Pagliuca lays out post-spinoff strategy at N-able Empower event

John Pagliuca, president of N-able

With its long-awaited spinoff from SolarWinds expected to be completed in a few short weeks, N-able president John Pagliuca used the main stage of his company’s virtual Empower event to present his vision for the managed services platform vendor as a separate entity.

Presenting live from the Boston area in a pandemic-era event that also included N-able staff in Ottawa, Pagliuca said N-able was looking to the spinoff of its business with managed service providers “as our north star.”

“We are increasing our investment for you in real areas,” Pagliuca told MSPs in attendance.

Specifically, he told MSPs to expect more “N-ableites” in more places worldwide to help better support international MSPs, more investment in its growing customer success team, which aims to support MSPs in building out their business.

‘These are N-ableites that are not commission-based. They’re here to help you grow your business and have what you need for you to be successful.”

Pagliuca also said post-spinoff, the company will invest more research and development funds and share his three-axis approach to supporting MSP success.

The first axis for success addresses the need to manage more. Pagliuca detailed how N-able is looking to help managed service providers manage more customers and more devices more efficiently, including new partnerships with Microsoft’s Intune platform, Cisco’s Meraki platform, and rethinking how it addresses Apple computers, tablets and phones in a post-pandemic world that includes more work-from-home.

The second axis addresses the priority of bringing more services to its existing customers, which Pagliuca called “the easiest and most profitable way to grow your business.” Examples here include its N-able EDR offering and its TAP Backup of Microsoft 365.

And finally, on the third axis, Pagliuca said N-able would concentrate on helping MSPs add more SME customers and build their own businesses. Examples here include its MSP Institute training offering for technical and business issues and its MarketBuilder turnkey marketing platform.

He said that as a solely MSP-focused company, he’s focusing on the biggest challenges MSPs have, most notably “the crazy diversification of what you have to manage” regarding technology, people, systems, and even personalities.

“We’re investing in where it’s the messiest for you, and we’ll meet you in the mess,” he said. “We believe we have the broadest management and monitoring platform in the industry and the deepest security portfolio in the industry.”

He acknowledged that mess has only become messier over the last sixteen months shaped by COVID-19 and that “whether it’s personal or work, it’s been a rough go” for many MSPs, but said that he’s starting to feel that things are getting back to normal in many places around the world, a shift evidenced by the fact that he has what he described as the odd experience of talking about his two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in front of 3,000 people online.

“Hopefully, you’re all seeing that light at the end of the tunnel regardless of where you are in the world,” he told MSPs.

He also praised the role MSPs have played in what he called “the biggest social and business experiment” in history, the sudden shift to remote work over the last year, and the ensuing acceleration of digital transformation.

That acceleration meant more customers wanting more apps, more data, more files from more locations on more devices. It spurned a “proliferation of endpoints” that “got even wilder” than the already disparate situations most MSPs supported for their customers and was accompanied by a simultaneous shift towards an increasing number of cloud and SaaS apps. And just as the cherry on top of that, scrutiny on security was on the rise at the same time as everything was changing.

But he praised the work MSPs have put in and how many managed service providers answered those challenges. As the virus spread worldwide, Pagliuca said, N-able saw usage of its systems double in short order as MSPs struggled to help customers pivot and keep their business going as everything changed.

“Behind every frontline hero was an MSP making sure they could access their data, do their job, and do it safely,” he said. “The pandemic accelerated the need for MSPs, and SMEs are looking to you more than ever.”

Finally, Pagliuca turned back to the impending spinoff of his business from Solarwinds and discussed the process that led to the company turning back to the name under which it was initially founded in Ottawa all those years ago.

“More than any other name, it fits our vision and our mission,” he said. “We’re about enabling you to help your SME customers. It’s our commitment to you, and it’s where we’re going in the future.”

In a post-keynote Q&A with attendees, Pagliuca addressed what he describes as “some confusion” around what the spinoff will mean regarding N-able ownership. He stressed that immediately after the spinoff is done, both Solarwinds and N-able shares will be on the market, and they will be separate.

“We will be completely different entities,” he said while noting that “We’ll still be rooting for them, and we think they’ll be rooting for us.”

Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at ChannelBuzz.ca. He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997. 

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