'We want a level playing field for all our partners': Webroot lifts the lid on its mammoth triple merger

Nima Green
clock • 3 min read
'We want a level playing field for all our partners': Webroot lifts the lid on its mammoth triple merger

Webroot’s senior product officer says that while ‘anomalies’ persist between the OpenText-Webroot-Carbonite programs, all partners will soon have access to a single admin console

Webroot's leadership team claims it is willing to work with partners to rectify discrepencies in its partner programmes following the mergers between OpenText, Webroot and Carbonite. 

Webroot's senior product office Nick Emanuel is contributing to the integration of the portfolios of all three vendors following OpenText's December €1.26bn acquisition of both US security players, Webroot and Carbonite.

Emanuel has told Channel Partner Insight that each brand is to retain a separate partner programme as an "entry point", but that the Canadian software giant's intention is to launch a combined, single Carbonite and Webroot partner program in 2021.

"I can understand from the point of view that it would look complex on the outside," he said.

"The intention will be to ensure that there's a level playing field. I'm led to understand that at the moment, there are some differences in the programme. But I think wherever that is the case, we would look at those individually and manage that accordingly.

"We are still bringing the companies together, and I'm sure that there will be anomalies. But if a partner saw those, they can talk to us because we want to make sure that it's a great experience for them."

Emanuel said the 36,000 Carbonite and Webroot MSPs, resellers, OEMs and VADs may have these differences for another year.

"As we get to understand how the partners are changing and which products they feel they want to sell, we can learn how we can make this the best experience for them. Whether it's on a rebate, whether it's on marketing, access, certification, etc. So that's why I would say it's a journey for us."

Emanuel shared more details of where some of those anomalies currently lie, while appealing to partners for patience.

"It's something that we're working extremely hard on at the moment to do. And there's been progress so far in the first six months on integrating the teams internally, and trying to make sure that we understand where those anomalies are.

"And typically they are around the method in which we get to support a customer. So Webroot was very traditionally 24/7/365 support, and Carbonite was support, but in a paid for model with professional services. And so we're working through those."

OpenText has a market cap of $11.52bn, and logged 2019 revenues of $2.87bn. Its global headcount is more than 14,000, in 70 countries.

Emanuel said the EMEA business for the merged triumvirate will continue to be run from the UK.

He said that "synergies" have been found, but insisted that this year's closure of 50 per cent of the company's offices across the world has been instigated by COVID-19, and a desire to keep employees safe.

"Given the success of our move to remote work, OpenText instituted a hybrid model, closing approximately 60 smaller offices and moving those employees to full time remote work status."

He said that the OpenText corporate headquarters in the UK, France and Germany "remain a strong focus for the SMB/C business unit of Webroot and Carbonite."

The merger looks set to rumble on for 12 months at least, but Emmanuel wants to reassure partners that their experience of doing business with whichever part of OpenText's extended portfolio will have minimal disruption.

"We do have a mindset of we cannot disrupt the partner. We can't disrupt our customers through this experience."

Key to this mantra is that upcoming re-release of a single admin console.

 "We currently have a general management console, sometimes known as the GSM, that has a range of products and services, and those are increasing. But for customers with our Carbonite services, they still see a different console based on the deployment method they choose.

"But we are bringing those in house into the single console very, very quickly."

He added: "It's one of our key aims for this calendar year into early next calendar year, to have a brand new console experience to bring as much of all the vendor's portfolios together."

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