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Soft Solutions to ‘distribute’ Webroot

01 Jul 08

Software as a Service (SaaS) email security vendor Webroot has named Soft Solutions as its “master reseller” in New Zealand.  Globally, Webroot follows a single-tier channel model, and as a pure SaaS vendor does not generally need an active distributor.  However, since entering the ANZ market six months ago via Australia, the vendor has realised that to effectively make a success of the NZ market, it needed on-the-ground support. Soft Solutions will not sell directly to any end user customers, and the “master reseller” term is meant to illustrate the distributor function.
“They’ve got enough handling all the resellers in Australia,” said Paul Leslie, Business Development Manager for Soft Solutions.
While the NZ market has been slow to adopt SaaS models compared to overseas markets, Leslie believes that email security, as a different proposition to CRM SaaS, will be very well received by the channel.  The model is particularly attractive, said Leslie, because of its flexibility — it can be sold as SaaS or rolled out as a managed service, allowing resellers to target customers with differing capability levels.
For customers, Leslie told The Channel that “the beauty of it is that it’s got all the benefits of software on site, without the cost of ownership that comes with associated hardware and infrastructure.  It’s a very compelling proposition”.
Webroot’s National Enterprise Sales Manager, Crispin Kerr, told The Channel that the company has experienced a 99% renewal rate over the past four to five years globally.  As it is the reseller partners who receive full annuity revenue on renewals, the potential financial opportunity is clear. 
“At this stage, there is no true SaaS provider that’s really established themselves in New Zealand,” said Kerr.  “The majority of businesses are still using software solutions, but it’s difficult keeping up with spam filtering.  With Webroot, it’s our full focus to ensure our customers are protected, and our SLAs match that.  Out of the box, we guarantee that 98% of spam will be caught, and the actual run rate is 95.5%, with no configuration required.  And there is less than one false positive in every 300,000 emails.”
Email security via a managed service or pure SaaS model seems to be finding its feet in New Zealand, as vendors Synetek and MessageLabs have recently launched similar models through the local channel.

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