Former N-able braintrust launch Augmentt to provide SaaS operations management for MSPs

Gavin Garbutt and Derick Belair are rolling out Augmentt, which has the same focus on partner enablement and education as N-able, which they ran before selling it to SolarWinds.

Derick Belair, Augmentt’s President and CEO

Today, Ottawa-based Augmentt is formally launching. The company is the brainchild of Gavin Garbutt and Derik Belair. Garbutt was the founder and CEO of RMM N-able, which was acquired by Solarwinds in 2013, while Belair was also at N-able basically from the start, and became the VP of Marketing and Business Development. Augmentt is not an RMM, but a SaaS operations management provider, focused solely on the MSP community, with a mandate of helping MSPs better monetize and manage SaaS solutions.

“Augmentt helps MSPs understand SaaS usage, optimize spend, enforce security policies and improve productivity,” said Belair, who is President and CEO of Augmentt. Garbutt is Chairman and co-founder.

Augmentt has actually been live since January 1, so they have already poked their heads out of stealth. This is their commercial launch.

“We’ve been building this, focusing on the development and building up the core components,” Belair said. “We wanted to get the product out there before making a lot of noise. We have been in beta since June and are now beginning the commercial effort.”

Belair noted that while businesses are rapidly moving to the cloud, MSPs have no real play with many SaaS applications.

“Everything is moving to SaaS and cloud, and we always saw this as a great opportunity for MSPs to embrace,” he said. “Many SaaS vendors bypass the channel and sell direct, and MSPs should be able to capitalize on this. SaaS has been bypassing the channel, but we think the MSPs are the only guys who can make all this work together. The real complexity with SaaS isn’t acquiring it or setting it up, it’s making it all work together, and only MSPs really have the ability to do that.”

Augmentt’s focus is on enabling MSPs to do that effectively.

“We help MSPs to discover the true usage of SaaS within an organization, to indicate what their customers are paying for, and illustrate areas of potential waste and lost productivity,” Belair said. “So it’s really an evolution of RMM, but with a focus on helping MSPS drive that SaaS component.”

What differentiates them from the other companies in the SaaS operations management space? Two things stand out. One is the optimization of the solution for MSPs.

“It’s the technology, how we do the discovery management, how we optimize the stack,” Belair said. “The other differentiation is that our background from N-able is all about providing MSPs with the training and support to turn technology into services revenue, and how to deliver specific services they can monetize. We help them monetize. We help them price. We show them how to deliver a SaaS audit. It’s also much broader than just our own product. We will help them with integration platforms like Zapier.

“It’s that combination of technology and support that sets us apart,” Belair emphasized.

The Augmentt platform, Augmentt Academy, is a Learning Management System with a gamified learning system, which is fully MSP-enabled and multi-tenanted. It brings in the element of customers coming into the fold. The training is all tracked and is done on a point system. It is complemented by Augmentt Assist, white-labeled supplemental services aimed at helping and training those MSPs that require additional assistance setting up their SaaS Services practice. Also available is Freemium, a go-to-market model that gives MSPs an unlimited number of Essential licenses to perform SaaS audits and upsell services to fast-track their success.

Augmentt is launching with the core platform and two modules on top – Discover and Optimize – with a third module, Manage, coming soon.

Discover lets an MSP quickly identify every SaaS application being used on a client’s network, across the entire employee base. Their internal SaaS Application database has over 15,000+ vendors and applications. The apps are categorized by job function and classified by security, financial or productivity risk.

“Optimize is the other side of the coin,” Belair said. “It reconciles what we have discovered against what has been approved and paid for.”

Manage is a SaaS administration, management and automation module designed to eliminate time-consuming manual processes.

“It will leverage things like scripting and automation to start automating routine SaaS administration tasks,” Belair indicated.

Belair said that the timing of this launch is well positioned against the reconciliation stage following the initial rush to Work From Home back in March.

“Now that things are getting quieter, after the initial rush of SaaS adoption, there has been more of a reconciliation of how much stuff has been used, which has been more problematic because of all the stuff being used,” Belair said. “It has been almost impossible to rein in what people are doing.”

Out of the gate, and in the absence of trade shows during the pandemic, Augmentt is using a digital strategy to reach targeted MSPs.

“A shift in marketing mix has happened with COVID,” Belair said. “At SolarWinds, we focused heavily on a digital marketing component and we will do that here. Instead of trying to address a large unqualified audience, we want to focus on very targeted programs targeting key MSPs. We all have big rolodexes, but the strategy is all about using digital marketing to target them individually with good quality assets. MSPs are much easier to identify these days. They all belong to communities, and there’s a lot more buying groups.”