N-able Simplifies MSP Offering, Splits Channel Program

N-central 4.5 includes a free module, OnDemand Service, that enables the product's service automation tools--such as remote access, patch management, desktop monitoring and asset management--to work together in one platform, said Mark Scott, CEO of the Ottawa-based vendor. The tools previously operated more as point products, he said.

The new version addresses criticism earlier this year from some solution providers that N-central was complicated to implement, even though N-able had billed it as simple to deploy.

Derik Belair, N-able's vice president of marketing, said the company had partners' concerns in mind when it put the finishing touches on N-central 4.5. Scott noted that version 4.5 is easier to deploy because it gathers the point applications into one platform.

"We have moved more toward being a platform vendor," Scott said. "Point applications have their place, but ultimately the platform vendors will win the race in the long term."

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Also available for N-central 4.5 is a new VoIP Service Manager module. Starting at about $3,500, the VoIP module allows partners to monitor VoIP deployments in customer sites, Scott said.

Adam Eiseman, president and CEO of The Lloyd Group, a New York-based MSP that makes more than $100,000 a month from monitoring primarily small- and midsize-business clients, said the VoIP module will help his company's bottom line even more.

"I think its going to be a successful module for us. We are seeing tremendous growth of VoIP and hosted VoIP in the SMB market where we focus," Eiseman said, adding that The Lloyd Group's customer base includes financial services, accounting, real-estate and other professional-services clients.

On the channel front, N-Able divided its MSP 3.0 partner program into two entities, MSP N-abler and MSP Titanium.

The MSP N-abler segment covers partners that provide managed services to the sub-100 user market, where solution providers often shoulder the monitoring of a customer's entire IT infrastructure, Scott said. Solution providers that serve customers with 100 or more users will be classified as MSP Titanium partners. In some cases, the MSP Titanium partners provide only certain types of monitoring, such as security monitoring, supplemental monitoring or VoIP monitoring, he added.

By splitting the program, N-able can sharpen its focus on each partner segment's customer base, according to Scott.

N-Able's current Silver, Gold and Platinum partner fee structure isn't being changed, he said. The fees are based on the number of MSP customers that a partner has. Silver partners, which typically monitor about five customers, have an $11,000 entry point, and Gold partners, which monitor about 25 customers, have a $30,000 entry point. Platinum partners monitor 100 or more customers and pay a $49,500 entry point, he said.