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John Fry of ConnectWise Touts Applications Ecosystem, Tackles Software Adoption Challenges

In a CE Pro 3 Questions interview, John Fry discusses ConnectWise’s software ecosystem and “tough love” when it comes to cultural challenges adopting software.


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CE Pro Editors · December 29, 2017

There’s a lot at stake when companies adopt new business software. That’s a challenge that business software solutions provider ConnectWise takes seriously, according to manager of low voltage sales John Fry.

In a 3 Questions interview with Tom LeBlanc, the editor and chief of CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Interator, John Fry talked about ConnectWise’s goal to be a partner with integration companies in every aspect of their businesses. Meanwhile, he acknowledges that adopting new software isn’t always easy for established companies.

Here are some glimpses of Fry’s chat with CI:

Our 2018 State of the Industry Report survey (soon to be released) shows that integration firms are still struggling with converting to recurring revenue. What do you think are the obstacles and how can ConnectWise help?

Integration firms often struggle to understand how to put services packages together, Fry says. Then, they struggle with “how to sell those packages.”

It’s a journey, he indicates, for integrators who have built their businesses on product- and profit-margins, to fully embrace the value that services bring to their customers.

“If they don’t truly see the value themselves, how can they sell to others?”

Once they overcome that, there are new obstacles:

  • How do they track the service agreements?
  • How do they handle tracking time?
  • How do they handle billing?
  • What if someone calls with an issue?
  • How do they track and dispatch?

“ConnectWise can help with all those things with the inherent functionality within the platform,” Fry says. However, “probably more important than anything else, we have a very vibrant idea-sharing community.”

When it comes to adopting software, one-size-fits-all is rarely true, and integration firms know that. Can you talk about the ConnectWise Ecosystem and the options for integration firms looking to address their unique business needs?

“Our goal is to connect all of our partners to solutions that simplify and really empower success,” John Fry says.

“The ConnectWise platform is exactly that, it’s a platform to run your entire business.”

He adds that ConnectWise currently has about 160 integration partners with applications that plug directly into its platform.

The idea, he says, is that integration firms can find what they need in one place, including tried and true applications.

“We identified pretty early on how important, for example, D-Tools is to a large percentage of the integrator community,” Fry says.

Software adoption can sometimes be a challenge, particularly for veteran organizations. What advice to you have for firms looking to upgrade and modernize their software and improve their operations?

Challenges related to adopting software generally fall into two categories, John Fry says – technical and cultural. “The trickier side is the cultural side.”

It’s important, he said, for organizations looking to maximize return on investment in a software implementation to have in-house champions pushing their colleagues toward success.

“Many integration firms that we’ve spoken to have been in business for a long time. They’re generally healthy from a revenue standpoint and financial perspective. The human instinct is resistance to change. There needs to be a buy in from the top down. Eventually some tough love is part of the process.”

Watch the entire interview above.




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