N-able Expects Velocity to Speed VARs to MSP ModelBy John Hazard | Print
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N-able Technologies Inc. is beefing up its channel support infrastructure and giving partners more choices in how to deliver managed services to customers.
The Ottawa-based managed services platform provider is positioning itself as the engine that is driving a deep transformation in the IT channel, company executives told The Channel Insider this week.
With that in mind, the company released the Velocity System, which offers partners a menu of services from which partners can choose, including solutions focused on applications, desktop, network, security and Voice over IP. Partners get to choose the solutions based on their customers' needs.
Velocity System is built on N-able's N-central 5.0 platform, which, combined with the company's new channel offerings, is intended to focus on the value partners offer, not the time or service calls they deliver, said Mark Scott, the company's president and chief executive officer.
"This is leveraging the technology to deliver value," Scott said. "Velocity leverages the technology to deliver services, while representing the value in those services."
To make the value clear to customers, the company has built in to the platform reporting capabilities that deliver meaningful statistics to business owners. Because of the remote nature of providing the services, owners may start to question whether the provider is actually delivering any value, said N-able executives.
"Sooner or later you have clients saying, 'You only made one service call last month,' and asking where the value is in that," said Bill Stewart, N-able's vice president of marketing. Instead, customers should be seeing information such as "e-mail uptime is at 97 percent."
"Business owners really only want to know about their business, so it has to be presented in a way that they care about," he said. "They need to know what is working, not how."
Velocity's reporting capabilities include customizable windows that technicians and business owners can set up for their specific needs.
Velocity is designed to be easily deployed and priced so that VARs can start offering managed services without a major investment, company executives said.
Channel companies delivering managed services take over some or all of their customers' IT functions, monitoring and managing them remotely. Through managed services, customers gain predictability of services while the providers collect recurring utility-like fees.
To help partners get up to speed on managed services, N-able's channel organization offers resources to educate partners and to assist them with business development.
N-able created a partner development specialist group whose goal is to transfer managed services business, marketing and sales expertise to partners. Specialists work with partners to create strategic roadmaps for their businesses.
A second group, comprised of solution architects, focuses on deployment, integration and implementation of the vendor's solutions by training and providing technical support to partners. They share best practices and provide ongoing peer-to-peer mentoring on monitoring and management expertise.
The company also set up a group of channel sales representatives that work with partners to promote and create demand with end users for their managed services offerings.
The company also launched MSP StartUP, an intensive, 30-day quick-start program designed to help VARs and integrators quickly set themselves up as managed services providers.
A program called Blueprint for Success offers step-by-step instructions to VARs.
N-able strengthened its partner support infrastructure in response to partner needs and as acknowledgement that the transition to a managed services model is very challenging for companies that traditionally have focused on product sales and time-based break/fix projects, Scott said.
"The challenge is it's a very different business," Scott said. "Unless you bring programs to MSPs that help them bring annuity-based services to clients, you aren't helping."