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Webroot Continues to Amp Up Partnerships

Teaming up with HP and rolling out a revamped channel partner program, Webroot is broadening the reach of its cloud-based, real-time Internet threat detection offerings. By Michael Siggins

With over 7 million consumers, 1.5 million business users, 1.3 million mobile users, and 25 OEM partners, Webroot Inc. continues its march toward a partner-driven model.

In October, the provider of cloud-based, real-time Internet threat detection announced that its Webroot BrightCloud IP Reputation Service will be offered as part of the HP Enterprise Security Products portfolio to enhance visibility into threats introduced to customer networks by corporate and employee-owned (BYOD) mobile devices. And in July, the company unveiled the Webroot Channel Edge Reseller Program. According to the Broomfield, Colo.-based company, the increased channel focus has driven triple-digit, year-over-year growth in the small and midsize business (SMB) segment.

Darren Niller, senior director of worldwide alliance and channel marketing at Webroot, says the company has seen the greatest growth in the managed services space. MSPs are “looking for solutions that they can easily manage.” With Webroot, “you don’t have to deploy local hardware. They don’t have to deploy an endpoint server in that customer environment. We have a very lightweight client as well, which means that they can easily push those clients out and then download and install in seconds.”

He adds, “Our approach to security is not based on signatures, so those MSPs don’t have to manage daily updates by pushing signatures out to their installed base, or out to the customers that they’re managing.” Also, since Webroot is cloud based, “you can manage your customers from any location. All you need is to log in to the portal through your browser and you can manage your entire installed base.”

Founded in 1997, Webroot’s “real story,” according to Niller, began about three years ago with the introduction of a cloud-based portfolio focused on endpoints and delivered through the Webroot Intelligence Network.

More recently, in developing the revamped partner program, Niller says, “We started with the question, Webroot has delivered truly innovative products, especially in the endpoint and mobile space. How do we deliver an innovative partner program?”

In addition to helping channel partners convert existing customers to Webroot as well as acquire new customers, the company aims to make it easy to do business with Webroot with the Channel Edge Partner Toolkit, Niller says.

Key features are:

  • Web content syndication delivers product content, trial software downloads, and white papers directly from a partner’s website to clients and prospects. Webroot does all the updating.
  • A resource center provides sales and marketing materials directly to partner sales and marketing teams.
  • Social syndication enables partners to push fresh content and communicate with potential buyers through multiple social media sites.

In addition, Elite resellers receive added benefits such as qualified sales leads, speaking engagements and joint seminars, market expansion programs, sales incentives, and a dedicated channel account manager.

For MSPs, Niller notes two other management components. The GSM, or global site manager, allows MSPs to manage all of their customers through a single portal. The console provides MSPs a hierarchical view of the endpoints under their protection, allowing them to go from a global view of their customers and drill down to group and individual user views. In addition, Webroot integrates with RMM and PSA tools such as LabTech and ConnectWise, respectively.  

Niller says Webroot is a two-tier channel. “We do work through distributors, and then we also work with those distributors to recruit new resellers, and at the same time, we’re out in the field trying to recruit resellers.” Niller says the ideal reseller has a security background. “We both have small resellers that work within a fairly small geographic area, to national resellers that cover entire territories, but most of the emphasis is around their expertise on security.”

In addition to channel partners, Webroot’s OEM partners include what Niller dubs as “marquee” names such as Cisco, F5 Networks, GateProtect, HP, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, Proofpoint, and RSA.

The Webroot BrightCloud IP Reputation Service will be available to HP customers by year end. “What HP was really interested in was our IT reputation service,” Niller says. The real-time threat intelligence service helps enterprise customers identify malicious IPs in their network traffic. “They offer this subscription service to their customers, so that if they’re using one of their TippingPoint firewalls, and they sign up for the service, their customers would be blocking any mobile apps that might be exhibiting malicious behavior.”

Niller chalks up Webroot’s success to date with its partnerships to several factors. One, Webroot is easy to manage and does not interfere with business, he says. And two, some of the marquee names in the security industry are “relying on Webroot threat intelligence to better protect their customers.”

For more information on Webroot’s partner program, click here.

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