N-able Partner Summit: 7 Managed Services Questions We'll Ask

N-able Partner Summit: 7 Managed Services Questions We'll Ask

Several hundred managed services providers (MSPs) are set to attend this week's N-able Partner Summit (Oct. 12-14, Scottsdale, Ariz.). What surprises will N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt and his executive team have in store for MSPs? Here are seven questions worth asking.

1. Money Matters: N-able recently received a private equity investment from Accel-KKR. It sounds like multiple millions of dollars were involved but Garbutt confirmed that the deal represents a minority investment for Accel-KKR. Looking ahead, I'm wondering how N-able plans to use the money. Garbutt has mentioned international expansion and potential acquisitions. It sounds like N-able has already made a small, strategic purchase and the technology could be announced at N-able Partner Summit.

2. Software Synergies: N-able already integrates with a range of software, hardware, managed and cloud solutions. Next up, I wonder if N-able will explore synergies with additional Accel-KKR portfolio members. As I've previously mentioned, key partners could potentially include Endurance International (an SMB cloud specialist), Kana Software (service experience management) and Layered Technologies (managed dedicated hosting).

Other relationships worth watching include N-able's partnerships with Ingram Micro and CA Technologies.

3. Does Total Coverage Equal Total Dollars?: At the 2009 and 2010 N-able Partner Summits, Garbutt discussed freemium software strategies to help MSPs achieve 100 percent market penetration/SMB coverage. N-able is quick to note that demand for its software has skyrocketed. But are those SMB deployments helping MSPs to lift their own recurring revenues and profit margins? How much?

4. Six Names to Know: It's always interesting to watch the working dynamics between Garbutt, President and COO JP Jauvin, VP of Sales Mike Cullen and VP of Marketing and Business Development Derik Belair. Each executive is strikingly different but together they blend as a team. In the days and weeks ahead, I hope MSPmentor gets a better feel for CFO John Blaine and VP of R&D August Wehrmann's management styles. Overall, it sounds like those six minds most greatly influence where N-able is heading next.

5. Special Financing: N-able has a longstanding relationship with GreatAmerica Leasing, a financial services firm that works closely with MSPs and VARs. Some MSPs leverage GreatAmerica to help finance N-able's software. Other MSPs work with GreatAmerica on hardware as a service (HaaS) deals. I'm curious to know how GreatAmerica is feeling about the current economic climate, and the potential implications for MSPs and VARs.

6. Managed Print Services?: I noticed Oki Data plans to promote a Total Managed Print solution during N-able Partner Summit. Generally speaking, only about 20 percent of MSPmentor 100 companies currently offer managed print services. We're poking around to see if that figure is set to climb.

7. Unique Selling Proposition: In the crowded market for remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, what ultimately makes N-able unique? Relationships certainly matter. For instance, I know many MSPs value their deep relationships with the N-able executive team. But ultimately MSPmentor wants to get a clearer sense of what will make N-able unique in a crowded market that, I believe, is set to consolidate around fewer players in 2012.

We look forward to updates at N-able Partner Summit.

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