Channel technologies, Channel chiefs, Channel partner programs, MSP, Networking

New Webroot Channel Chief: Hybrid Security Partners Welcome

Neil Stratz
Neil Stratz

Roughly 90 days after joining Webroot to run the company's global partner programs, Neil Stratz is opening his arms to a new breed of service providers, according to a briefing with ChannelE2E today.

On the one hand, Webroot is firmly established with traditional resellers and roughly 6,000 managed services providers (MSPs). But on the other hand, Stratz sees a new type of service provider emerging -- including VARs that have hybrid product and services models. The key opportunity: Marrying those partners with customers that are overwhelmed by today's IT security landscape.

"In their quest to address security, many customers have experienced unintended consequences," says Stratz. "They're overwhelmed by all the alerts coming at them. Hiring, training and retaining staff to interpret and take action on all that info is very challenging" for end-customers, he says.

Outsourcing Cybersecurity to Partners

The far more logical alternative is for customers to embrace partners -- MSPs, hybrid VARs and other emerging entities -- that really understand data culled from security systems.

Many of those partners, he says, start with Webroot's endpoint protection solution because it's easy to install and manage, and the remediation capabilities remove the need for human intervention. Going forward, Webroots partners are extending beyond endpoints to automate security across infrastructure.

Stratz joined Webroot in January 2016, arriving with extensive enterprise (customer) and channel experience based on previous tours of duty at Juniper and Proofpoint, among other companies. During his first 90 days at the company, he spent considerable time meeting with MSPs, learning about the various market intersections (example: security and RMM) and studying a new breed of service provider.

The Global View

Webroot CTO Hal Lonas

As Senior VP Of Worldwide Business Sales, Stratz has global responsibility for Webroot's channel and partner engagements. "In a lot of ways, each region faces the same security challenges, but there are go-to-market nuances in each region," he says.

With that thought in mind, Webroot continues to leverage a range of distribution relationships. A case in point: Earlier this week the company unveiled a partnership with CloudHarmonics, a distributor of cybersecurity and cloud solutions.

So what's next? Stratz -- like Webroot CTO Hal Lonas -- points to the data. Indeed, Stratz and Lonas believe data-driven partners (the ones that know how to gather and interpret information from infrastructure, applications and security systems) offer unique value-add to end-customers who want fewer alerts, and more peace of mind.

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.