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New Webroot CEO Doubles Down on MSPs, Managed Security Services

Webroot’s Charlie Tomeo
VP Charlie Tomeo
Webroot CEO Mike Potts

When Mike Potts succeeded Dick Williams as Webroot CEO in September, the endpoint security company vowed to maintain its aggressive focus on MSPs. But that's not all. Potts also wants to accelerate Webroot's transformation into a total security platform provider.

The journey requires Potts to extend from his enterprise heritage -- and dive deep into the MSP-centric SMB sector. Fortunately, he has a seasoned MSP tour guide along with him. Potts and that guide -- Webroot VP of Worldwide Business Sales Charles Tomeo -- held key meetings last week during IT Nation 2017, a ConnectWise conference that attracted more than 3,500 attendees in Orlando, Fla.

Soft-spoken and on-message, Potts described how Webroot is expanding its platform to include MSP security awareness training tools to help customers to avoid phishing. Plus, Webroot now owns DNS tools that compete with alternative MSP options like Cisco Umbrella (formerly OpenDNS).

Webroot's Expanding MSP Reach

Some of the new offerings involved acquisitions. Others are homegrown. But they're all coming together. Indeed, Webroot is coordinating its R&D, sales and marketing efforts to make it easier MSPs to try, buy and deploy the security solutions, Potts says.

So far the results are impressive. Numerous security companies have tried – and failed – to engage MSPs in the SMB sector. In stark contrast, Webroot has major MSP momentum – growing 30 to 35 percent annually in the MSP sector. The ConnectWise relationship also is thriving – as affirmed by Webroot’s “Partner of the Year” status. Webroot’s MSP-oriented success involves a multi-year “high tech, high touch” strategy led by Tomeo and seasoned managers who have first-name relationships with MSPs worldwide.

Still, potential security rivals are quickly warming up to MSPs. Companies like AlienVault, Arctic Wolf Networks, Cylance, VIPRE and WatchGuard (among others) each had a strong presence at IT Nation. Moreover, master MSSPs like Infogressive -- a Top 100 MSSP for 2017 -- were on hand to attract MSPs as partners.

Shaking Hands and Sitting Down with MSPs

Back at Webroot, Potts isn’t wasting any time getting acclimated with employees and MSPs. He has been on a whirlwind tour meeting employees, while also connecting with the company’s MSP advisory board members. And in recent weeks he has attended both IT Nation and Continuum Navigate 2017. So far, he sounds impressed with the MSP ecosystem – and the opportunities within.

“If we get this right, this is our market to seize,” says Potts.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.