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ConnectWise platform aims to unify MSP software portfolio

With Asio, the software company ConnectWise aims to boost service provider efficiency through a single view and with greater scalability; other IT channel news.

ConnectWise launched a unified platform to underpin its two dozen products for running service provider businesses, following up on plans disclosed a year ago.

The platform, dubbed Asio, will let partners handle their technical and administrative chores through a single user interface, according to the Tampa, Fla.-based software company.

The company added that Asio will simplify ConnectWise's development cycle, since it will be able to deploy a shared set of services -- such as single sign-on authentication and authorization -- across its various offerings. The ConnectWise platform debut was timed with the company's IT Nation Connect 2021, a partner conference held earlier this month.

MSP software vendors have spent years contending with product integration issues. Many companies initially offered remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, a mainstay product MSPs use to deliver services to customers. But, over time, vendors developed or acquired a range of additional offerings which include professional services automation, backup and disaster recovery, cybersecurity, quoting and remote control products.

ConnectWise's integration efforts date back to at least 2016, when it introduced ConnectWise Automate, ConnectWise Manage, ConnectWise Control and ConnectWise Sell as its core brands, then added an integrated user interface to pull everything together as a unified suite. Since then, ConnectWise has acquired Perch Security and StratoZen in the security market and MSP software vendor Continuum, which expanded its product portfolio beyond its earlier suite.

Jeff Bishop photoJeff Bishop

ConnectWise's latest centralization effort began in 2020 when the company said it would create a Fusion platform for its products. The company has now recast Fusion, more a statement of direction than a fully fledged offering, as Asio. Jeff Bishop, chief product officer at ConnectWise, described Asio as a way to describe the company's product portfolio.

The single-platform approach lets service providers access ticketing information from a professional services automation tool and device information from RMM and security products all in one place, according to ConnectWise. "We want [service providers] to be able to solve problems faster, be more efficient," Bishop said.

ConnectWise has begun to flesh out its Asio platform. The company pointed to its Recover Complete BDR, a backup and DR product launched in June 2021, as the first product on the ConnectWise platform. At IT Nation Connect, ConnectWise RMM became the second Asio product. ConnectWise RMM, the latest generation of ConnectWise Automate, will accommodate MSPs' growing device populations, Bishop said.

"Many of you are already starting to approach 30, 50,000 endpoints, somebody's got line of sight to 100,000 [and] some of you, 200,000," Bishop noted.

Many of you are already starting to approach 30, 50,000 endpoints, somebody's got line of sight to 100,000 [and] some of you, 200,000.
Jeff BishopChief product officer, ConnectWise

Other news out of IT Nation Connect 2021

  • ConnectWise now offers a security incident hotline, staffed with infosec personnel, for its service provider customers.
  • Pax8, a cloud distributor based in Denver, inked a partnership with CyberCNS, a vulnerability management vendor. MSPs can use CyberCNS to augment their own security with continuous threat scanning or provide it to customers, said Ryan Walsh, chief operating officer at Pax8.
  • Axcient, a Denver company that sells business availability software to MSPs, launched x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud for Microsoft Azure. The backup and DR offering lets MSPs avoid relying exclusively on Microsoft backup to protect data in the Azure public cloud, according to Axcient.

Cisco updates ThousandEyes for partners' hybrid work business

Cisco added a SaaS availability feature to its ThousandEyes network infrastructure monitoring offering, a move the vendor said helps partners manage complex hybrid work environments. Cisco acquired ThousandEyes in 2020.

Application Outages, incorporated into ThousandEyes' Internet Insights platform, provides real-time and historic views of SaaS application availability, according to Cisco. The product launched at the Cisco Partner Summit, an online event held Nov. 9. The annual partner meetup also saw the reboot of Cisco's enterprise agreement.

Jason Gallo, global vice president, partner sales business development at Cisco, said the Applications Outages feature addresses the "need for better full-stack observability tools" that manage SaaS applications employees use in hybrid work.

Clayton Daffron, director of solution architecture at Denali Advanced Integration, an IT services provider based in Redmond, Wash., said clients have had to address their IT operations during the pandemic to support hybrid work. They have also turned to technology to change their go-to-market strategies in light of COVID-19, he added. In both instances, partners can play a role in improving customers' application experience.

Clayton Daffron photoClayton Daffron

"This is our collective opportunity to take this off of their plate, make it not such a big deal and deliver it as a service or through easy consumption models that fit their business practices," Daffron said.

Hybrid work creates difficulties beyond technology. Eighty-two percent of the respondents to NTT Ltd.'s global workplace survey, published Nov. 9, said remote work challenged organizational performance, while 81% said it has been challenging for employees. The survey polled 1,146 executives.

Other news

  • Brillio, a digital transformation consultancy based in Edison, N.J., has acquired Standav, a Salesforce consulting and systems integration company. Brillio will integrate Standav into its Lead-to-Revenue transformation practice, which offers Salesforce Revenue Cloud services. Salesforce consulting firms have become acquisition targets in recent months, with Accenture, IBM and OSF Digital among the buyers.
  • CompassMSP has acquired MRW Systems Inc., an MSP based in Westminster, Md. The acquired company, which works with SMB customers in the Baltimore area, will operate within CompassMSP's Mid-Atlantic region. CompassMSP is based in West Hartford, Conn.
  • Accenture Ventures, Accenture's venture capital arm, has invested in Geneyx Genomex Ltd., a company based in Israel that develops genomic analysis and interpretation software. With the investment, Geneyx becomes part of Accenture Ventures' Project Spotlight, which connects emerging technology software startups with Global 2000 firms.
  • Anexinet Corp., a digital business solutions provider based in Philadelphia, has migrated Day & Zimmermann, a construction and engineering firm, to a hybrid cloud. Anexinet updated Day & Zimmermann's production data center with HPE's Synergy composable infrastructure platform and Nimble storage. The solutions provider also transitioned its customer from a DR colocation facility to Microsoft Azure and HPE's Zerto backup and DR platform.
  • The city of Gary, Ind., has selected Chicago-based MSP UncommonX as its cybersecurity partner. The agreement follows UncommonX's role in containing a Conti strain ransomware attack the city experienced earlier in 2021. UncommonX focuses on cyber security managed services.
  • NinjaOne, based in Austin, Texas, issued its final feature update of 2021, which covers its RMM, documentation and ticketing offerings. Updates in Ninja 5.3 include improvements to Windows patch management; support for Windows 11, MacOS Monterey and Linux devices; and Windows Store app monitoring. NinjaOne, formerly NinjaRMM, provides a unified IT operations platform for MSPs and IT departments.
  • Gradient MSP has obtained $10.25 million in Series A funding from a group of investors led by Anthos Capital. Gradient MSP, based in Calgary, Alberta, offers a business automation and integration platform for service providers. The company will use the funds to launch an automated billing reconciliation offering, expand its workforce and provide more in-person and on-demand training and events for partners.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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