N-able Technologies and Ingram Micro continue to extend their managed services software partnership. The latest effort involves N-able promoting its freemium software strategy to Ingram Micro channel partners. Under terms of the relationship, Ingram partners can receive an unlimited number of N-Able N-Central Essentials Licenses, five Security Manager and Endpoint licenses, five Professional Licenses and the new N-Able MSP Sales and Marketing Digital Binder, all through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.

N-Able’s newest offer for Ingram Micro Channel Partners  comes just days after Ingram introduced N-Able N-Central to the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, and it expands on the managed services relationship Ingram Micro and N-able formed in June, 2011. The goal of N-Able’s freemium offer for Ingram Micro North American channel partners is to help them achieve 100 percent IT coverage for their entire customer base. Here’s a quick list of capabilities N-Able is offering Ingram Micro partners and resellers for free:
  • Manage all customers from a single interface
  • Complete monitoring of PCs, servers, printers and network devices
  • Control any device, from anywhere, at any time
  • Faster reporting and troubleshooting
  • Protect you customers’ Windows devices
  • Windows 7 support
"This is something we've been working on at a lot of different levels with Ingram," N-Able CEO Gavin Garbutt said. "This is all about giving the channel really valuable tools to help them improve the value they deliver to their customers. We wanted to do something big, and this is big."

Striking A Balance?

Admittedly, freemium software strategies can be very tricky. The challenge is to offer just enough free capabilities to get MSPs and end-users hooked, and then just enough value-add to entice those end users to pay for additional services. About a year and a half ago, N-Able launched a similar internal program that resulted in N-Able customers increasing their number of managed SMBs by 148 percent. And more recently, Synnex -- an Ingram Micro rival -- in April 2011 launched a freemium strategy involving Level Platforms, Intronis (cloud backup) and Reflexion (email security) among other partners.

Now the company hopes to do the same for Ingram partners. "We want the channel to have the information they need to make intelligent recommendations to their customers," Garbutt continued. "We're [N-Able] incurring the cost, but we feel this will really help the channel." The freemium offer will last through the end of the year, but Garbutt said he expects the program to be extended into 2012 based on the high level of interest in the program.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.