Happy 10th birthday, ConnectWise Control!

| By:
Dee Cater

In February 2009, a new emote support and access solution was launched. 10years later, it is one of the leading solutions in its class with 20,000+ partners worldwide. While it’s not everyday you think about the age of software, we want to say “happy birthday” and thank you to all ConnectWise Control® partners for helping us achieve this milestone.

What our partners are saying

"...[ConnectWise Control] was the lure I used to get my techs over to [ConnectWise Automate®] and away from Kaseya."

- Karl Fulljames, COO, Nucleus Networks, a ConnectWise Control Partner since 2014

"ConnectWise Control has been a crucial tool in our arsenal as an MSP. The simplicity of connecting with our clients, being able to chat them without remoting in and the ability to run commands without disrupting the end user makes this an incredibly versatile product. This solution has definitely made for happier clients and technicians!"

- Mike Taylor, VP Sales & Business Development, Cii Technology Solutions, a ConnectWise Control Partner since 2012

"We chose ScreenConnect in 2014 after looking at other solutions. We had been using LogMeIn with their MSP portal/package, but they had raised their rates two years in a row by a significant amount. I’m glad they did. The functionality of ScreenConnect at the time was far superior to what we had. Anytime anyone asks what we use or talks about remote support tools that they are using, we always recommend ScreenConnect and will make sure that they know to look for it as ConnectWise Control now. The vast majority of my colleagues that I know that might be using another RMM that doesn’t include ScreenConnect, but has something else, still run their own ScreenConnect server for remote connections because it just works and it works well."

- Rob Downs, President, Managed IT Solutions, a ConnectWise Control Partner since 2014

An unfamiliar origin story

We sat down with ConnectWise’s CPO, Jeff Bishop, who’s been there since the beginning to see what he had to say:

ScreenConnect was born out of our own need to provide a cost-effective remote support solution that just worked. We wanted a product that could be deployed on-premises and in the cloud. At the time, most major brands only supported one deployment option; either on-premises or cloud, not both.

We started off tackling ad-hoc support, which is probably the hardest support method because we were striving for zero footprint on the machines after the session. We were probably 3 years in before we finally decided to offer remote access and provide a persistent client on machines.

On a whim, the team tested version 1.0 (developed in 2009), and once installed locally, it was able to connect two Windows 10 computers with no problems.

The lead PM and CTO did most of the UIX and website development, including the original cartoons and whimsical banners. As a startup, we couldn’t really afford a graphics design person, so we learned photoshop and started creating our own art to help give the website some personality. Not everyone loved the designs, but overall the feedback was pretty good for two guys with limited artistic ability.

A big change for me was when one of our customers sent us an email thanking us for the software. His quote was something along the lines that he included us in his prayers that night because he was able to shift from one of our competitors, and was able to save enough money so that he could pay his rent that month. We always thought we had a good product but it was then we realized the impact we were having for many of the small break fix and MSP shops, and were truly humbled.

I have always loved what we did with ConnectWise Control; building a product from scratch and it is amazing to watch it be adopted by tens of thousands of organizations around the world. It’s incredible to think of what a few people can achieve with the right idea and the support of a community.

We set out to provide a low level of sales and support interaction. While we didn’t achieve the objective of zero support tickets, ConnectWise Control is around .3% of customers submitting tickets on a daily basis. This is a testament to the community of users and the team working together to build an intuitive product with a solid feature set.

I have worked with companies of all sizes but this has been an amazing journey; to take something from 0 customers to more than 20,000, with at least a hundred thousand users and millions of endpoints is remarkable. We would not have completed this achievement without the team and a customer base who were as vested as we were, and wanted to make a product that worked.

A few fun facts
  • ScreenConnect domain was purchased in 2009, it was originally a screenwriting software website
  • ConnectWise Control has had four logos over its 10 years
  • Only two to three people really worked on ScreenConnect full time for the first two years
  • ScreenConnect’s original CTO rigged up an old phone in the hallway that would help us monitor our sales numbers and trials every day. Every time someone would download a trial the phone would make a cheering sound. It got so ingrained in our culture that we would gauge how we did that day by how many cheers we heard or didn’t hear.