N-able Technologies Rolls Out MDM Capabilities In N-Central 9.1

N-able Technologies has rolled out a new version of its managed service platform, adding several key capabilities around mobile device management while at the same time streamlining a number of professional service automation (PSA) features.

"We're really trying to address two major themes and opportunities," said JP Jauvin, president and COO of the Ottawa, Canada-based company. "The first is to capitalize on the MDM market, and the second one is to provide MSPs with a way to improve efficiencies through automation and workflow."

To that end, N-able's N-central 9.1 managed service platform now features a host of familiar MDM capabilities, including simplified configuration of Apple and Android devices, usage monitoring, data wiping, device tracking, device locking, and the ability to support corporate security policies. The platform's new Mobile Manager module can also generate performance and tracking reports to further support compliance and overall device monitoring efforts.

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"On the business side, it's an opportunity for MSP's to generate new customers and new revenue streams and develop new managed services," added Jauvin. "Unlike the pure-play MDM solutions that can only provide visibility on the endpoints, we are providing visibility on an end-to-end basis. If you are an MSP, you want to look at the bigger picture. You want to know where things are failing and the details on the user experience, security, asset management and so on."

Aside from MDM, version 9.1 of the platform also includes tighter integration with Autotask and ConnectWise PSA platforms. The system now supports the creation of tickets in multiple queues, as well as the ability to enter time entries on the ticket for billing purposes.

"We now offer very granular control over the traditional tickets in the PSA system," said N-able Product Management Director Rob Grapes. "This is to allow the technician to see issues of specific importance at any given time in order to help critical actions to rise to the top. We've also enhanced the capability to de-duplicate tickets. One of the problems with these tools is that they frequently create multiple tickets for the same problem. At the end of the day, you can have 10 tickets that need to be manually dealt with. So, this eliminates that time sink. We've also added the ability to charge for time spent on these tickets. More services are being delivered through automation for purposes of guaranteed quality and the ability to have a junior technician do them. There's no reason why an MSP should not be able to charge for that."

The platform's Automation Manager module has also been upgraded to provide better support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. The module also now has 55 new automation objects to support drag-and-drop scripting in Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, and Windows Defender Management.

"MSPs are trying to scale their business and reduce the cost of service delivery without needing to pay for additional technicians," Grape explained. "Automation Manager lets you create policies quickly and easily, without a lot of specialized training. You don't need programmers in the environment in order to deliver this automation."