A Chat with Brett Cheloff
Brett Cheloff has spent his entire career immersed in the IT and managed services fields. He is now responsible for the innovation and direction of ConnectWise Automate, formerly LabTech®, as General Manager.
After he was able to comfortably settle in, we got the chance to chat with him about best practices, the future of ConnectWise Automate, and what he is most passionate about.
Here’s what he had to say:
First, the big picture: How did you manage the transition to the GM role?
Everyone asks me this question. It’s interesting because I’ve always been passionate about the direction of the product. In the past, as the development director, I had limited power to affect change.
The role of the General Manager has enabled me to run with fresh ideas, and bring them inside the organization to drive the change needed to create the best possible version of the product.
I loved the transition. It really ignited what I was already very passionate about – guiding the product to fit our partners’ needs.
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What are some of ConnectWise Automate’s key priorities for 2016?
Three things: support, scalability and simplicity. One of our primary goals is to have no support defects in the product that are older than 90 days. We are also trying to implement a 90-day service level agreement by the end of this year.
Additionally, we’re working to simplify the product to run our partners’ businesses easily and effectively, straight out of the box, so that ConnectWise Automate can become a part of their foundation and everyday practices.
Redesigning the user interface is a major facet of our BHAG: big, hairy, audacious goal. We’re focusing on making 80% of the product usable within the first 10 minutes to bring in significant added value.
How do you expect the remote monitoring and management (RMM) market to evolve in the months and years ahead?
There is a notion that the death of the PC is imminent, and I don’t buy it. I see it more as the death of the on-premise server.
Now that servers are going to the cloud, the number of physical on-premise servers will continue to decline. RMM’s will need to manage and monitor cloud environments.
Technicians like control, but this pull into the cloud is taking control away from them – losing control and response time, relying on Microsoft for up time. Our RMM will need to set up and watch these environments.
You can see the beginning of this with ConnectWise® CloudConsole™, which we are working to bring into ConnectWise Automate soon.
What everyday things do you take pride in?
There are 2 things that I take the most pride in: culture and problem-solving.
Driving culture is always my number 1 priority. I want to know that the people around me are passionately driven, motivated and support our cause. This is truly an X-factor to any business, a good culture, full of passionate people, will take you leaps and bounds further than people just collecting a paycheck. That’s what I take the most pride in.
Identifying and quickly solving problems is the other area I pride myself on. In the beginning of my career at our MSP Nemsys, I would shadow the System Engineers and look for repetitive/mundane tasks and create scripts that would eliminate the need for them to ever do that again. This created a significant increase in productivity for our engineers.
That’s my foundation, and I think that’s a great trait to have in this industry.
What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to a Pandora mix comprised of mostly 90’s grunge, trap/EDM and sometimes alternative rock.
What are you currently reading?
The last book I finished was Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. I highly recommend this book to anyone in a leadership role. I also really enjoy surfing around news articles on technology, and technology trends, on a host of websites.
How do you recharge?
I go home to my wife and daughter and hang out with them. I try to clear my mind around them with non-work-related talk. I also love playing soccer.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?
I consider 2016 to be our year. ConnectWise Automate is really going to change for the better. It will become extremely stable, and we will release features that will enable partners for future success.
We want to instill the message that we are the thought leaders for our partners, and we’ll stay on top of where technology is going to ensure the product will solve their current and future needs. Our partners’ success is our success!