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Managed services platform provider N-able Technologies is teaming up with
Iron Mountain Digital to help give partners a quick entry into data backup and

Executives at both companies say the alliance, initially a marketing
arrangement, is likely to go deeper, and will probably become a technology
alliance that offers partners an integration that bridges technology from the
two companies. Partners view such an integration as a big plus.

"The ability to have alerts from our online data protection generated
immediately in our MSP platform would be great," said Mike Jones,
president and CEO of ETG, a channel partner
of both N-Able and Iron Mountain.
"And we could get reporting in a single place."

Jones will have to wait a little while for that functionality, according to
executives with both companies, but talks are underway to create just those
integrations. Meanwhile, the marketing relationship will give partners of
either company an endorsement for the other company.

"When we look at doing partnerships [with other vendors] we look at their
channel model, and their ability to build managed services components within
their technology, among other things," said Derik Belair, vice president
of business development at N-able. "So [channel partners] know these partners
have been vetted. Moving forward, the benefits will be in the interoperability
side of the house. There will also be special pricing and programs targeted
toward the MSP community."

more on N-able’s strategy for combating MSP commoditization, click here.

Partners will also gain the benefits of offering a more end-to-end solution,
according to David Kubick, vice president of worldwide alliances and channel
sales at Iron Mountain.

"SMBs [small and midsize businesses] are becoming more savvy about what
they need," Kubick said. "They are looking for somebody who can
manage their requirements from end to end, and you can’t do that by just being
a data protection vendor."

N-able’s partnership with Iron Mountain
is not its first with another vendor, nor will it be its last. Rather, the
partnership is part of an ongoing strategy that is about to get a second wind,
according to Belair.
"This is a new wave of partnerships," Belair said. "We have been
actively soliciting our MSP [managed services provider] partners to find out
the types of technologies they use to grow their businesses." And with
those answers in hand, N-able is on a quest to strike at least a half-dozen key
vendor partnerships through which it can extend the additional functionality to
its MSP partners.

Technology areas that are likely expansion targets include storage, security,
convergence and VOIP (voice over IP).

"Those are areas where we want to have at least one vendor partner,"
Belair said.

Another potential area of expansion is an SAAS (software as a service) line of
business applications for vertical industries, he said.

investment firm says vertical SAAS applications are a hot ticket in 2008. Find
out why, and which industries are the best bet, here.

"We are still exploring the verticals. We have not nailed that down,"
he said. But likely targets are health care, legal and financial industries,
according to Belair.

"Our partners typically service small to midsized base," he said. "Depending
on the mood of the economy we see outsourcing [being] in high demand. Our partners
are meeting the demand out there. Our job is to help them as we can as a