From The Editor | June 7, 2011

Ingram Micro Cloud: Can Cloud Change The Role Of RMM?

Webinar: Cloud 101

By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor

Among the announcements at the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit was the addition of several cloud vendors. One name stuck out to me, namely because I consider the vendor's tools to be managed services products, not so much cloud tools. I had an inkling why Ingram Micro was adding to its managed services offerings as part of the cloud announcements, but I wanted to chat more about with the vendor, N-able Technologies.

When I had the chance, I asked Derik Belair, VP of marketing and business development for N-able, about both the message N-able is delivering in terms of the cloud, and the changing role of remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools in the IT industry. "We really see our message as being much the same as it has been," says Belair. He explained that N-able has always positioned managed services as a value opportunity for solutions providers, a way to be more efficient as an IT business and better serve your customers as an IT advisor. With the growing buzz around cloud computing, N-able is delivering a very similar message. "Our partners find cloud puts more profit in their pockets because it layers well over managed services and just provides another option for our partners to offer their customers," Belair says.

Where the N-able tools come in, namely its RMM product, is helping support the monitoring and proactive care of cloud solutions. That means N-able will be working to integrate with cloud solutions as they mature so it can continue to offer the single-pane of glass view through which RMM vendors empower their partners. "This is pushing us to look at next-gen relationships; we have tackled the on-premise needs, and now we'll look at cloud and virtual needs," says Belair. As part of those next-gen relationships, I wondered out loud with Belair about how RMM tools may be used differently with the advent of cloud. "Not every partner wants to do full-blown managed services, but there are certainly a lot of VARs looking at RMM as a technology to support cloud offerings," he says. N-able is seeing more and more partners who are interested in using the hosted version of N-able to bridge the gap between customers and cloud solutions. To answer that growing need, N-able rolled out essential licenses for those partners that just want the basic RMM service. "That offering is part of our ongoing ‘total IT' push we have going for our partners," says Belair. He and I agree it will be interesting to see how cloud impacts VARs who have, until now, resisted managed services, but will find value and efficiency with managed services tools.