Hartco taps N-able for service offering

Hartco Corp. has signed a deal with an Ottawa network management solutions provider to give its franchised system integrators the ability to sell more service offerings.

In exchange for preferred pricing, the Montreal-based company is letting N-able Technologies Inc. approach 96 of Hartco’s

independently-owned MicroAge and CompuSmart outlets with its turnkey software-hardware package for selling remote network management services to clients.

“”We recognize services is an important area for growth,”” said Brian Cyr, Hartco’s director of marketing. “”It’s a necessity in today’s business.

“”We see this solution as a cornerstone (for franchisees) to wrap a suite of services around to offer their customers a total solution.””

“”A lot of our resellers were offering this type of service, but on a limited basis, whether it be just pinging or dialing in through a product like PCAnywhere or using freeware tools to monitor a customer’s network. But the problem was you get a patchwork of screens, no centralized reporting.

When a MicroAge office in Edmonton recommended N-able’s solution, Hartco had several other units test it. It also looked at other software offerings.

N-able ‘s software includes N-central, which offers network availability, performance reporting, and service management to multiple customers from one central Web console, and the just launched N-vision, which lets a user set up multiple virtual network operations centers from a command center.

It is sold as a turnkey solution, usually mounted on a Compaq rack-mountable server, the company said.

“”What our locations liked was it was a nice package,”” including the centralized dashboard, said Cyr, as well as its “”reasonable”” cost. This last point will mean partners will be able to offer the service at a reasonable price.

N-able’s offering includes training and marketing tools for customers who want to get into remote network managing, said Derik Belair, the company’s vice-president of marketing.

“”We take a very hands-on approach to helping them build that services strategy,”” he said.

The company, which is approaching its third anniversary, sells direct to service providers. Belair said about 70 per cent of its 240 customers are in the U.S., 15 per cent in Canada and another 15 per cent outside North America.

The price of N-able packages runs up to US$45,000, depending on the number of customers monitored. The base US$10,000 solution will cover five customer networks.

While the Hartco deal was announced this week, it was signed several weeks ago. Belair said N-able has already signed up about 10 franchises. “”We hope to drive that number up significantly in the next 12 months.””

Cyr hopes half the MicroAge and CompuSmart units will be signed within three years.

“”We feel our locations have to do more than just provide reactive service, hardware maintenance. That’s quickly being commoditized. We’ve got to help our locations more of a proactive service approach.””

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including ITBusiness.ca. Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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