An Ottawa maker of remote network management software for service providers has added a pay-as-you-go offering for VARs, hoping it will lead to sales of its full-featured platform.

N-Able Technologies’ OnDemand service, launched this week, is for service providers who are having trouble getting

small and medium customers to buy a full suite of remote management services.

It’s “”the entry-point for the mass VAR population,”” said Derik Belair, the company’s vice-president of marketing.”” We’re trying to make become a managed service provider easier.””

With OnDemand service providers can offer to remotely perform certain functions to clients’ networks through applications hosted by N-able.

Initially these are MonITor network and systems monitoring; ScanIT vulnerability assessment; and AccessIT remote support.

Coming later this year are PatchIT desktop and server patch management and SupportIT online self-service support.

The services use agents or probes on customers’ networks, which send encrypted reports to resellers. The applications can be configured to deliver alerts either to the managed service provider or the customer’s ISP.

The cost of each service varies: For US$500 a month a service provider can have five customers using MonITor with a combined total of 50 network elements. ScanIT costs US$99 per IP address.

N-Able believes that once a service provider has 10 customers it should buy one of its main applications, N-central and N-vision software, which range from US$15,000 to US$60,000.

“”The platform business is still an incredibly important part of us,”” said Belair. OnDemand “”is going to be more of a seeding mechanism”” for sales of the bigger applications.

N-able hopes to sign up 500 resellers in North America in the next 12 months, half from existing buyers of its software, appealing to Ingram Micro’s VTN and Tech Data’s TechSelect resellers.

One of them won’t be Larry Poirier of Ottawa’s Nitro Microsystems, which uses N-central to manage the networks of about 100 customers.

“”I think it would be great for some smaller resellers who are just dipping their toes into the managed services business (but) I don’t think it’s right for us, a long-standing N-Able dealer.””

To build OnDemand, a Java application which runs on Linux, N-Able struck partnerships with several software companies which already have some components including Citrix for AccessIT and Saint Corp. for ScanIT.

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