N-able: MSP Partner Ranks, Customers on the Rise

It's been two years since N-able put the focus on internal development and improvement of its remote monitoring and management platform, most visibly by hiring Robert Grapes, director of product management and JP Jauvin, chief operating officer. Since then N-able has introduced a Freemium strategy to help its partners gain a wedge in new customer accounts by offering some monitoring for free, as well as working towards support for mobile device management, adding its MSP Runbook, and a host of other features. So how has this approach worked for N-able?

The Freemium strategy has proven highly successful for N-able, according to CEO Gavin Garbutt who told MSPmentor that the company has seen an increase of 405 percent in SMBs using N-central since the introduction of N-central Essential licenses in 2010.  Garbutt also said that the company has recruited a total of 900 new partners over the last 12 months, and has increased the volume of MSPs switching to N-able from other RMM platforms by 200 percent.

Garbutt shared plenty more numbers during his keynote address at the N-able Global Partner Summit in Montreal last week. For instance, citing a CompTIA study of 2,000 SMBs and 600 channel partners, Garbutt noted that managed IT services for U.S. based SMBs will grow from $7 billion in 2011 to $12 billion in 2015.

Also from that study, 46 percent of SMBs using MSPs have reduced their annual IT expenditures by 25 percent.  And 13 percent are experiencing 50 percent or more in IT savings. Finally, 62 percent plan to increase their IT operations managed by MSPs over the next two years.

It makes sense for  many SMBs to move their non-core functions over to other companies who specialize in iT. And as more small businesses become more aware of the availability of managed services, they will be more likely to use those services. Garbutt's informal poll of audience members at the Global Partner Summit revealed that 60 percent of MSPs had been approached by their customers who were interested in buying managed services.  That just will mean growth for managed service providers in the months and years to come. According to N-able's own survey of 1,800 manage service providers, the average MSP has 200 customers with an average of 32 seats, 2.5 servers and 2 network devices.

The industry is certainly growing and it's also changing. Gartner says that the IT spend for next year will be double what it was last year, Garbutt noted.

So just what are these businesses buying? Garbutt says one of the top trends in managed services right now is virtualization. "Everyone is virtualizing stuff," he told the crowd at the Hotel Omni in Montreal. Also hybrid clouds and smart mobile devices are hot right now.

"There are more smartphones today than PCs -- that crossed over in 2011," Garbutt said. "In 2014 there will be more tablets than PCs. More and more apps and services will be virtualized or moving to the public cloud and there will be this combination of hybrid, on-premise, and cloud-based apps."

The question is, are you ready yet for a new age of more customers, more devices, changing business models and a host of new cloud services?

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