N-able expands Canadian channel reach with Hartco deal

Gavin Garbutt

N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt

Ottawa-based N-able has signed a deal with Hartco Distribution that will see Hartco franchisees, including MicroAge and Metafore locations, gain access to the company’s remote management and monitoring tools.

While all Hartco network members will have access to N-able Ncentral RMM tool under the deal, individual solution providers will have the option to pick up the tool or not.

Garbutt said N-able has already presented to “20 of [Hartco’s] top performing companies” in the MicroAge group at a recent Hartco event, and had succeeded in signing up all 20. “We’re batting 1.000,” Garbutt said with a laugh. “It’s just a week later, and we have all of them engaged.”

For those who do come on, Garbutt said N-able has the process in place to help them get up and running quickly, including a group of partner development managers that has recently been expanded from six to 14.

The deal with Hartco comes as Garbutt says the gap between managed services acceptance in Canada and the U.S. is closing. Garbutt said that the Canadian channel and SMB customers base is “a couple of years behind the U.S.” in adoption of managed services, but awareness is starting to percolate and growth in Canada has been accelerating over the last year or so.

“As is typical across Canada, 10 to 15 per cent of customers are in a managed model and 85 to 90 per cent are in a responsive model,” Garbutt said. “But we’re starting to see the adoption of managed services at the SMB level really picking up in Canada, and that’s what Hartco recognizes.”

The gap is closing, at least in part, because as Canadian SMBs enter into a technology refresh cycle, they’re looking to understand the unfamiliar ground between on-premise IT and the cloud. “They’re really relying on their MSP to figure that out,” Garbutt said.

While Garbutt’s mantra is that his goal is to get all end user devices under a management console, he stressed that the goal is not to do that by massively expanding the number of MSPs N-able works with. Rather, he said he’d prefer to go deeper with N-able’s freemium strategy, its best practices Runbooks and its expanding group of partner development managers with a more select group.

“It’s all about attitude,” Garbutt said. “A great-looking partner is a five-plus person service provider who wants to improve their business model and wants to be the best in their market. They come on, they get engaged, the execute on the strategies, and it all works.”