MSPmentor 250: N-able's Derik Belair Describes MSP Evolution

MSPmentor 250: N-able's Derik Belair Describes MSP Evolution

Derik Belair Head ShotN-Able Technologies VP of Marketing and Business Development Derik Belair , an MSPmentor 250 member, has spent over a decade interacting with MSPs and learning their businesses. He's worked in and around the channel for two decades but most folks know him as one of N-able's original employees since April, 2000. N-able has since grown to become one of the best-known providers of RMM (remote monitoring and management) software to MSPs. So what's on Belair's mind right now? Here are some perspectives.

“I’ve seen a ton of evolution and growth in this space,” said Belair, as he recalled some of his first conversations with VARs shortly after N-Able was founded. “Eleven years ago we were really talking to VARs that were seeing a shift in hardware and software margins and a shift in how they added value to customers’ business," he said. “We were talking about how to capitalize on the service movement and how to develop better relationships with customers. MSPs have evolved very significantly since those days.”

Today, he says, MSPs are trying to move beyond offering proactive services. They want to penetrate vertical markets and grow their business. They want their RMM platform to be a true toolset with complimentary technology built in, like anti-spam and antivirus, and Belair is using his experience to help meet these needs.

“Having worked in the channel as long as I did, I have really come to understand the channel business and the value that it brings,” Belair said. "We can’t undervalue the relationship between VARs and MSPs, and the end-user. They have a trusted business relationship. It is one of the most valuable things they have and they cherish it. We are very respectful of that.”

Belair has used his channel experience to help N-Abe expand its presence to New Zealand, Australia, the U.K. and South America. N-Able has been testing the marketplace in Asia throughout 2010-11, and Belair said we can expect N-Able to really pursue partners in Asia in 2012-13. And the company will do so with the same business model it has had since day one. “We have always worked to remove barriers to entrance and growth in the MSP space,” Belair said. “My goal is to work with N-Able to make it grow into a business that we always knew it could be.”

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