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OpenText to Roll Out Combined Carbonite/Webroot Partner Program This Summer

The new offering, which will include one set of tiers but different tracks for VARs and MSPs, will sell and support a unified portfolio of “cyber resilience” products covering security and data protection. By Rich Freeman

OpenText has a combined partner program for its Carbonite and Webroot channels coming this summer.

The all-new offering is set to arrive roughly a year and a half after backup and high availability vendor Carbonite acquired security vendor Webroot, and a little over half a year since Carbonite was in turn acquired by enterprise information management vendor OpenText.

“By the July timeframe, you could expect us to come out with a revised channel program across both channels that takes the entire product set into consideration and rewards for the right behaviors,” says Craig Stilwell, OpenText’s executive vice president and general manager for SMB and consumer. Stilwell spoke with ChannelPro at the 2020 RSA Conference, which is taking place in San Francisco this week.

The new program will include a single tiering structure, a unified deal registration system, and dual sets of requirements and benefits, one each for traditional resellers and MSPs. “You will also have channel program managers who are driving the whole solution, as opposed to just security or just data protection,” Stilwell says. 

Carbonite and Webroot partners at elevated tiers with either vendor today will enjoy comparable status in the new program, he continues. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to take care of our best partners, and so we’re absolutely going to do that.”

Rules and promotions in the combined program will be designed to prod Carbonite partners, most of whom are VARs, to sell Webroot security solutions and to encourage Webroot’s MSP-heavy partner base to sell Carbonite data protection systems. “There’s very little overlap between the traditional Webroot channel and the traditional Carbonite channel, which means there’s opportunity to cross-sell and bring both those products up through those routes to market,” Stilwell notes.

Teaching partners to sell both product families is a priority for the remainder of this year. “You have somebody who used to only sell security who now is responsible for a bigger, broader portfolio,” Stilwell notes. “We need to spend a lot of energy on that cross-training.”

Turning currently separate channels into a single one offering the complete portfolio of Carbonite and Webroot products will be a key milestone in a post-acquisition integration process that began on a limited basis within weeks of the two vendors joining forces. Initially, those efforts were limited to inviting partners of one company to enroll in the other’s channel program and rolling out cross-vendor product bundles. “That was kind of the easy, low hanging fruit,” Stilwell observes. 

Efforts to integrate the two companies in earnest accelerated last summer, however, around the time Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali exited the firm, before temporarily slowing to a crawl in the leadup to the OpenText deal, which closed on Christmas Eve. “We’re not as far along as we’d like to be,” Stilwell acknowledges. "We definitely had a little bit of a pause during Q4, and now we’re back on track.”

Technical integration of Carbonite and Webroot products is underway at present as well, with initial milestones coming soon. By roughly midyear, for example, Webroot’s Global Site Manager console, which has long enabled consolidated oversight of Webroot’s endpoint security, DNS filtering, and security awareness training solutions, will begin supporting several Carbonite products as well, with further additions to come over the course of the year. 

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