ONE DOESN’T TYPICALLY THINK of a vendor with thousands of partners and a crowded portfolio of security solutions as a newcomer. Yet as far as MSPs are concerned, Bitdefender is a relatively recent addition to the landscape.
“It’s really one of the largest companies that you didn’t really know about,” says Jason Eberhardt (pictured), who became head of global cloud and MSP in Bitdefender’s partner organization early this year. His hiring, in fact, was part of a concerted effort by the vendor to turn itself into a household name among managed service providers.
“We know that that’s the way the industry is going,” Eberhardt says of recurring revenue business models.
New Partner Program Launches
Bitdefender’s own journey in that direction took a major step forward in June when it launched a new version of its Partner Advantage Network for MSPs. Like many channel programs, including the original Partner Advantage Network, it’s divided into three tiers. Anyone is welcome to join at the bronze level. Silver partners must earn one sales certification and one technical certification, and have at least 500 endpoints under management if they’re U.S.-based (numbers vary in other regions). Gold partners must clear a higher endpoint threshold and have two sales and technical certifications.
In return for meeting those requirements, bronze partners get Level 2 support, not-for-resale licenses for internal use, and access to Bitdefender’s knowledge base, among other rewards. Silver partners get all of that plus a dedicated partner success manager, a listing in Bitdefender’s partner locator tool, and access to market development funds. Gold partners qualify for a dedicated technical account manager, eligibility for seats on the partner advisory council, access to a customer reference program, and other exclusive benefits.
At all levels of the program, members get monthly subscription licensing with aggregated tiered pricing based on sales commitments agreed upon in advance. “If you give us a certain [target], we’ll give you a certain price,” Eberhardt says.
That applies to the vast majority of products Bitdefender makes, which is a lot of products indeed. “We don’t just do anti-virus,” Eberhardt observes. “Anti-virus is like a minimum.”
Additional systems in Bitdefender’s Cloud Security for MSP suite include web filtering, intrusion detection, firewall, and continuous process monitoring offerings, among others. Optional extensions that rely on the same endpoint agent but are billed separately include patch management, full-disk encryption, virtual machine protection, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) components. Email and mobile security solutions are in development.