N-able Launches Free Endpoint Security

I considered multiple headlines for this blog entry. But ultimately, the story comes down to this: N-able says it's offering roughly $75 million worth of free software -- including monitoring software and endpoint security software -- to help managed service providers accelerate their growth and engage more customers. Is this a publicity stunt or a game-changing move by CEO Gavin Garbutt? Here's some analysis.

Let's start with the nuts and bolts of the announcement...

The Problem

Garbutt says MSPs are serving only 10 percent of the addressable SMB market. In order to increase penetration, MSPs need to eliminate traditional barriers such as cost and complexity. It's hard to argue with that thought process.

N-able's Proposed Solution

N-able is taking multiple steps to help MSPs engage more customers. The steps include:
  • N-able is launching a new, free software license called N-central Essential. It offers asset management, monitoring and remote control, among other things.
  • MSPs will receive one free N-central Essential license for each N-central Professional license they have in place.
  • N-able is also introducing N-able Endpoint Security Manager licenses (free for one year). The licenses, based on software from Panda Security, include Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Anti-Malware, Personal Firewall and Host Intrusion Prevention for Windows devices.
  • I've skipped a bunch of details, and certain restrictions certainly apply, so please check in directly with N-able for deeper details about how the free offers work.
  • Update, 12:53 p.m. eastern, Oct. 15: Here's the official N-able press release in case you want to dive into deeper details.

Preparing Your Pitch

Now let's tie all of those bullet points together: If you're an N-able MSP, you're potentially in position to receive free N-central Essential monitoring software... and free endpoint security software licenses for one year.

So in theory, N-able is empowering its MSPs to reach out to new customers with a pretty compelling endpoint security and remote monitoring pitch.

Garbutt explains the strategy a bit more in this MSPmentor FastChat video, shot Oct. 14 at the N-able Partner Summit in Arizona:

Is Free Good?

I always get a little nervous when software companies introduce "free" offers. But in this case, N-able is a pure channel company -- meaning that VARs and MSPs can use the pricing benefits to their advantages, pricing the free code any way they see fit.

I do think N-able is onto something in terms of targeting the security market. Our own MSPmentor 100 annual survey reveals that most leading MSPs offer managed security and managed storage -- two key pieces of low-hanging fruit for the industry.

I will gather more reactions from N-able MSPs during the N-able Partner Summit on Oct. 15 and 16.

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