There are two primary schools of thought among managed services providers (MSPs) and technology solution providers (TSPs) regarding their go-to-market strategies. One thought is that anything you sell, you need to support it. That means, for instance, if you want to sell security solutions, you’ll need to invest in a SOC (security operation center). The second school of thought says MSPs/TSPs should focus on their core competencies, and they should outsource any solutions and services that fall outside their areas of expertise. Traditionally, ConnectWise partners represented the first school and Continuum partners comprised the second one. But, today’s announcement by ConnectWise that it’s acquiring Continuum (and ITBoost) suggests a merging of these two paradigms.
“These announcements encapsulate the power of choice for MSPs/TSPs to scale their business offerings up or down without being beholdent to one vendor or locked into just one way of doing things,” says Michael George, CEO of Continuum.
The two acquisitions, as well as a strategic partnership with Webinfinity, put more problem-solving resources, tools for efficiency, and fuel for growth in the hands of partners while transforming ConnectWise into a technology and services platform for the entire technology channel — from vendors to distributors to TSPs and their customers. Additionally, the company announced it’s launching a security initiative calling for the entire industry to fight back against cyber security threats.
The resulting solution suite redefines business automation. The convergence of ConnectWise’s best-in-class platform (PSA, RMM, CPQ), with the service-enabled RMM, security and NOC/SOC and Help Desk from Continuum, automated IT documentation from ITBoost, and partner relationship management (PRM) from Webinfinity, substantially increases value to TSPs. ConnectWise becomes the only software platform that connects the TSP upstream to its suppliers and downstream to its customers, creating a unified business operating environment to accelerate TSPs success.
“Over the last 15 years ConnectWise has become the leading provider of technology solutions and services to MSPs. Now, by executing on these deals, we will be able to expand our scope and capabilities to assist the broader community of TSPs in all facets of their business,” said Jason Magee, CEO, ConnectWise. “This is a revolutionary play, making ConnectWise the epicenter for everything from business management and documentation to service delivery and operations management, while also making it much easier and more efficient for partners to work with the technology suppliers they have in their stacks.”
All four announcements will create new or increased efficiencies for partners while mitigating their risk and evolves ConnectWise into an unrivaled holistic technology and services platform as it enters 2020:
- The partnership with PRM tool provider Webinfinity will simplify the relationships TSPs have with their technology suppliers, centralizing touch points for areas such as deal registration, co-marketing, training and enablement, communication and more.
- The acquisition of ITBoost increases efficiencies for TSPs with a next generation IT documentation system.
- The union with Continuum allows ConnectWise partners to use Continuum’s AI-enabled services model to grow and scale in the critical areas of remote monitoring and management, security, and data protection without the requirement of increasing headcount.
- Finally, since security is not a problem to be solved, but a risk to be managed, ConnectWise is launching a new security initiative – calling on the entire industry to fight back against cyber security threats. No matter their role, each and every company needs to do their part to help make the entire industry more secure.
ConnectWise and Continuum:
The combined platform represents an opportunity for ConnectWise to serve the much broader TSP market by offering turn-key resources that allow TSPs to sell service offerings immediately, and low startup costs that enable the creation of new practice areas or even new services startups. It also gives ConnectWise the opportunity to serve TSPs that operate using Continuum’s fully integrated managed services model, preferring to outsource much of their low-level work, whether because they want additional help on nights or weekends, or because they need to access a different skillset than they possess. This complements ConnectWise’s current offering, which targets TSPs who take more of a “do it yourself” approach. As a result, TSPs will have the freedom to adopt either model, or a mixture of both, all while making more data driven decisions and increasing their use of automation.
This deal also addresses a serious challenge increasingly faced by TSPs: finding the skilled talent necessary to grow at affordable economics, especially when it comes to cybersecurity skills. TSPs, and the small and medium-sized businesses they serve, are prime targets for the increasingly complex cybersecurity issues facing the industry at large. Through Continuum’s managed detection and response offerings, TSPs can leverage features like login and Office 365 monitoring, dark web scanning, and SOC-supported cybersecurity for their own internal environments.
“The combination of Continuum and ConnectWise enables solution providers to transform their business leveraging artificial intelligence, autonomic remediation, and a global workforce when necessary providing our partners with infinite and elastic scale,” says George. “Our two organizations complement each other perfectly, and the journey Continuum has been on for the past eight years—including our acquisitions of R1Soft, CARVIR and BrightGauge—have led to this transformational merger. The future opportunities for MSPs are extraordinary, and this combined platform empowers them to capture and capitalize on it.”
ConnectWise and ITBoost:
ConnectWise’s acquisition of ITBoost brings a best-in-class IT documentation tool to the ConnectWise product suite. ITBoost greatly increases efficiencies and time savings for TSPs by allowing them to standardize and visualize critical data from their disparate business platforms and services. The documentation tool will be particularly valuable when paired with the NOC and SOC from Continuum, providing an easy way for TSPs to access the most up-to-date information needed to drive efficiencies to optimize and keep their businesses running smoothly.
“We believe ITBoost is the one IT documentation platform that truly brings everything together for MSPs, and we’re excited to become part of the ConnectWise product platform,” said Ali Peracha, co-founder of ITBoost. “ITBoost and ConnectWise are a powerful combination, providing TSPs with easy access to their business applications, PSA and RMMs, and vital information from their NOC/SOC.”
ConnectWise and Webinfinity:
ConnectWise Engage powered by Webinfinity will make it more efficient for TSPs to work with the technology suppliers they have in their tech stacks. Today, tech suppliers typically have a large number of resources that can be difficult for TSPs to access. There are many touch points, complexities and “silos of chaos” that burden TSPs, making their day-to-day business very manual and less effective, scalable and profitable than it could be. These challenges become even more magnified in the “as-a-service” world. Examples include product and services procurement, multi-vendor support issues, SKU management, content distribution, and training and education.
The average channel partner work with 20 vendors across a silo of online partnership management portals. Making use of ConnectWise Engage powered by Webinfinity, ConnectWise partners will be able to centralize these touch points, enabling them to access multiple vendors through a single pane of glass.
ConnectWise is a software company that fuels Technology Solution Provider (TSP) growth. We provide the industry’s most popular platform for operating an As-a-Service business. Featuring the most extensive set of elegantly integrated functions, ConnectWise automates the full lifecycle of technology service delivery, from sales and service to project tracking and back-office functions, for more than 28,000 partners in more than 65 countries. We believe in an open ecosystem, the power of choice and providing a single pane of glass view.
Continuum is the proactive platform for what’s next. With technologies and services spanning security to backup to monitoring, the Continuum platform anticipates and tackles MSPs’ next challenge-enabling them to grow with confidence.
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