Bot-buster Distil Networks launches first channel program to build loyal partner network

Distil is looking to supplement its direct sales with a significant partner presence, offering an enterprise grade proactive solution, which is very specific and complements other security solutions, and now a partner program to offer support.

Rob Rodier- Distil Networks
Rob Rodier, Director of Channel for Distil Networks

San Francisco-based Distil Networks, which detects and mitigates against malicious bots used for web scraping and numerous other types of mining and fraud, has sold direct since their inception. Now however the company is looking to add a channel, and is launching a channel program today to support it.

“We were founded in 2011 as a purpose-built solution for bot detection and mitigation,” said Rob Rodier, Director of Channel for Distil Networks. “We see an average of six of every ten requests made to web servers are bots. Many are good of course, but some are bad, and especially since bots became more sophisticated, there really needed to be a purpose built solution, rather than bolt-on web application firewalls which are typically used for the purpose, but which are rules-based and reactive. We are proactive.”

Distil provides protection against malicious bots used for web scraping, brute force attacks, competitive data mining, account hijacking, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam, man-in-the-middle attacks and click fraud.

“We have a couple different models of deployment, both of which act as a reverse proxy,” Rodier said. “The idea is to reduce the number of captchas the customer has to serve, although some customers do elect to captcha their traffic. We use some behavioral modeling and machine learning. The vast majority of our detection is binary and asking simple questions. We are not making any guesses, so there are zero risks for false positives.”

Distil’s solution is designed for the enterprise, and they have many recognizable enterprise clients like the Dow Jones and Stubhub, but they also scale well below that.

“We do run the gamut,” Rodier said. “We have had a lot of success in the enterprise, especially with high traffic sites, but the solution scales very well down into the SMB. If an end user uses their site as a tool to drive revenue, our cost is justified. We start at $500 a month and scale up to five figures.” Typical verticals include ecommerce, publishing, travel sites, directories, and real estate MLS listings. SMB deployment is typically through Distil’s cloud CDN, while appliances normally go into the enterprise.

“We initially sold direct, and now we are looking to expand through a loyal network of channel partners,” Rodier said. “Our agent-reseller agreement went out in October. We now have 10 active partners and expect 20-30 by the end of the year. Ultimately, the sky is the limit.”

Distil plans to leverage the new program to increase channel sales ten-fold within the next year. Channel partners have access to Distil’s full product portfolio including Bot Detection and Mitigation, API Security, and Threat Intelligence.

“It’s mainly the technology itself that will attract partners,” Rodier said. “Bot detection is a new category of security and is highly compatible with what resellers offer now.” The single tier program’s components include deal registration, providing of dedicated sales engineers, post-sale integration and service delivery teams, and enterprise SLAs with “five-nines” reliability and 24x7x365 support.

“Since we cater to a diverse base we offer both a commission-based plan like in an agent model, and also let resellers bill themselves,” Rodier said. “We provide training, resources, and implementation teams. Our goal is to be a very easy company to do business with.”

Distil is looking at a broad assortment of potential partners.

“Security VARs and MSPs are our core target, but those in web performance are also strong candidates Rodier stated. “Because our technology is really the star of the show and relevant across a number of areas like security, analytics, anti-fraud, and SEO, we are targeting a lot of partner types.”