Irked VARs Form N-Able Users Group

With the vendor's support, about two dozen N-Able partners have formed a users group to discuss issues and offer help implementing N-Able's managing and monitoring solution. The group was started by Dave Sahl, principal at IT Solutions, a Modesto, Calif., solution provider that began using N-Able's technology last year.

"It was obvious that it had some complexity associated with it," he said. "It has a ton of flexibility with the potential [for users] to make mistakes. There was a real need to learn from those that had some experience with the product."

Many solution providers feel N-Able oversold the functionality and ease of use of the technology, which lets them monitor and manage their clients' networks for a monthly fee. The partners said they paid as much as $60,000 to become Platinum N-Able partners, receiving a server and a license, but were left to their own devices to get the platform to work.

"Based on my engineer's expertise, we don't have a product to sell," said Jennifer Roback, vice president of sales at Praxis Computing, a Los Angeles-based solution provider and member of the users group. "The setup process is a [mess]. There is a high cost to deploy it. It's not a quick, three-step process."

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Last month, N-Able executives held a conference call with the group and pledged to help, said Mike Cullen, vice president of sales at N-Able, Ottawa. "We've just completed 10 hires to be marketplace support for partners. We've also hired three full-time trainers to help sell licensing and then train on-site," he said.

Those additions are too late for some solution providers, who have requested refunds from N-Able.

"I'm fed up. These guys make empty promises. The minute they push the licenses on you and book the revenue, they're on to the next one," said one solution provider requesting a refund, who asked not to be identified.