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Carbonite, Webroot To Simplify Invoicing, Renewals For Partners

The product integration will examine the synergies between Webroot's endpoint protection suite and Carbonite's endpoint backup tool to better address prevention and recovery together in a more automated fashion.

Carbonite and Webroot plan to bring their provisioning, invoicing and renewal capabilities together into a single system to make it easier for partners to transact business.

The Boston-based data protection and cybersecurity vendor said partners should be able to put all their licenses on a single invoice and conduct renewals from one single place by late 2019 or early 2020, according to Chief Product Officer Chad Bacher. Carbonite closed its $621.7 million acquisition of Broomfield, Colo.-based Webroot on March 26.

Following the close of the deal, Bacher said Carbonite's data protection tools and Webroot's security offering were disparate stacks operating on separate systems. To bring those together, Bacher said Carbonite will need to modify its back-end systems so that the process by which the sales team submits an order request is the same regardless of whether it’s a legacy Carbonite or a legacy Webroot offering.

[Related: Carbonite, Webroot To Debut Unified Partner Program In Early 2020]

The company also plans to put in place a systematic approach to provision licenses on the back end and deliver them back to channel partners so that they can more easily provide customers with the product they purchased, according to Bacher.

Streamlining the sales process across the entire product portfolio from the customer learning about and trialing the product to purchasing and deploying it to using and renewing it will require collaboration with the go-to-market side of the house, Bacher said.

Once the IT stacks have been integrated, Bacher said the company plans to turn its attention to more product-level integration. This process will focus in particular on the synergies between Webroot's endpoint protection suite and Carbonite's endpoint backup capabilities in hopes of better addressing prevention and recovery together in a more automated fashion, according to Bacher.

Customers today typically have to manually kick off the restoration process on their own even if they have endpoint protection and endpoint backup products deployed, Bacher said. Going forward, Bacher said Carbonite wants to make the transition from prevention to recovery faster and easier in the event of a security incident by thinking holistically and infusing automation into the process.

"We have an opportunity to really change the game here," Bacher said.

As the company expands the endpoint beyond laptops and PCs to include servers, Bacher said use cases involving Carbonite's server backup and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service tools will become vital as well. Even though the product integration process will start by focusing on endpoint protection, Bacher said there will be other opportunities to combine prevention and recovery into a single overall solution.

The company also plans to work on integrating Carbonite's backup and disaster recovery tools and Webroot's endpoint security, DNS, and security awareness training capabilities into a single management console that's delivered to customers, Bacher said. This will allow partners to move away from having to use separate management consoles to procure different pieces of the product portfolio.

The integration process might be a more lightweight one where the company links to the respective management consoles from a single jumping-off point, Bacher said. Or it might be a more heavyweight one that takes the disparate management consoles and brings them together holistically in a fully integrated manner, according to Bacher.

Carbonite plans to scope out various levels of management console integration to figure out what provides the right amount of value and ease of use for customers, Bacher said. The company plans to put various prototypes in front of MSPs so that they can define and provide feedback on what an ideal management console integration looks like from a feature standpoint, according to Bacher.

Carbonite's product team will also work closely with its counterparts on the sales and marketing side of the house to ensure the right messaging is in place to help customers understand the value of the joint offering, Bacher said. In particular, he said the company will solicit feedback from customers and prospects on objections or concerns around getting security and data protection from the same place.

Both Carbonite and Webroot have very strong products in their respective technologies, Bacher said, so the campaign will be focused on making it easier for partners and customers to do business by no longer requiring them to process orders from two different systems. The effort will focus on making things easier and more automated for customers rather than tweaking product-level functionality, he said.

Since the acquisition closed, the Center for Computer Resources has received phone calls assessing the MSP’s interest in testing Carbonite's backup products, according to CTO and partner Joe Moore. Beyond that, Moore said the Sterling Heights, Mich.-based MSP hasn't seen much of a change thus far in terms of the strategy or personnel associated with the legacy Webroot cybersecurity business.

Moore said he's interested in learning more about the road map and vision for the combined company. He hopes the company's expansion into data protection won't preclude Webroot from keeping up with industry trends in the endpoint security space, particularly as it relates to providing endpoint detection and response tools.

Meanwhile, Madison Computer Works switched all its clients to Carbonite in late 2016 and early 2017, according to co-owner and Controller Jeanne Lisse.

Lisse said the Madison, Wis.-based MSP was most impressed by the competitiveness of Carbonite's pricing, the quality of its support, and the vendor's ability to completely take care of billing on behalf of the partner.

Often in M&A, Lisse said she's seen companies bought only for their technology or book of business. But in this transaction, Lisse has been very impressed with how well the leadership teams have been blended, and the extent to which Webroot executives have been named managers for the combined company.

All told, Lisse said she's extremely pleased to see that Carbonite recognized not only the potential of Webroot's product, but also the quality of its people and culture.

"When Carbonite purchased Webroot," Lisse said, "we were very excited about it."

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