N-able Technologies, thanks to its recent eight-figure equity investment from KKR-Accel, plans to give MSPs up to 250 Essentials licenses for every N-able Professional license they manage through N-able's N-central platform.
The program, announced this week at N-able's annual Partner Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., intends to arm MSPs with enough licenses to dramatically increase the number of end user devices they're managing. All told, N-able will provide $100 million in Essentials licenses to partners for free, according to the company.
N-able first launched the "freemium" program last year and the model bore fruit on a smaller scale. Now, managed services has moved passed the early adopter phase and into the first stages of mass adoption and it's critical for MSPs to manage as many devices as possible, said N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt.
"There's no maintainence or support [costs] or anything [to use the Essentials licenses]. It's more functionality so now you can do deep asset discovery, full warranty discovery, attended and unattended remote control," Garbutt said.
In addition to Essentials licenses, the new program also features N-able's new Policy Manager tool, GPO Enforcer and Security Manager/Anti-Spam applications, according to N-able.
MSPs also can swap Essentials licenses for paid Professional licenses back and forth as customers' needs change. "They may need some advanced monitoring or help for a short time. You can clip a button in the software and it turns on the Professional capabilities. Then you can turn it back to Essentials if you want. We made it flexible and powerful and all in the central NOC," Garbutt said.
The number of devices managed by N-able partners has grown 225 percent over the last seven quarters and that number should continue to rise as more end users adopted a managed service model, Garbutt said.
"The main driver of this is we're giving them the software for free. It's super easy to deploy. It takes literally minutes. Now all devices, whether they're managed or not, will be on the [N-central] dashboard. You can show [end users] their problems, patches, defrag, antivirus problems," Garbutt said. "Their [applications] license usage might be out of bounds and you can provide the customer with reports and specific solutions. You might want to sell hosted Exchange or cloud backup solutions."
For example, MSPs can show customers that a certain number of devices have warranties ending in four months or have licenses expiring, which allows the MSP to help the customer plan for the future, Garbutt said.
"A customer might have 85 devices that are not managed. Those devices are not on the dashboard and the customer cannot receive an asset report on them. Now you can give them that," Garbutt said.
A free look into more of a customer's IP devices opens up more opportunity for MSPs, he said.
"Like every industry, [managed services] has moved into that next level. The problem before was [MSPs had to buy [licenses] up front and try to sell all customers all-you-can-eat managed services contracts. Now you don't need to do that. You can lead with value," Garbutt said. "Go to your managed customers and you may not manage their routers, printers, VoIP systems or whatever IP-enabled device it might be. Go back and show them where they have problems and continue to sell them managed services that will help align IT with the business objectives."
To support expected growth due to the Essentials program, N-able is doubling the number of partner development, according to the company.