ConnectWise has released Phase 3 of ConnectWise 2010, a professional services automation (PSA) platform for IT service providers. Here's a look at the latest ConnectWise offering, and broader PSA trends within the IT channel.

According to ConnectWise, the Phase 3 release offers:
  • Enhanced sales and marketing campaign management: Allows VARs and managed services providers  to determine which pay per click SEO campaigns deliver the highest ROI.
  • New Marketing API Interface: Allows VARs and MSPs to track email campaigns and click-through responses through ConnectWise.
  • New customer portal features: Allows your customers to view their history of quotes and recommendations from solutions providers' sales reps.
  • New reporting functionality: Updated reporting tools work with Microsoft SQL Reporting Services.
  • Notification and scheduling enhancements: Allows administrators to set configurations to have ConnectWise notify others as required for a service ticket or status update request, and team members can now view each others’ schedules.
  • Updated QuoteWerks API Interface: QuoteWerks is a popular sales quote platform that many VARs and MSPs leverage.

The Bigger Picture

Generally speaking, PSA platforms such as ConnectWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw have gained critical mass with managed services providers (MSPs) that want to automate their businesses. Next up, many PSA software providers are casting wider nets to win business across the broader IT channel.

ConnectWise, for instance, surfaced at last week's Google I/O conference, and ConnectWise is attending this week's Juniper Americas Partner Conference for networking and security VAR.

Also, ConnectWise has set up user groups across North America, Europe and Australia. More than 1,000 solutions providers attend the user groups each quarter to "connect, collaborate...and grow," said Jeannine Edwards, director of ConnectWise Community. Edwards is heading off to the final Q2 ConnectWise User Group meeting today.

Meanwhile, Autotask also is organizing user groups, and the company's recent buyout of VARStreet represents a strategic push toward VARs and resellers. And Tigerpaw Software is set to launch its first customer conference in October 2010.

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