I’m disenchanted by both ConnectWise and LabTech. Together and separately, they are arguably the best option of many.
I cannot stand the lack of transparency. And frankly the clunky implementation of both are somewhat embarrassing. I’m not going to go into the various drawbacks, as those have been treated in numerous places, and I’m not interested in poking holes in software that clearly works, and works well enough. I’m interested in coming up with something better.
Well, for one, it should offer a competitive advantage without a huge overhead in licensing fees, implementation, maintenance or management. I believe our industry is changing, and the idea that I have to pay a per-agent fee of any kind, for anything, is anathema to the current trends… my experience tells me that it’s our service that we’re selling. The tools are ancillary and should be focused on helping us provide better service, and they should do so by decreasing our overhead, not increasing it. The tools should come with “safe by default” configurations that deploy and function together in a sane manner, immediately and without tweaking.
Being in the business of information technology service, we’re uniquely suited to the Open Source business model, where service is what is sold, and the technology to support it is shared and improved by all. So the second way to do something better is to collectively improve the tools. Let’s build a better mousetrap, and make that mousetrap available to everyone. The efforts of those who manage the GitHub repo found here are absolutely critical to those of us using LT and CW. It’s just not enough.
Finally, I believe in Freedom, and I believe Free Software is better than Open Source software, in that it promotes the freedom of its users. The current batch of tools and agents and services are offering the illusion of freedom, where they promise ease of use, any-platform support and ubiquitous access. These are important considerations – but they do not offer true freedom. Open Source is a development methodology, one I ascribe to, but it’s not enough. We have to be able to support our users ability to choose, and to choose freely, whatever makes them more competitive, more profitable – whatever offers the greatest degree of freedom. Proprietary software in no way promotes freedom. They may sell you on the idea that they do, but they don’t – they can’t. It’s not in their business model because their business is built on selling you something that they own and must control. Because they are focused on a product, not a service, their motive for helping you find the best product is NEVER unbiased.
I believe in building things. I believe in making money. I believe in freedom. I believe there’s a way for all those beliefs to work together and produce something of value to many people. As to whether I am able to actually execute on these convictions, that will remain to be seen.