MSPs are offering an increasing number of services, with cybersecurity leading.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 25, 2024

5 Min Read
N-able Empower: John Pagliuca
John Pagliuca, N-able president and CEO, on stage at N-able Empower 2024, Frisco, Texas, March 25.WhiteFox Marketing

N-ABLE EMPOWER — Empower, N-able's annual partner conference, kicked off Monday with president and CEO John Pagliuca saying his company’s continued focus is providing MSPs with the tools and insights to reach their goals.

N-able Empower is happening this week in Frisco, Texas. Among the 800 attendees are 500 MSPs.

N-able paid tribute to channel vet Mike Cullen, known as the “godfather” of the MSP industry, who died earlier this year. Before his death, he was a strategic advisor to Pagliuca. Before that, he was general manager of N-able’s RMM business unit and group vice president of partner enablement.

“Mike and I were really close and I miss him every day,” said David Weeks, N-able’s vice president of partner experience. “One of the things he taught me early on was … there's no competition, it's just an opportunity to learn and we need to work together, and I live by that now every day. And Mike guided me in a lot of what I do and so that's the way I want us to think about it as we go through this week, that there's no competition in this room. Mike always said that there's enough business to go around and we can work together to collectively lift ourselves up and help the growth of our businesses, and provide for our families in the way that we want. And Mike was very big on that, he was a big family person. So we'll always remember the Godfather moving forward.”

Related:Channel Mourns Recent Death of Channel Vet, MSP 'Godfather' Mike Cullen

In his keynote, Pagliuca said MSPs are transforming to capitalize on the trends that N-able is seeing.

“One, they’re transforming on the who and who they’re going after,” he said. “They’re transforming on the 'what' and they’re transforming on the 'how.' The first one is really on transforming their target market. We are seeing MSPs now being able to walk into Fortune 1000 companies and sell into midmarket, and larger and larger customers. This is a fantastic time that we should lean into. What that means is that the persona that you're now talking to needs to be a little bit different.”

Many years ago, many customers were non-technical buyers, and now as internal IT departments are looking for help as their labor is also scarce, “they'll be returning to you to help that augment play,” Pagliuca said.

“And so what we're seeing is a big trend where MSPs are going more up the market," he added.

MSPs are offering an increasing number of services, with cybersecurity leading the pack, Pagliuca said.

“In fact … the vast majority of MSPs are saying we sell some and we're looking to sell more,” he said. “So that was the primary driver. The second was around digital transformation and cloud transformation. So the interesting thing that's happening in the market … is that our collective total addressable market (TAM) is growing as we all go up market, but it's also growing across these other axes because you're offering different services that you need to bring to market.”

MSPs Interested in Partnering Opportunities

MSPs also are looking at creative ways to partner, Pagliuca said.

“If you're a five-person shop, and you're getting introduced to services or a security service that might be beyond your scope, you may not have a team even geographically, from a skill-set point of view, to service the needs that are in your market,” he said. “Well, you have a choice. You turn that business away … or you can begin to look for ways to partner.”

According to N-able’s MSP Horizons Report in conjunction with Canalys, cybersecurity is the No. 1 thing with which MSPs need partnering help, Pagliuca said.

“We strive every day to make sure that you're able to reach your goals and have success, whatever success might mean to you,” he said. “And so we also appreciate our 25,000 partners, you're on your own bespoke journey, and we recognize and appreciate that. And so we … give you the technical tools, with business insights and the collective intelligence through events like this on our part of the journey, and then it’s up to you to bring that back and make transformation top of mind.”

N-able's David Weeks

Weeks said there are opportunities for MSPs to increase their wallet share and pick up new opportunities in the marketplace.

"And what we want to do is we want to be there to support you in that we want to be there and be a part of it,” he said. “And that's really what it's all about in this room this week, having these discussions and challenging ourselves. The status quo doesn't work anymore because, as I said, the model of yesterday is no longer here. And I see it. I've had the conversations already this week about new ideas and new things, and many of you are … unbelievable in the way that you're looking at the market, and how you're driving your business and your opportunity forward.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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