On Monday, February 1, ConnectWise announced the acquisition of Service Leadership, a consulting firm focused on financial and operational benchmarking in the managed services space. (See original news post.)
This is the third ConnectWise acquisition since November 10, 2020, when it acquired cybersecurity firms Perch Security and StratoZen. These three acquisitions along with its 2019 acquisition of Continuum firmly place ConnectWise in the upper pantheon of IT software companies.
Prior to the most recent announcement, I spoke with Chris Timms, executive vice president of growth for ConnectWise, and Paul Dippell, founder and CEO of Service Leadership about the acquisition. Here are some of the key revelations from that conversation.
What ConnectWise Gets
The value proposition for ConnectWise is the Service Leadership Index, which Dippell described as the largest scale ongoing benchmark to services providers. Services providers around the world input their income statement, balance sheet, and headcount into Service Leadership’s system each quarter. Service Leadership then sends them an 80-metric report that tells them how they are doing against the best in class for their business model—MSPs or VARs, for example.
Service Leadership also has SLIQ, a tool for scoring operational maturity. SLIQ tracks how service providers manage their sales, service, financials, strategies, and compensation. It then compares those responses with the top performers as well as the low performers for their business model. Service providers are then provided with an operational maturity level score of 1-5 across 39 criteria.
“We needed to take our two software platforms to a world-class software house that understands technology solutions providers at this time,” explained Dippell.
After talking to a dozen different companies and examining various factors such as which deal best met Service Leadership’s goals, which company could take its platforms to the next level and bring them to more technology services providers, and which company offered the best opportunities for its 10 employees and customers, Dippell said ConnectWise was the best option.
Will Service Leadership’s Vision Change?
“Being a small company, our ability to accelerate our software platform was limited,” explained Dippell. “We wanted to partner with a world-class software firm that could speed it forward.”
He added that combining Service Leadership’s benchmark data with the operating data that ConnectWise offers a powerful value proposition for both Service Leadership and ConnectWise clients.
“We have complementary strengths that we bring together and provide a strong and unique value proposition in the market,” noted Timms. “
Disrupting the Market
According to Chris Timms, executive vice president of growth for ConnectWise, the addition of Service Leadership along with ConnectWise’s business platform and its IT Nation, global peer group of IT professionals are positioned to disrupt the market. “The combination of those three is a strong value proposition for our partners,” he said.
How does Service Leadership fit into ConnectWise’s Growth Organization?
ConnectWise’s Growth Organization is responsible for corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, third-party vendors, and innovation, according to Timms. “We deal with confidential information on a daily basis and are the best-equipped team at ConnectWise to ensure that the data integrity of the partner data that Service Leadership has continues to be protected.
Will the Service Leadership brand remain?
“Service Leadership has a little bit of brand equity and I suspect ConnectWise will use that as appropriate,” said Dippell. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the brand name persists. Obviously, the mothership brand is ConnectWise, as it should be.”
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