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MartynKeigher

[OPEN DISCUSSION] LabTech... re-branding??

How do you feel about LabTech re-branding?  

212 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you feel about LabTech re-branding?

    • Great Idea!
      19
    • I am in the middle about it.
      54
    • I don't think its a good idea.
      65
    • This is horrible.
      66
    • I would consider switching products due to this.
      8


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Hey all,

 

As you may, or may not, be aware of... a recent announcement was made from Connectwise Inc. that stated its intention to 'Rename and Unify' all of its products that would incorporate the 'Connectwise' name in them.

 

The article is not yet on Connectwise's 'News Room' or 'Press Release' pages on their website, but the full article can be found here: http://www.crn.com/news/managed-services/300081831/connectwise-to-rename-all-products-as-it-unifies-recent-acquisitions.htm

 

In short...

 

'Connectwise' will be renamed to 'Connectwise Manage'

'LabTech' will be renamed to 'Connectwise Automate'

'ScreenConnect' will be renamed to 'Connectwise Control'

... and lastly... 'Quosol' will become 'Connectwise Sell'.

 

I would like to throw this news out there to our community to get your opinions on it... and see what the community as whole feels about this, potentially, HOT topic!!

 

I personally feel that I owe it you, our community, to inform you all of this up-coming change and provide you with an open discussion area where we can share thoughts with one another and speak freely about it. (That's one of the luxuries of having a community that is NOT ran from HQ, of course! SO... let's use it!!)

 

Anyone want to step up the mic first?? ...

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I wish CW/LT would put more energy into making a product that isn't super buggy instead of wasting time on branding. Really, if you're at the top of the market (as these apps currently are) why are they bothering with this unless they're trying to expand past the MSP market? We know they are pushing mid-market sales. I have a feeling this will just lead to the sidelining of the people and companies that made CW/LT successful and we'll get stuck with a pile of crap (that requires more monthly subscriptions to be functional) while they become the next Altiris. Hopefully someone can put together a useful competitor soon so we at least have some viable options.

 

Or, this is just a simple name change and we're all worked up over nothing.

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This is very simply the most retarded thing I have heard. Though it really should not surprise me much with the path Labtech/Connectwise is really going. Let's consider the following:

 

  • The revamp of the LT11 screen to be more "user friendly"
    The total nightmare that is patching in Labtech v11
    LT agent installers showing up as ConnectWise Inc.
    The many parts/divisions of now Conectwise

 

This is more of the misguided directions from Connectwise. They see the other RMM tools out there bundling up and making one massive product. If you look at the other products out there, you have either:

 

  • Pretty and limited functionality (i.e. N-able, Auvik, etc)
    Ugly but powerfull as hell (i.e. Labtech, PRTG, etc)

 

This company is grossly misguided, and needs to really take a step back and look at its core functions. This is what made it great. If you look at the IRC chats & LTG Forums you will see an increase of issues with the latest releases. It seems to me that instead of fixing the current issues, they are just moving forward like a freight train and pushing out crap.

 

Thus is the reason I am still on LT 10.5, and have no plans of upgrading anytime soon. I honestly don't give a damn if I miss out of the newest features. History speaks volumes, and right now I am happy as shit to be stuck in the past.

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I'm also surprised that they are simply throwing a perfectly good brand away like that. Would be sad to see our hard work in building up the LabTech brand in the Benelux go to waste like this. I've just informed my boss who's on holiday about this, I doubt he'll be happy about this decision either.

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I just really dislike that branding. Primarily because they are clumsy, but also because it is erasing the brand recognition each product owns.

 

It makes much more sense IMHO:

ConnectWise

LabTech by ConnectWise

ScreeenConnect by ConnectWise

Quosol by ConnectWise

 

ConnectWise Automate sounds more like an action than a product.

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Mitel did the same thing about a year ago. This doesn't surprise me at all. I do wish they would do things like focus on the product more. However, this is business folks.

 

There will be some new shiney fancy toy that comes along soon enough, and the heard will all flock to it and sing it's praises... Then the M&A starts

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This will not only confuse MSP's, but clients that HAVE heard of these technologies will no longer recognize the name. "Hey guys! We are going to install ConnectWise Automate on your systems now." It just doesn't make sense.

 

This is just stupid. Look at Toyota. They own Toyota, Lexus, Scion and isuzu. Meaning you can have one company with different brands. We all know they are owned and are basically toyota's, but it still nice to have a different name attached to them. Like when a company releases a horrible, buggy mess of an automation or RMM tool that does a bunch of things REALLY badly and looks like it was designed by a recently let go windows 8 developer, and refuses to listen to the partners who see it, it could hurt the brand as a whole.

 

 

Also those names are BEYOND idiotic. Just stick to what works. You need to fix your internal staff issues (support, development, management, UI) before you even look at something like this (don't do it).

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I just really dislike that branding. Primarily because they are clumsy, but also because it is erasing the brand recognition each product owns.

 

It makes much more sense IMHO:

ConnectWise

LabTech by ConnectWise

ScreeenConnect by ConnectWise

Quosol by ConnectWise

 

ConnectWise Automate sounds more like an action than a product.

 

 

I agree. All the brands have worked hard for the name recognition and rebranding will lose that momentum that has been developed. The community as a whole that utilizes the products as well as those that don't know what the products are. They should stay that way. Also the new names are just retarted.

 

+1 for the Product by ConnectWise....much better IMO.

 

Jeff

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Since I'm more on the business side of things, I can understand the concept of rebranding. I also understand that while MSPs are the primary market for CW as a whole, they're trying to push into MidMarket due to the volume of potential revenue there.

 

That being said -- when your userbase says LabTech sucks these days from buggy dev release cycles, if you rename the product it will only hurt -- as the anger will flow through. A polished turd is still a turd.

 

I would submit a ditto -- fix your house first before putting it on the market.

/ir

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I would submit a ditto -- fix your house first before putting it on the market.

/ir

 

I think that's the ultimate plan. Put it on the IPO market fully branded. Unfortunately shareholders want short term results and don't really care about long term. Short term in this case might be lots of bells and whistles and it doesn't really matter if they work as long as marketing gets their checklist checked.

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I agree with others. I think more time and effort needs to be put in to launching a good stable product and not worry about new bells and whistles or names.

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My 2 cents,

 

While at Automation Nation this year I had a chance to sit with Scott and Greg. During our talks it was mentioned that the spark of previous AN events just wasn't as prevalent this year. It was a surprise not to see Matt doing a Keynote and to find out he is no longer on the active LabTech team. Change is all part of growing business but as that change happens so do the communities around them.

 

I really hope Connectwise Automate does not become a Kaseya 2.0

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... they're trying to push into MidMarket due to the volume of potential revenue there.

 

That being said -- when your userbase says LabTech sucks these days from buggy dev release cycles, if you rename the product it will only hurt -- as the anger will flow through. A polished turd is still a turd.

 

I would submit a ditto -- fix your house first before putting it on the market.

/ir

 

That's the problem, it's not a mid market product either so they end up spending a LOT of time trying to square peg the round hole instead of keeping focus on their bread and butter. Poor decisions and strategy the last couple years have really diminished their competitive advantage over the competition. I'd stop chasing System Center and get back to roots.

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I don't think this will have much of an effect on the quality of the products, they will be as good or as bad as they were going to be regardless of the branding. Branding is done by marketing people and coding is done by the programmers, the marketing people need something to do and other than a search and replace on the names won't slow down the programmers much.

 

The interface redesigns to bring them all in to a similar look and feel was set into motion quite a while ago and was happening regardless of the names of the products. Sure the rename probably comes a bit from the egos of the connectwise owners but this is quite common after acquisitions and I'm surprised it took this long to happen for labtech.

 

I think the quality and expansion of labtech capabilities could still go either way over the next couple years. This could signify a flattening of the bureaucracy of having a bunch of C level people at each subsidiary company which could allow them to be more agile, focus more on the product and less on the marketing in that division (Anyone else find it weird that it seemed CW and Labtech marketing people were competing with each other at AN?). If they do that there is also a chance that they lose key people like Greg and Drew that know the product inside and out and have been the primary innovation drivers which could really head the ship in a bad direction.

 

Overall, I liked the direction shown at AN of coordinating the interfaces to give them all a similar look and feel and making the transition between products as seamless as possible. What I did not like was the launch of 11 when Brett stood on stage and showed they knew they had 150 bugs and didn't plan to have them fixed until October not even including bugs not qualified yet, that reeks of forcing the product out the door just to be able to make a keynote presentation. I would prefer Brett got up there and said "We know you guys want the cool new stuff and we are going to show it to you, but out of respect for you we are not going to release it until it is ready".

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Thanks Martyn for putting this post out there. It's insightful to read all the responses here and I can truly appreciate all the feedback, whether is positive or negative. All of it is valuable and I thank all of you for providing it here.

 

Marketing and Development teams are completely separate animals with different timelines and goals. While LabTech DEV is committed to making a better product, it certainly doesn't come without the pains and strides of the rest of the business. As someone who lives between the Marketing and DEV worlds, it is tough to balance the two and align it all into one tight package. LabTech Product Management and LabTech Development are completely focused on LabTech 11 currently and we are rolling out LabTech 11 performance updates starting at the end of this month.

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I don't think this will have much of an effect on the quality of the products, they will be as good or as bad as they were going to be regardless of the branding. Branding is done by marketing people and coding is done by the programmers, the marketing people need something to do and other than a search and replace on the names won't slow down the programmers much.

 

Do remember that its the sales people who drive development, not so much customers. If a sales person can get a NEW customer by adding feature X, that will get more dev cycles than fixing issues A, B, and C combined because of new revenue.

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I don't think this will have much of an effect on the quality of the products, they will be as good or as bad as they were going to be regardless of the branding. Branding is done by marketing people and coding is done by the programmers, the marketing people need something to do and other than a search and replace on the names won't slow down the programmers much.

 

Do remember that its the sales people who drive development, not so much customers. If a sales person can get a NEW customer by adding feature X, that will get more dev cycles than fixing issues A, B, and C combined because of new revenue.

 

So if I am the only person in the thread not carrying the torches and pitchforks I'm going to have my opinions directly criticized by other members? My understanding was that this thread was about the change in the NAME of the products, not about who is steering the ship.

 

And your statement is contradictory, in your scenario the sales person is getting a feature to please a customer, so really it is the customer driving the development is it not? I hear this fallacy spread around every time someone is upset about a bug and the company came out with a new version or a new feature before that bug was fixed, "those devs should work on fixing bugs instead of adding new features!". This is not the reality of how development is done in larger companies. The teams that are out front of the current release, the Drews, Gregs, and Scotts, that are developing new technologies to add features that the majority of current users DO WANT like much more functionality in the probe/network monitoring have nothing to do with the maintenance releases and bugfixes that come out later, this is why branched development exists.

 

Bugs do exist in labtech, they existed before 11 or the new features and will continue to exist for as long as the product is around just as there has always been bugs in every piece of software made by any company. Any software business has to continually innovate and add new features or risk becoming blackberry. Should they hire some more people to fix bugs? maybe. Should they delay a release when the code is just not ready? probably. Should they continue modernizing the look and feel of the product and adding new features? yes.

 

I'm not a labtech evangelist and I had plenty of critiques in my post and even some likely outside the scope of the topic of this thread, I'm just saying I'm not going to run around screaming the sky is falling because they changed the name of the product. This too, shall pass.

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rgreen83, not intending to be harsh, just i've seen that the "Potential" new customer gets promised the world and new features that cause bugs elsewhere, while the existing customer base rots.

That said, I don't think a simple name change would cause those kinds of issues, as they are already happening i'm sure, and I've seen them personally at other companies where i've been involved in support, sales, and development.

I'm of the opinion I just don't like the proposed names more than anything.

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In my personal opinion, I don't think focusing on re-branding the products that work good, no great, should be the focal point. I understand the whole concept of unified systems but I think there are more issues with each of the individual software themselves that should get some attention before focusing on name change.

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IMO my two cents on the name change, ConnectWise is preparing to be sold off. Its way more attractive to potential buyers/investors if everything is under one umbrella. For the last year or so, there's been a huge push to onboard customers to boost the companies evaluation and this is just another way for them to do so.

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From a business standpoint, I understand why they did it. They are all ConnectWise products now so that makes sense.

 

From an actual MSP side I don't like it at all. I have used LabTech for a long time, longer than I have used ConnectWise and I think it is great. Sure it has its issues but I see them as completely separate products and should be represented as such. I agree with others that LabTech by ConnectWise would have been better branding as it would have showed it was a ConnectWise product but still built on the name and reputation that LabTech built over the years.

 

This probably will also alienate anybody using LabTech and not ConnectWise but I am not sure ConnectWise really cares about that.

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IMO my two cents on the name change, ConnectWise is preparing to be sold off. Its way more attractive to potential buyers/investors if everything is under one umbrella. For the last year or so, there's been a huge push to onboard customers to boost the companies evaluation and this is just another way for them to do so.

 

 

+1

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Given that ConnectWise proved so incapable they couldn't even arrange a demo in three weeks, so we bought Autotask instead - I'd say that ConnectWise brings NOTHING to this party. Forget renaming stuff, and work on improving the things your customers care about. The time taken to respond to support tickets, and inability to get hold of a tech in less than 45 mins being two prime examples.

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Over the years I've watched many many tech companies come and go and one thing is common to pretty much all of them. When the marketing department becomes larger and more important than the department developing the product the company is finished. It worries me that LT is going this way. They are pouring resources into looking pretty while we still have basic problems which have existed for years which go unresolved. Its pretty obvious the support department has major issues as no one stays around for more than a few months. High staff turnover is always an indication of management problems.The solution isn't to produce another brochure and change the product name.

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