Former ConnectWise COO Joins Financial Services Specialist

Former ConnectWise COO Joins Financial Services Specialist

Santo CannoneFormer ConnectWise Chief Operating Officer Santo Cannone (pictured) has joined Open Solutions Inc. as executive VP, group sales. Cannone says he wasn't looking to leave ConnectWise, but a unique opportunity to move back into the financial services market proved too intriguing to turn down. Here are some details.

Open Solutions is a technology company that builds Oracle-based solutions for financial services providers. Cannone joined Open Solutions on Feb. 15. He reports to Open Solutions President Steve Cameron.

Reached by phone, Cannone said he wasn't looking to leave ConnectWise. But Open Solutions came calling -- twice. Cannone declined an initial offer to interview for the position. But a second inquiry from Open Solutions prompted Cannone to sit down and listen to the company's story.

"You can count on one hand the number of opportunities that would have prompted me to think about leaving ConnectWise," says Cannone, who has deep experience in the banking and financial services markets. "But the timing was both good for ConnectWise and me. ConnectWise is running soundly. They're in good shape and [CEO] Arnie [Bellini] has built a great team."

"Santo is a great talent and we wish him well," says Bellini. "I really enjoyed working with him. He's on our board of directors and he's maintaining his stock in ConnectWise. And he's a long-term friend. And he will continue to be."

David Bellini and Owen Parry, both veterans of ConnectWise's IT solution provider business, have transitioned into the ConnectWise software business, according to Bellini, to take over Cannone's former responsibilities. And the IT solution provider business will take on a new general manager to run that operation.

Recent Moves

Cannone's departure from ConnectWise comes amid the company's push beyond traditional PSA (professional services automation) software. The company has launched a finance arm, called ConnectWise Capital, to help incubate channel-focused technology companies. The first two investments involve CharTec (a hardware as a service specialist) and LabTech (a remote management and monitoring specialist).

In recent weeks, Cannone had spoken with me a few times about the ConnectWise Capital strategy, and he shared his views about how ConnectWise Capital member companies would help to expand partner opportunities. So he was a believer in the strategy.

Several MSPs spotted the Open Solutions press release about Cannone's career move, and say they're disappointed to hear Cannone left ConnectWise. But the bigger priority for most MSPs is continued interoperability between ConnectWise and Kaseya, according to two MSPs that were aware of Cannone's departure.

While Kaseya introduces limited PSA functions in the Kaseya 2 platform, and ConnectWise invests in RMM provider LabTech, MSPs are calling on both companies to maintain interoperability between the Kaseya and ConnectWise offerings.

In separate interviews with MSPmentor, Kaseya Executive VP Jim Alves (in January 2010) and ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini (yesterday) reiterated their desire to maintain product interoperability.
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