Webroot Extends Partner Program With SaaS Solutions

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For partners, the expanded channel program will enable them to deliver a comprehensive, in-the-clouds offering, and provide a security solution that's more efficient, less expensive and easier to deploy. "We've used a number of solutions; they've all been either expensive or initially difficult to obtain," said Lawrence Taylor-Duncan, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Techni-Core Network Services.

Taylor-Duncan said that the offerings span the segments, from SMBs with five mailboxes to large-scale enterprise clients with more than a million mailboxes. "It's enormously scalable. This really can handle everything you can throw at it," he added.

"Here's a chance for resellers to get on the leading edge," said Peter Watkins, CEO of Webroot. "That's what we find exciting. Whatever their current model is, there's a newer way of delivering it."

For Webroot, the new channel program further cements the recent integration with UK-based Email Systems, an e-mail and Web SaaS provider, which Boulder, Colo.-based Webroot acquired last November. The combined program was then modeled after Email System's program prior to the merger.

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With the integration of Email Systems, Webroot is primed to deliver an array of in-the-clouds security offerings. Altogether, the offerings include a number of both new and expanded services such as Web filtering, e-mail archiving, business continuity and personal encryption for partners, in addition to the company's traditional e-mail scanning and security features.

Watkins added that Webroot applies five antivirus engines and 10 antispam engines in order to filter millions of e-mails and Web pages with almost no configuration on the customer's part. In addition, the SaaS services include extensive reporting capabilities, which can be individually customized in order to meet customers' specific needs.

Execs say that the new offerings come at a time when SaaS is primed to take off in the marketplace. Watkins said that the 100 percent channel-focused security solutions provide opportunities for channel partners to introduce a new security model to their customers and get behind a growing security market.

"For many resellers, they see this segment of the market growing," he said "They have to ask themselves, do they want to make the investment? Do they want to make the conversion? Here's an opportunity to change that model substantially."

Likewise, partners say that customers who have adopted the SaaS model have been impressed with its speed, affordability and ease of use. "The whole thing is so simple to do. The implementation piece is very appealing to them." said Taylor-Duncan. "We can flip them on to the Webroot system fast, and they see instantaneous results."

Watkins said that the nature of the SaaS model provides a means for partners to create and establish ongoing relationships with their customer while allowing the reseller to create a predictable source of income. "This is a recurring revenue stream," said Watkins. "You're actually creating a lifelong customer, 100 percent through the channel."

To ensure a smooth and easy transition under the new partner program, resellers will be able to achieve one of three accreditation levels similar to the previous program. Webroot and Email Systems partners, who will be reaccredited under the new program, will receive access to a partner discount program, participation in lead generation and allocation, business development assistance and certification opportunities. They will also have access to "not for resale" licenses and special pricing for in-house SaaS security services, an interactive partner portal and the ability to offer their own re-branded SaaS security services.