where students, partners and customers learn how to get up-and-running with ConnectWise. Whether you’re a sales manager or systems engineer, the courses are taught from your perspective, notes Bellini. Also, MSP executives can check the system to monitor the performance of their employees.
While other education systems and organizations exist — such as the Institute for Partner Education & Development, the MSPAlliance, MSP Partners and MSP University — Bellini notes that ConnectWise University can help more than 20,000 ConnectWise customers to get a feel for the company’s own platform as well as the broader managed services industry.
Collaboration — Here, Bellini anticipates ConnectWise partners working more closely with one another through the ConnectWise Partner Network. The network offers geographic searches and matching, skills matching, integrated service ticketing, and other features that allow partners to work with one another — or to outsource projects to one another.
In some ways, the network competes with OnForce, an IT services marketplace that allows VARs to bid on specific IT engagements. And more competition is one the way. ConnectWise rival Autotask is working to ensure its customers can collaborate, share service tickets and manage projects together, Autotask CEO Bob Godgart has told MSPmentor.
Software Integration — Bellini notes that ConnectWise has published its APIs (application programming interfaces) so that third-party platforms can plug into the ConnectWise system. Many platform providers are partially — or fully — adopting this strategy. In fact, MSPmentor expects APIs to play a critical role in the future of this market.
The key reason: Similar to how Microsoft used APIs to attract developers to Windows, MSP platforms become exponentially more powerful — and valuable — each time a new third-party writes to a specific managed services platform.
Bellini discussed about a dozen other topics during our chat on April 18. We expect to follow up with him as ConnectWise gears up for tis customer summit in Orlando this September.