N-able to Support Managed Mobile Devices in 2012

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Remote monitoring and management firm N-able announced a bigger investment in its Freemium strategy, worth $108,000 per MSP, and also offered a peek at the product roadmap which promises more automation in the near future, and support for managing mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android-based devices in mid-2012.

N-able is upping its investment in partners and accelerating its Freemium strategy to the tune of $115 million, CEO Gavin Garbutt announced at the remote monitoring and management vendor’s annual partner conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. today.

Garbutt told the assembled N-able partners that the company will use its invested funds from private equity firm Accel-KKR to accelerate the hybrid Freemium program.

For partners who have 250 professional licenses of N-central today, N-able will provide 5,000 Essentials licenses for free, for life, with no charges for maintenance or support.

In addition, N-able will provide 500 free GPO enforcer licenses and 500 free anti-spam licenses good until Sept. 30, 2012.

Garbutt said the value of the software to an individual partner would be $108,500 and for all partners the value is $115 million.

"My challenge to you: 100 percent MSP growth," Garbutt said. "…I’m quadrupling the premium."

Garbutt highlighted how N-able’s hybrid approach had accelerated growth over the last year.  In the first quarter of 2010 N-able had 20,000 customers being managed by partners. Today the company has 53,000 customers managed by partners.

The strategy is simple, Garbutt told partners. Go in and sell them one thing. Keep it simple and intuitive. Don’t try to boil the ocean or make them eat the entire meal of services that you have to offer.

It’s a strategy N-able established three years ago after conducting a survey of SMB customers that showed SMBs were not interested in a fixed-fee managed services offering. N-able recommended that partners start with what was at top of mind for SMBs, antivirus protection. N-able could offer this in the form of managed end-point security.

An important part of the approach is to assess the customer’s IT infrastructure and provide some initial reports for free to help shape the conversation about how the managed services partner can help the SMB customer shore up its IT operations to achieve its business goals.

This year, Garbutt told Channel Insider, the focus will be on helping partners streamline their internal processes through additional functionality. The goal is to double the number of devices under management. N-able’s N-central 8.2 release which is headed for beta in December and general release in early 2012 will offer Automation Manager integration, including a GUI process designer, agent-based processing and hundreds of objects and scripts. It will also include Integrated third party patching.

The release will let MSPs create all their services once, and then they can be deployed by a junior level technician.

But the feature that got the biggest reception from the assembled MSPs at the keynote and roadmap addresses was the announcement of mobile device management coming to N-central 8.3, set for beta in April 2012 and general release in June 2012.  MSPs applauded the announcement enthusiastically -- after they put down their iPads. Other new capabilities will include an integrated policy manager and network visualization.

N-central 9.0, schedule to go to beta in Oct. 2012, will offer a cloud manager that provides public cloud management, IaaS provisioning, a server template, and cloud application monitoring.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com