N-able Technologies has released the next generation of its managed services platform, N-central 8.0, which the company said should help MSPs reel in more SMB customers.
The new version includes fresh looks for dashboards and management, enhanced hardware discovery; a new scripting workflow; a mobile user interface (UI) for enhanced technician accessibility; and greater support and manageability for physical, virtualized, mobile and application-based technologies, according to the company.
The features included in N-Central 8.0, as well as N-able's continued program to offer free Essentials licenses for MSPs' non-managed customers and devices, should give channel partners ample ammunition to go after resistant customers, Garbutt said.
"The reality is that 85 percent of SMB devices are still on chaotic or reactive service models and the MSPs are not doing capacity planning or predictive analysis or automation of services when there are issues," Garbutt said. "We've really pushed the concept of 100 percent IT coverage, with every customer's non-managed device on the dashboard so you can provide them where they have issues in order to cross-sell and up-sell."
Much like the latest offering of a storied movie franchise, N-central 8.0 is more of a reboot than a sequel to N-central 7.x, said Garbutt. N-able released N-central 7.2 last February.
"I love that analogy. This is a big deal for us as an organization," Garbutt said. "8.0 is bout taking it to the next level. It's an incredibly sophisticated but yet simple solution."
The groundwork for 8.0 started in 2008 when a usability group embarked on a six-month project to tear N-central apart and rebuild it, Garbutt said.
"Two things I'm always after is helping MSPs grow and maximize their profitability. The growth, we've got that now. We want to keep that. But now it's about how to help them improve the productivity of their technicians. This is what 8.0 is about," Garbutt said. "We've implemented a lot of ITIL methodology into the product for configuration management, change management, incident management and process and policy management."
A big concept within 8.0 is its versatility, Garbutt said. Junior technicians can use it for their day-to-day tasks while more sophisticated technicians can use the more advanced process and policy management within N-Central, he said.
"Every one of your techs can deliver services in a consistent fashion. It helps with productivity and incident management," Garbutt said. "I like the notion of a single pane of glass for all things IT, like VoIp systems, Xerox devices. We want MSPs to launch from a single pane of glass."
N-able is adding two new products to complement N-central, an antispam product and a policy manager.
"We've gone from one product to eight different modules with multiple tools within each module," Garbutt said. "8.0 is really about helping guys get all their customers on the dashboard from a reporting perspective and provide them reports to up-sell and cross-sell."