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Managed services platform provider N-able Technologies April 14 announced it will offer Microsoft partners a one-year subscription to its new hosted N-central Express software free of charge, hoping to accelerate the adoption of managed services.

Earlier this year, N-able Technologies and Microsoft announced a strategic alliance that would ensure tighter integration of N-central with Microsoft’s System Center Essentials 2007. The two companies said the alliance would offer partners the tools to build a thriving managed services practice. 

"We are debuting N-central Express to Microsoft partners to fuel the adoption of managed services throughout North America,” said Gavin Garbutt, president and CEO. He added that N-able is putting its money where its mouth is by offering N-central Express at no charge. 

"Microsoft partners will be able to see, free of charge, the productivity gains, the efficiencies and the profitability they can achieve with managed services," Garbutt said. His hope is that partners will continue to use the service to build a managed services practice after the one-year term is up, he said.

Garbutt said that the offering would be most appealing to the approximately 13,000 Microsoft VARs and IT service providers focused on networking and system management, though any Microsoft partners are eligible to take advantage of the offer.

N-central Express allows for Web-based administration of multiple customers’ infrastructures from a single dashboard, according to N-able. Services providers can easily automate their IT monitoring and management services for up to 10 IP-enabled devices, including desktops, servers and networking devices.

Garbutt said that many VARs are still locked into a "break/fix" model, but that the free subscription would let them ease into a more lucrative fixed-fee, remote monitoring and management model for customers. 

N-able also announced it will hold a free educational webinar for Microsoft partners that will take place April 15. The webinar will cover IT services automation, managed services and building a successful services practice using the features and functionality of N-able’s software, Garbutt said.

Garbutt also said that the N-central Express debut is only the first of many N-able offerings that target Microsoft partners and that the company has invested in a new hosting facility in Florida for the N-central Express service.