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IT security software and services provider ESET has experienced record year-over-year channel growth with a 40 percent increase in channel partners in the last 12 months.
Cameron Tousley, ESET’s partner community manager, tells Channel Partners that with its 100 percent channel B2B business, his company has been able to dedicate the resources and support to create customized and profitable programs for its partners.
“From marketing to sales, to support to training and certifications, partners have recognized that we are investing in the tools and resources that enable them to be successful,” he said. “When it comes to the technology itself, for 30 years we have been pioneers in security innovation, delivering the best security solutions on the market. Partners are looking for trusted and proven vendors like ESET who can deliver robust offerings, effective technology and security insights at rapid speed. Beyond what we’re doing internally, channel momentum is also driven by MSPs.”
The ESET MSP Program is the overall channel program’s fastest growing segment, Tousley said. Ninety percent of partner applications came from MSPs and MSSPs versus other types of partners/resellers last year. That signals a trend that is indicative of where the IT security model is going: More businesses are outsourcing IT to MSPs and MSSPs, he said.
As ESET’s partner base has grown, the company also has been making strides in the enterprise space, with more than 20 percent year-over-year growth of enterprise customers in North America, acquiring large accounts in sectors like health care, retail, education and finance.
“These large organizations are gold for partners,” Tousley said. “Our ability to attract and pass through these customers to partners is an important part of our growth strategy.”
The company also has launched its new Partner Council. This advisory group initially will include 10 active partners who will participate in quarterly calls, and get a first-look at new products and technologies. Feedback will be used to refine product strategies, help shape the supporting content and ultimately better enable partners’ sales teams, the company said.
“We are always looking to improve our partner program and the Partner Council allows us to hear first-hand from our partners what they want and what their customers need,” Tousley said. “The council we’re creating will represent various business models in the channel and include small-to-large organizations. We want to get the perfect balance in our council in order to better understand a variety of business challenges channel resellers are facing.”
To support its channel momentum, in the last 12 months ESET also has added new staff in several departments, and has placed increased focus on lead-generation – since generating qualified leads for partners is a top priority – and partner events, the company said. Additionally, ESET launched a partner services-focused team that caters to all partners, but focuses on MSPs.
“Partner feedback is the driving force behind our channel-program improvements and direction,” Tousley said. “Although margins are always a topic among resellers and their vendors, our channel continually expresses an interest in receiving product training, including certifications on our software solutions, North American-based, high-quality product support and marketing funds to help with initiatives that attract new clients to grow their client portfolio.”
“As cyber attacks get more sophisticated and larger in scale, it’s more important than ever that we make security as easy and effective as possible for our clients,” said Ted Clouser, executive vice president at PC Assistance, an MSSP. “For that reason, our relationship with ESET is an important one, and they have really been a go-to partner for us. Their technology is dependable, straightforward to deploy and they are truly dedicated to providing the channel resources we need to do our job effectively.”