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ConnectWise Announces PitchIT Accelerator Program Finalists for 2023

ConnectWise Announces PitchIT Accelerator Program Finalists for 2023

ConnectWise has announced its annual PitchIT Accelerator Program finalists. Three startup vendors, vCIOToolbox, Nodeware and Thread, participated in 16 weeks of business development training and emerged victorious from Battle Royale. Battle Royale, hosted by Channel Program and ConnectWise, occurred over three days and showcased 26 emerging technology vendors.  

vCIOToolbox, Nodeware and Thread will highlight their solutions during IT Nation Connect at 3 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 8, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. Judges will determine which vendor is awarded the $70,000 grand prize and which earns $30,000 as the runner-up. In addition, the three finalists each secure a free booth in the IT Nation Connect Solutions Pavilion and receive one-on-one coaching from former PitchIT champions.

Launched by ConnectWise in 2018, the PitchIT Accelerator Program allows ConnectWise to invest in its vendor partners. Solutions are showcased and success is incubated within the ConnectWise ecosystem. The continued support from previous finalists illustrates the impact this program has on managed service providers (MSPs) and TSPs. Kamalesh Srikanth, head of customer experience at AlertOps and winner of PitchIT 2022, remains involved as a head coach for the 2023 finalists.  

"Engaging in PitchIT was monumentally beneficial for us to gain exposure and expand our presence," Srikanth said. "Winning PitchIT last year was an amazing experience, but the knowledge, partners and friends we gained are truly invaluable. Being a head coach this year is exciting because we get to reinforce the knowledge we gained and help lead emerging vendors down the same path of success."  

"Through its innovative and collaborative nature, PitchIT empowers the MSP and TSP communities," said Sean Lardo, ConnectWise Evangelist. "It's rewarding to witness technology thought leaders coming together and introducing new advancements to our industry. This year in particular, the competition is fierce, the number of applications record-breaking and everyone is looking forward to final presentations."

In other news, ConnectWise has announced that ConnectWise MDR will be integrated with Microsoft's small and medium business-focused security solutions. This collaboration enables strengthened cybersecurity management for companies worldwide, through the integration of ConnectWise MDR and Microsoft Defender for Business standalone and as part of Microsoft 365 Business Premium.  

ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business will benefit managed service providers (MSPs) of all sizes that are focused on scaling their business operations with a cost-effective and powerful cybersecurity solution, within secure and efficient environments. MSPs can now provide these enterprise-grade and comprehensive, tailored cybersecurity and business solutions to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the globe. These SMBs comprise and power a magnitude of industries.    

ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business is available to technology solution providers through ConnectWise. With this new integration from ConnectWise, TSPs and MSPs gain enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions such as detecting and responding to clients’ threats in real-time, defending client endpoints from security threats, reduced reliance on easily bypassed preventative-only tools, and security operations center (SOC) team support with certified security analysts. These capabilities allow TSPs and MSPs worldwide to deliver scalable, enterprise-grade security solutions with cutting-edge threat intelligence in a cost-effective manner.

Key benefits for TSPs / MSPs who use ConnectWise MDR with Microsoft Defender for Business:  

  1. Microsoft's trusted and comprehensive cybersecurity solution, Microsoft Defender for Business, which brings enterprise-grade, cross-platform endpoint protection and EDR to SMBs, is integrated into ConnectWise MDR for a holistic approach to cybersecurity
  2. 24/365 Dedicated security operations center (SOC) team support delivered by highly skilled security analysts, automated threat detection, 24/365 expert monitoring, quick incident response ranked as best-in-class and a team of 200-plus experts
  3. ConnectWise CRU — Combined strength of Microsoft’s threat intelligence along with ConnectWise Cyber Research Unit (CRU) which is focused on threat hunting specific to MSPs and SMBs  
  4. Seamless integration into the ConnectWise platform, providing for streamlined IT management processes and greater efficiency  

According to a recent study by Forrester, as commissioned by Microsoft, 85% of MSPs see security as an area of growth, and 64% of SMBs prefer purchasing cybersecurity solutions as a package that meets all their requirements. Additional proprietary research on cybersecurity and SMBs found that 94% of small and medium businesses would consider switching to a new provider if a more comprehensive security solution was offered, making this collaboration timely and an opportunity for TSPs to edge out the competition.

"Our mission is to empower IT solution providers with unmatched software, services and community to achieve their most ambitious visions of success," said Raffael Marty, executive vice president and general manager of cybersecurity, ConnectWise. "Our integration with Microsoft enhances our shared vision of assisting businesses so they can thrive in resource-limited environments.

"With the help of our integrated security solutions, advanced management tools, and expert SOC and MDR services, we help organizations realize their full potential," Marty added. "We are committed to powering TSPs with new solutions that enable them to differentiate their offerings and gain competitive advantages, and with a focus on those solutions that further empower MSPs of all sizes to excel at servicing a greater volume of SMB clients, each year."

"The integration with ConnectWise represents our shared commitment to empowering managed service providers," said Rob Lefferts, CVP, Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Sentinel Engineering. "This collaboration aims to enhance security for SMB customers, boost partner profitability and reduce costs through integrated solutions."

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