CRN Exclusive: ESET Boosts Channel Resources After Seeing Strong Growth With Partners

ESET is enhancing its partner program as it sees strong growth around its channel, the company said Tuesday.

The updates include the launch of the endpoint security company's first Partner Advisory Council, which will include around 10 partners. The partners chosen will represent the various business models that ESET works with in North America and different experience levels.

ESET also recently added more marketing materials and MDF, the latter of which will focus on helping partners hold events and other activities. ESET also has revamped its sales and technical certifications, with training online and in-person. Finally, ESET added a Cybersecurity Awareness Training program, which partners can offer to customers at no cost to educate employees on security best practices.

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Cameron Tousley, partner community manager for ESET North America, said the updates come as ESET sees continued momentum around its channel business in the region. The company has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of active partners year over year, growing to around 4,500 active partners total, Tousley said.

ESET has focused on building out its channel strategy for the past 10 years, according to Tousley. That has mirrored an evolution of ESET from an antivirus company to a full endpoint security and security software company, Tousley said. ESET recognizes that it needs partners to help grow in those markets, he said.

"We are a channel-focused company and we dedicate a lot of resources to our partners. We want to see them grow. When they grow, we grow," Tousley said.

Ted Clouser, executive vice president of Little Rock, Ark.-based managed security services provider PC Assistance, said the company has seen "steady" growth with ESET since signing on as a partner early last year. PC Assistance has made a "seamless" transition for most of its customer base and has been impressed by the technology.

Clouser said he is glad to see ESET continue to make investments in its channel partners. The investments in marketing tools and advertising are particularly important, he said, as they help PC Assistance leverage ESET's knowledge base and research with its own clients.

"We have seen some more marketing tools in the past year that are helpful to our business," Clouser said. "It makes us far more able to do our job the way we want to because we have the resources we need. … It really allows us to go to market in a way that helps us tremendously."

That partner push is especially important in a competitive market for endpoint security, where there are "a lot of options and a lot of great products," Clouser said.