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Storage Can Be the Front Door to Customers for MSPs
By John Hazard


Managed Services vendor N-able Technologies Inc. this week added a remote data storage and recovery package for small and midsize businesses to its portfolio of remote and managed services available for resale by its management services provider partners.

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The solution, N-Able's StoreIT Online, provided by storage vendors Asigra and Integrated Dynamic Solutions Inc., is designed to enable MSPs to integrate into an existing MSP environment or LAN to manage a customer's data backup from afar.

But the real value for providers may be its introduction value, said Bill Stewart, N-able's vice president of marketing.

Because managed storage can generally be purchased by the piece, it becomes cost-effective for almost any customer and a suitable introduction to a reseller's expertise, Stewart said.

"It's a good wedge to get into a large audience," Stewart said. "It's one solution that isn't 'Buy this flat rate and we deliver X.' It requires a consultative approach. It requires you to sit down with the customer and decide what really is worth backing up. It allows you to build credibility and introduce managed services to customers who may not be ready for the full story."

Any VAR in the managed services space is best served by delivering any approach that demonstrates knowledge and expertise beyond just the technology, he said.

"Anyone can suggest that some dump everything into the backup," he said. "But by sitting down and determining what is worth saving and what is not, you're saving the customer money and demonstrating your value," he said.

"It may require a little more time, but it allows you to demonstrate the value of managed services and your own value."

The Channel Insider Special: Managed Services in the Channel

StoreIT is part of N-able's suite of OnDemand service packages that enable MSPs to monitor and manage customers' IT infrastructure remotely.

N-able has made it a point to deliver service packages by solution as opposed to all-inclusive, because businesses want solutions, not technology, executives told The Channel Insider in a previous interview.

StoreIT's simple integration and deployment contribute to its attractiveness to customers otherwise fearful of Managed Services, Stewart said.

The sale would also be aided by the collective narrative of lost data brought to the fore by natural disasters.

"For anyone who relies on the data on their PCs, we believe there is already a lot of awareness out there about the need to back up," he said. "But for most the only option seemed [to be] to cross their fingers."

"The challenge has been that it requires a certain amount of systematic expertise to handle and most [SMBs] can't do that on their own. StoreIT is one that resonates with the space because they don't have to worry about that. It's controlled; it's automated; it's cost-effective. It answers their question, 'What if something happens to my building?'"

     
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