BitDefender, which provides Internet security solutions, recently introduced a new channel program. INTERNET TELEPHONY interviewed Keith Alston, channel sales director for North America at the company, about it.
Give us some history on BitDefender. When and how did the company get started?
Alston: BitDefender was founded in 2001 in Bucharest, Romania. The company made its entrance [into] the international market by opening offices in Germany, Spain (2003), USA (2004) and the U.K. (2006) and continues to expand globally by strengthening its position with a series of strategic partnerships and entrance into the Asian market. At the end of 2007, BitDefender received an investment to support its global expansion and advance its leadership position in the anti-virus software and data security industry. The investment group is part Romanian, part American, and it has substantial investment experience in the region and in the IT sector.
What exactly does BitDefender sell to whom?
Alston: BitDefender sells client-side business security products that protect an organization's most critical business assets – from the gateway to the network core. These products are available to small, medium and enterprise businesses and offer advanced anti-malware technology with easy deployment, automatic updates, and near zero management.
BitDefender recently announced a new channel program. What kind of channel partners are you looking for?
Alston: BitDefender is currently recruiting new partners that have a track record selling security solutions, have strong technical resources, and are available to participate in technical and sales training. BitDefender offers co-marketing programs, lead assignment, 100 percent margin on the first BitDefender sale (up to 200 nodes), and free over the phone technical support for installations and maintenance. On the product side, for our channel partners we offer a variety of individual offerings and business solution suites that can be tailored to individual customer networks to offer protection for multiple platforms and services at a more cost effective price.
How do commissions work?
Alston: BitDefender’s OnTarget partner program has three levels of partnership: gold, silver and bronze. The qualifications for each level vary according to monthly sales, annual sales commitment, and sales and engineer committed resources. The partners at a gold level benefit from 40 percent to 60 percent sales margin, account manager assigned to partner, 3 percent coop funds, access to BitDefender University, and free training. The silver level partner enjoys similar benefits but lower percent margins (35 to 45 percent) and coop funds (2 percent). And the bronze partner receives 30 percent sales margins and an assigned account manager.
How does BitDefender differentiate itself from the competition?
Alston: BitDefender has three unique features that separate its security products from the rest of the market. B-Have is a heuristic analyzer in every BitDefender product that creates a virtual environment in which pieces of code can be run in a contained environment. Based on the behavior of the code, BitDefender can determine if it constitutes a threat. This technology offers additional protection from emerging threats and gives BitDefender the highest detection rate in the current market.BitDefender’s Management Console is totally parameter driven and allows the product to be configured to comply with any given security policy an organization might require.
[Additionally,] BitDefender’s product has one of the lightest footprints in the market. Unlike most of its competitors, it requires minimal resources even when scanning or updating. If for any reason you need to restrict the use of system resources even further, the product provides functionalities that allow you to define the level of resources it should use. In other words, in an environment with limited hardware, you might prefer that the security solution takes a little longer to perform a task but uses less resources.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi