CentraStage, the cloud-based RMM (remote monitoring and management) company, has devised a freemium strategy for managed services providers (MSPs). Indeed, MSPs can gain "full visibility into their supported environment at no cost" for up to 500 devices, according to CEO Christian Nagele. Will this spark more VARs to shift their break-fix customers to managed services?
"In essence the driver behind our new Free package is to provide the SME end of the IT support market a leg-up into the adoption of RMM," said Nagele. "We are giving [MSPs] the ability to gain full visibility of their supported environment at no cost, for as long as they want it (for up to 500 devices); this will enable them to take the first critical step into the realms of managed services."
Specifically, MSPs will more fully understand what they need to support in the customer environment, and therefore accelerating the process of convincing the end customer to move away from break/fix to a fixed price IT support contract.
"We are also throwing in free remote support (and if I say so myself, our remote support is bloody good), so that they can divert spend from their incumbent remote support technology into our paid packages," said Nagele.
CentraStrage, launched in the UK, has leveraged Amazon Web Services to push into North America.
The Freemium model is not a new trend in the MSP market. Most MSPs are used to either (A) free trials or (B) basic starter services that include paid upgrade paths. Two examples:
- N-able Technologies about two years ago bet heavily on a freemium model to promote customer asset discovery and managed security services.
- More recently, Boundary -- led by Nimsoft CEO Gary Read -- has introduced a free cloud-based application monitoring service that also includes paid upgrade paths.