Security Vendor ESET Launches MSP Program

Based largely on its current channel program, the ESET MSP program is designed to provide the necessary license and administrative flexibility needed by managed service providers.

"We are 100 percent channel-focused when it comes to business clients," said Matthew McManus, vice president of sales and marketing at ESET North America. "Our licensing model was based on one- to three-year terms, and the MSPs really needed a more flexible solution. Since the resale program was not really fitting their needs, we decided to build a solution that would give them the pricing model that they needed."

[Related: 12 Challenges MSPs Face In 2013 ]

According to McManus, about 25 percent of ESET's resellers also engage in managed services transactions. "Ignoring that would not be good," he said. "So we wanted to build a licensing model that matches their needs. In the SMB space, there are more opportunities for resellers to try to be everything for the customer, and I think security is a natural progression of that."

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Both MSPs and VARs will also be able to leverage the company's ESET Remote Administrator tool, which is designed to enable administrators to remotely access and control their antivirus implementations without requiring specific vendor or hardware configurations.

"We created an overlay for them, which is basically a Web interface for them to set up and manage the licensing side of the equation so they can add and remove licenses on a daily basis if they need to," McManus explained. "We rolled the software out to a number of our partners as a beta in Q4. They're very happy with it, and we decided it made sense to release it to the channel as a whole."

As is the case with most channel frameworks, the new program rewards partners for growth by decreasing licensing costs as their volume increases.

"We took our existing pricing model and allow them to use the same tier levels," he said. "They can now aggregate all their clients on the same platform and leverage that scale in determining discount. And if they have some resale customers and some managed service customers, they can lump them all together in determining their aggregate discount."

The MSP program is already fully active throughout North America. The Slovakia-based company claims clients in a number of key verticals, including healthcare, finance, education and government.