N-able Unveils Two N-central Add-ons

MSP platform provider N-able Technologies is hoping to steer partners down the second path with two new add-ons to its N-central remote monitoring and management platform.

The company this week unveiled Remote Support Manager (RSM) and Remote Environment Manager (REM), new products that should help partners achieve lower service delivery costs, said Bill Stewart, vice president of marketing at N-able, Ottawa.

With RSM, managed service providers can tinker with clients' desktops and servers without interrupting user sessions on those machines, Stewart said. The tool can also open several processes and applications on a target box with one click of the mouse, streamlining the maintenance process for service providers, he said.

REM is a desktop management tool for Windows PC environments that aims to cut down on the number of problems users inadvertently introduce and reduce the amount of scripting partners need to perform, Stewart said.

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"There's always a problem in locking down configurations on individual PCs," he said. "But scripting has limitations. It works when you have lots of the same boxes being used by people in the same way."

N-able's new tool is easily adaptable to customer sites with more wide-ranging needs, he said.

"With this service, you lock down a desktop configuration, built through a GUI, and it's far easier to deploy. You have the ability to reinforce a profile at log on, log off, even every hour if you want." Among the 35 or so settings REM can control are USB port access, power management, drive mapping, registry settings and printer mappings.

Stewart said the technology behind the new products was procured through an OEM partner but declined to name it.

General availability of the new products is scheduled for May 1. Pricing for RSM starts at $25 per device, while pricing for REM bundled with RSM starts at $50 per device. RSM will be available to N-able's hosted Momentum clients, while the REM bundle is available for self-hosting Velocity partners.

"It's good technology," said Joe Popper, owner of Computer Gallery in Palm Desert, Calif., an N-able Velocity partner. "At some point we will be upgrading."

Popper said when it does upgrade, Computer Gallery wouldn't be passing on the cost of the RSM-REM package to its own clients. "We're already on a fixed-fee model," he said.

But not all of N-able's MSP partners are as excited about the new product.

"We're still on the bubble a bit, still on the fence," said Steve Solbrack, general manager and president of Solbrekk, speaking about the MSP space in general and N-able in particular.

"The underlying tools are important. We engaged pretty heavy [with N-able] at the beginning of the year, but got bogged down with the N-able tools."

Still, the Golden Valley, Minn.-based VAR understands what all the MSP fuss is about.

"Recurring revenue is appealing," he said.