N-able News Roundup: MDM, Report Manager 4.0, 2013 Roadmap

N-able Global Partner Summit

N-able Technologies invited more than 300 partners from around the world to Montreal this week to lay out the company's road map into 2013 and announce some new programs, features and partnerships. Here's a look at some of the top news coming out of the conference.

Report Manager 4.0

N-able's Report Manager 4.0 now integrates with PSA platform vendors Autotask and ConnectWise for ticket reporting, according to N-able.

The latest release creates an RMM reporting solution that combines RMM and PSA data. Report Manager 4.0 collects multiple metrics on all service tickets, which gives MSPs a better view of a customer's network and more detailed information for faster analysis, according to the company.

It also includes a new Network Assessment Report, developed to help MSPs attract more prospects using N-able's free Essential licenses.

"It quickly captures metrics on all activities; produces a broad range of custom reports; and allows them to instantly demonstrate their IT value, providing all the insight and services that an expert, on-staff or virtual CIO would offer," said Robert Grapes, director of product management for N-able, in a statement.

N-central 9.1

N-able's N-central platform is beta testing version 9.1 now after 9.0 was released in June. The new version is expected to be out by the end of the year and feature long-anticipated mobile device management features for iOS and Android, as well as a PSA integration update for Marval and Tigerpaw, Windows 8 support and more. A later Service Pack 1 release will include enhancements around Apple's Mac OS and an improved backup manager. "Historically, we've been about monitoring and management. Going forward, we're all about automation," said CEO Gavin Garbutt.

Mobile Device Management Solution

The aforementioned MDM features were a big topic of conversation at Global Partner Summit for N-able's MSPs.

Robert Grapes, director of product management at N-able Technologies, told attendees that they will be able to manage devices knowing information including the OS version, whether roaming is turned on or not and whether GPS is enabled to track the device. In addition, MSPs can see the current battery charge, how much space is being used and what applications are installed on the device, he said.

"If the device is lost, you can mark it as such. You can choose to erase the data if you want. It gives you the capability to control those tasks," Grapes said.


N-able's long-standing "freemium" program, which offers MSPs free Essential licenses as a means to get customers interested in managed services, has been extended to include mobile device management and the company's PSA Insight tool. Meanwhile, any partner purchasing an N-central platform license will get up to 5,000 free Essential agent licenses for the duration of their relationship with N-able, according to the company.

"Our No. 1 goal is to help MSPs be more profitable than they've ever been before," said JP Jauvin, president and COO of N-able. "And we're doing that by focusing on what matters most to their customers: 100 percent IT coverage, proven technology, valuable insight and all the business and technical training they need to succeed."

MSP 'Super Elite' Partner Group

A few years ago, N-able launched an Elite program for MSPs with at least $1 million in recurring revenue and 1,000 managed nodes. Now, more than 200 partners have reached those milestones, so the company has created a new Super Elite program, said CEO Gavin Garbutt.

To qualify for Super Elite, MSPs must generate at least $2 million in recurring revenue and manage more than 2,500 nodes, Garbutt said. About 25 to 30 partners currently qualify for Super Elite, he said.

"The guy with 10,000 nodes does not have the same problems as the guy with 1,000 nodes. We want the [Super Elite companies] to know each other and be able to call each other. A lot of the benefits are partner-led. We just facilitate the [communication]," Garbutt said.

Global Growth

About 50 percent of new revenue bookings come from outside North America and that number will continue to climb, said N-able Senior Vice President of U.S. Sales Mike Cullen. The managed services business model is maturing in certain geographies, such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Scandinavia, but in other countries IT sales are still very product-centric, Cullen said.

"The things we saw in North America five or six years ago, like 'I'm a Symantec company' or 'I'm a Trend [Micro] company,' you don't see here anymore. The brand has gone out the window because it's become more about management," he said.

2013 Product Road Map

Going forward, N-able's solutions will be less about new monitoring and management features and more about automation to help MSPs reduce their own costs, N-able Senior Vice President of U.S. Sales Mike Cullen said. Some of that innovation will come through the N-central platform but also through programs like the company's Run Books, which compile best practices from other MSPs that can be shared within the N-able community.

"We've doubled our product management team in the last six to seven months, but it's not going to be just the technology going forward. It's also going to be the structure, the programs. There's taking ownership of the marketplace, taking ownership of MDM. That's all part of the product road map, not this feature, that feature," Cullen said. "We're in a mature space now. The No. 1 focus is automation; No. 2 is taking ownership of best practices."