As N-able prepared to launch its N-central 9.0 remote monitoring and management platform this week, CEO Gavin Garbutt told MSPmentor about how his company has increased its customers managed from 20,000 to well over 70,000 in just 2.5 years since it introduced its Freemium strategy. But how can MSPs scale to handle all these new customers without increasing labor costs as well? That’s the question that drove N-able to develop Automation Manager, a platform that takes two of the company’s two biggest initiatives and marries them together. Garbutt calls it a paradigm shift in the software industry. Here’s the scoop.
It was only just last fall at its N-able Partner Summit in October 2011 that the company rolled out its MSP Technician Runbook, intended to collect best practices for N-able’s 2,400 managed service provider partners -- from deploying and configuring tools to optimizing operations and applying in-depth network maintenance and practices. The wiki-style, context sensitive Runbook provided MSPs with the information they needed at the moment and took that a step further by extracting applicable information from their own existing client bases.
Enter Automation ManagerNow N-able is taking that yet another step further with Automation Manager, a drag-and-drop MSP automation studio that MSPs can use to automate tasks including those best practices they find in the MSP Technician Runbook. Automation Manager is the anchor of the N-central 9.0 platform, announced this week. It includes hundreds of pre-written, pre-tested and ready-to-use automation objects and policies. N-able says these cover both simple and complex tasks across IT maintenance, IT remediation and diagnostics. All this is integrated in the N-central 9.0 platform.
N-able has also built a third-party remote control engine into N-central 9.0, based on NTR’s remote control software. The remote control manager’s toolset features a centralized management console and integrated backup and recovery, endpoint security, antispam, audit, NetFlow, GPO and policy management tools.
But Automation Manager is really the star of this new release. You don't need to be a software developer to build an automation. Even inexperienced staff (or maybe even just a simple tech blogger) can use the drag-and-drop interface and pre-built objects to create an automation.
What's next? Expect to hear more from N-able within the next month about an initiative to promote its new Automation Manager. We'll keep you up to date.