IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

N-able Investing in Partner Success

New and existing efforts discussed by Chief Customer Officer Kevin Bury (pictured) at the vendor’s Empower event are designed to ensure partners have successful relationships with N-able, success with N-able products, and successful businesses. By Rich Freeman

Vendors proclaiming their commitment to partner success is nothing new. N-able CEO John Pagliuca, however, can explain precisely why his company is committed to your success in concrete dollars and cents terms.

“The total addressable market in our space is not identified or measured by the number of MSPs,” he told ChannelPro yesterday from the sidelines of N-able’s Empower partner event in Las Vegas. “It’s identified by the SME IT spend.” 

Or put differently, N-able shareholders don’t measure the company chiefly by how many partners it has. They’re interested in how much money small and midsize enterprises spend through those partners on N-able solutions and services. Maximizing that figure requires successful partners with the know-how to serve customers well and grow revenue rapidly.

“The more that we can help them scale, and do so efficiently, and help bring goodness to the market in the forms of security offerings or monitoring and management offerings, they can gain a bigger share of wallet from their customers and by extension, we gain bigger market share from the IT spend,” Pagliuca says.

That strategic imperative explains why N-able, back when it was still SolarWinds MSP last year, hired Chief Customer Officer Kevin Bury to lead the company’s partner success programs and gave him plenty of money to invest in those programs.

“There are now about 100 people in N-able on my team that are all exclusively focused on your success,” Bury told Empower attendees yesterday during a keynote presentation. “That was a huge investment for the company.”

Bury proceeded to outline past, present, and future evidence of that investment, which he divided into three categories: account, product, and business. The account portion of the equation, which relates to the health of the partner’s relationship with N-able, is in some ways the most strategic, according to Mike Cullen, currently N-able’s general manager of RMM and previously the company’s top partner enablement exec. Most channel pros already offer managed services these days, he observes, and therefore already have a managed services toolset. 

“It’s not the same blue ocean it was four, five, six years ago where you could call almost any service provider and only a few of them would have a platform,” Cullen notes. “We’re at a stage where most of the market’s in on a platform.”

As a result, he continues, landing new partners often requires months of patient relationship building. “So instead of this high velocity transactional [sales] model that we used to have, we’re starting to have more of a solutions model where it’s all about tracking customers for long periods of time, demonstrating value over that period when they’re in the pipeline, and showing them the value of dealing with N-able.” 

Staying close to partners after they sign on is equally critical, added Bury in a conversation with ChannelPro this week. “The number one thing that they want is a deeper relationship with us,” he said. “They want to know you care. They want to know you’re listening.”

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Founding Editor

ChannelPro SMB Magazine

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.