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ORLANDO, FLA. -- Today at IT Nation 2015, professional services automation (PSA) software maker ConnectWise revealed organizational changes, a cloud services tool and a set of new ConnectWise features in the upcoming 2016.1 software release. Company CEO Arnold Bellini also outlined what he sees as the most important digital trends right now, encouraging ConnectWise partners to get in front of them before they become threats.
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The five trends included:
- Small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Citing a World Bank survey, Bellini said that SMBs represent 95% of the businesses in the world. If SMBs power the world's economy and solution providers power SMBs, then solution providers power the world's economy, as well, and will become increasingly more important.
- Cloud computing. "What's going to happen when all the infrastructure, all the applications, everything that small to midsize businesses need ... floats up into the cloud? Cloud computing is going to be a very transformative trend that we have to be on top of and pay attention to," Bellini said. It's important that solution providers have their transition to cloud underway before it's too late: Various surveys agree 50% of SMBs will put everything in the cloud to become more agile and nimble within five years.
- Smartphones. Worldwide, 50% of today's adults use smartphone devices. That number is set to expand to 80% of adults in about five years, Bellini said, asserting that it shows how reliant on smartphone technology people are becoming.
- Internet of Things (IoT). Bellini highlighted the trend of companies putting sensors in everything from road systems and bridges to tennis shoes and yoga mats. "The point is that businesses are experimenting with [IoT] all across the globe. I know that you think that you probably can't participate in this, but it's one of these things if you focus on what's happening, you'll be able to apply it to your business, transform your business, make it grow and have greater opportunity," he said.
- Digital security. Bellini discussed the importance of digital security in the cloud-centric, mobile world, saying it will be an abundant source of opportunity for security-focused partners. "When you combine these [trends] together ... you've got all of this data flying across the world, flying through the Internet. Security's going to become a very big issue."
If partners can recognize these digital trends and think ahead, they will be able to participate and prosper from the revolutionary changes that will unfold, he said.
The 'New ConnectWise'
Bellini also announced that ConnectWise reorganized its company structure and merged its family of products, which include LabTech Software's remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, ScreenConnect remote support and Quosal quoting software, under one company and brand. The consolidation offers users a unified support team and stronger focus on partner success while allowing ConnectWise to "blur the lines" between the various software product.
"We need to bring them all together," he said, adding that ConnectWise will continue to give its users the choice of integrating ConnectWise's open platform with competitive products. While a ways off into the future, the company also intends to introduce a single user interface for its product family.
Additionally, all of the founders of the merged companies continue to work within Connectwise in new roles, he said. Bellini will now serve as both CEO and chief product officer, a role that will allow him to unite the ConnectWise family of products in new ways.
ConnectWise CloudConsole and 2016.1 highlights
In line with IT Nation 2015's theme of powering your profits, ConnectWise introduced ConnectWise CloudConsole, a new cloud service management and billing tool that aims to help partners transition to cloud. ConnectWise partnered with Microsoft to make CloudConsole, which is currently available for free to ConnectWise partners in its beta version. Its general release is scheduled for early 2016.
Finally, ConnectWise showcased what partners can expect in the upcoming release of the 2016.1 version of its software, enhancements that many of IT Nation's more than 3,000 attendees applauded. Enhancements included simpler ticketing processes, updated marketing and sales tools, a new user-centric billing module and dynamic, customizable dashboards.
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