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Managed services platform provider N-able announced it has entered
into a strategic technology and marketing agreement with Microsoft that
will help its managed services provider partners become more efficient
and more profitable.

Under the agreement, N-able’s N-central 6.5 managed services
platform software will be compatible with Microsoft’s System Center
Essentials 2007 product line, according to spokespersons from both
companies.

"We’re bringing all types of different products, technologies and
platforms together so our service providers can monitor, manage and
access all of a customer’s relevant system information through one
centralized environment," said Gavin Garbutt, president and CEO of
N-able.

Garbutt said the new agreement was established to make it easier for
Microsoft and N-able partners to integrate the N-central 6.5 managed
services platform with Microsoft’s System Center Essentials 2007.
System Center Essentials is Microsoft’s set of IT systems monitoring
and management software tools designed for SMBs (small and midsize
businesses) with up to 500 PCs and 30 servers.

Increasing the number of systems that can be monitored and managed
through a single console can also streamline a partner’s workflow,
making them more efficient. Greater efficiency leads to greater cost
savings, and even frees up resources the partner can use to possibly
take on additional and larger clients.

While N-able’s sweet spot is with SMBs, Garbutt said the technology
partnership will be a huge benefit to larger partners as well. He said
that many partners who started out as an SMB serving other SMBs have
experienced explosive growth in their MSP (managed services provider)
business, and they have had to adapt to the needs of larger midsize
business customers and even larger enterprise customers.

"This is a huge advantage for our partners because it provides them
many more enterprise-level system monitoring and management
capabilities both from N-central and from System Center Essentials," he
said.

In addition to the interoperability agreement with Microsoft, N-able
on March 5 signed a similar agreement with backup and storage vendor
Iron Mountain, and Garbutt says it has no plans to slow down.

Garbutt said the agreement with Microsoft was a "natural evolution"
of N-able’s extensive relationship with the software vendor. N-able is
a Microsoft Gold Partner, and also uses Microsoft’s reporting engine
technology in the N-central line of products. Garbutt added that N-able
is also one of Microsoft’s largest users of SharePoint server, which
N-able uses to drive its channel partner portal.

Garbutt said the interoperability will be phased into N-central over
a number of product releases, and that Microsoft and N-able are working
together to also provide technical and sales education materials for
partners.