Let's face it: Some resellers and VARs (value-added resellers) are never (repeat: NEVER) going to make a complete move to managed services and a recurring revenue model. Still, N-able wants to give those traditional solutions providers a taste of remote management with a new tool and hosted service called N-supportPro. Here are some early details.
I first heard rumblings about N-supportPro at N-able's 2008 partner summit. At the time N-able insiders mentioned a clear gap in the market: While successful MSPs were proactively managing customer networks from afar, many traditional resellers (A) needed remote management tools but (B) weren't really ready to become full-blown MSPs.
That's where N-supportPro enters the picture. According to a an N-able press release issued today:
Developed in conjunction with alliance partner NTR Global, N-able’s hosted N-supportPro software uses a secured Internet connection to enable service desk technicians to connect to remote devices in seconds and resolve customers’ IT issues with greater efficiency. IT service providers and managed service providers (MSPs) can purchase N-supportPro on its own or as an enhancement to N-able’s award-winning N-central® network and systems management software. There is no upfront investment, installation or ongoing maintenance required for deploying N-supportPro, which means the service is up and running quickly.Still, launching a remote management tool for the masses can be a tricky effort. If N-able positioned the tool as an "entry level" offering, some folks might think it's a stripped-down offering with limited capabilities. (Anybody else remember botched 'entry-level' IT products like NetWare Lite?)
In order to pump up N-supportPro, N-able claims:
The hosted service works with virtually any connection including T3 and dial-up, and offers business integration with CRM technology, professional services automation (PSA) tools, billing software and other systems. Service providers and MSPs can use N-supportPro to remotely support desktops, notebooks, servers and mobile devices such as Windows Mobile smartphones.Does N-supportPro work as advertised? Will traditional resellers and VARs embrace the tool? I'll leave that for readers to decide. But I am interested to know if readers think there's a market for this tool.
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