Ontario MSP embraces N-able’s three new products

PHOENIX — At least one Canadian managed service provider (MSP) is on board with Ottawa-based N-able Technologies Inc.‘s triple-threat of new products unveiled Oct. 19 at the IT service provider’s Partner Summit.

N-able kicked off the show by announcing three new products that will at first be introduced as stand-alone offerings, and introduced into its core N-central management package by next year. All three new products come thanks to new partnerships forged by N-able and focus on remote services.

A Remote Backup Manager and replication service expands on N-able partnership with CA Technologies, started in September. The replication ability is added to CA’s ARCserve D2D bundle free of charge, or can be tapped as a stand-alone product.

“It allows MSPs to take their client’s data off-site or to their location,” explains Derik Belair, vice-president of business development at N-able.

A Remote Audit Manager developed with eEye Digital Security will help MSPs provide security and compliance services by December. Finally, Visual Network Systems is developing Remote Netflow Manager for N-able, to helps MSPs assess and report on network status by the end of the year.

Bill Boisvenue, president ofBSC Solutions Group Ltd., said his MSP will adopt all three of the new services. The Brampton, Ont.-based firm will either be replacing other products with N-able’s new offerings, or adding new capabilities to their repertoire.

The Remote Backup Manager will allow him to offer his clients services he couldn’t before.

“We like the model where the backup process itself is taking place locally at the client premise, and our intention will be to replicate that data to our data centre in downtown Toronto,” he said. “So we’ve got a local copy for a fast restore for the client and we’ve got our off-site copy for our disaster recovery.”

That’s exactly what CA intended for its new addition to the ARCserve product, said John LaCorte, senior director of MSP Strategy for CA. The IT services provider sees the SMB market as the “sweet spot” for its remote backup offerings, and MSPs as the best way to tap that market.

“Instead of just doing a local backup with D2D, you can actually now point your data to the cloud, to your own location, or internally,” he said. “It provides that data movement that’s not inherent right now in our standard D2D product.”

The Remote Audit Manager aims to help MSPs provide continuous regulatory compliance to their clients. It also provides vulnerability and risk management.

“The product comes in three flavours: a vulnerability, a compliance and a configuration piece,” Belair said. “It’s really all about helping MSPS manage the risk and compliance needs of their customers.”

It piqued the interest of BSC Solutions Group. The MSP hosts e-commerce servers and sites for its clients, and could use the tool to provide compliance as an affordable service, Boisvenue said. It could also be used to ensure clients’ networks are secure.

That’s where Susanne Boisvenue, the sales and marketing manager at BSC, sees a money-making opportunity. BSC could offer free audits to prospective clients and then report on what security services they need.

“I’m envisioning that it might be able to provide us with some reporting so we can show a client on paper there’s some issues with passwords, or other issues,” she says. “For new clients, that could be a foot in a door for us as a differentiator.”

N-able also announced Remote Netflow Manager, which will offer tracking and reporting capabilities. It’s expected to be available by the end of the year, and tied-in to N-central by next year.

“It’s about helping customers plan for capacity, and managing their capacity overall,” Belair said.

BSC will replace Paessler’s PRTG Network Monitor with N-able’s new product when it’s ready, he said. The president sees it as an improvement to the broadband Internet service he provides to clients.

“From time to time, there’s going to be performance issues and bandwidth issues,” he says. “In the past to deal with this we’ve relied on more primitive tools.”

N-able is definitely the MSP’s “key vendor”, he adds. The firm also partners with several other vendors, including McAfee, Microsoft and Maximizer.

CA’s channel play

CA Technologies is just starting to wade into the MSP community, but will soon be in up to its neck, according to LaCorte. The senior director hints that CA is about to become very active in the space.

“We have a number of things I can’t announce just today, but a number of important partnership opportunities are in the works,” he says.

CA and N-able began their partnership in September with the ARCserve offering. CA has a program for that backup service that allows MSPs to buy monthly capacity as needed, instead of having to pay for licences.

“We see a big opportunity here to attack a space that previously wasn’t our pedigree,” he said. “We want to take it to the next level and really become pervasive in this community.”

Competition between resellers won’t be an issue, LaCorte said. Many are adopting service-driven business models, which takes the focus off of selling more licenses.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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