The new portal completes several important improvements to the VIPRE channel strategy, and with its completion, the company is now in aggressive recruitment mode for strong new partners.
Clearwater FLA-based security software vendor VIPRE has announced a new website for its channel partners, the latest stage of the company’s evolution from the ThreatTrack brand, and to a more focused approach towards the SMB market through a broader and more systematic channel strategy.
“A year ago, in August 2016, we began pivoting into the SMB,” said Marya Munir, VIPRE’s senior director of channel marketing, who has the responsibility for VIPRE’s strategic planning, partner enablement, worldwide channel programs, demand generation activities and go-to-market execution for all partners. Her hire from Webroot earlier this year was a key part of this enhanced focus.
“In January, we launched a new partner program with a separate MSP program,” Munir continued. “In March, we launched VIPRE Advanced Security for Business, which has been well-received and has already won an OPSWAT Gold Certification. We have moved to rebranding the company from ThreatTrack to VIPRE – leading with the brand that is recognized, and we are not using ThreatTrack as part of the brand at all now. We launched a new website – VIPRE.com – which we had to purchase from someone in the Netherlands. This has all been part of our simplification strategy, to make us easier to do business with.”
The new portal is a key extension of this strategy.
“The new portal makes it very easy to add new functionality that partners want,” Munir said. “Now we have the full foundation in place for aggressive growth. In the past quarter, we started an aggressive recruitment strategy. We did a little recruitment before, but we really wanted to get the foundation built first. This quarter, we have been getting more aggressive, and we are in active recruiting mode right now.”
The portal’s release follows an extensive design and evaluation period.
“We’ve been designing and testing it, because we wanted to make sure everything was functional,” Munir said. “We did a lot of user acceptance testing, which lasted about a month. We also did a soft launch earlier with a select group that recommended improvements.”
Munir said that the old portal had a couple of issues.
“It was homegrown, and had become somewhat dated,” she said. “We concluded that to support an aggressive growth strategy, we needed a new portal. The new user interface makes it easier to view all the orders and those that are renewing. Since 70 per cent of orders are placed through the portal, that’s a really significant upgrade.”
The other issue was not technically the fault of the portal itself, since it had to do with what was in it, which Munir said wasn’t enough to provide the support partners want today.
“The new portal provides more training, better license management and deal registration,” she stated. “Some of those things did not exist at all in the old portal, and others have been upgraded significantly. For instance, we didn’t have much training before. Now the portal has several modules that can be easily accessed. Another change is that there were no cobranding capabilities before, and partners said that they wanted those, so we have added them to the Marketing Vault. This portal is also more mobile-friendly than the old one, making it easy to manage the account on a smartphone or a tablet.” Other additions are new lead generation tools to help close new business, as well as battle cards and other sales tools.
A few more things still need to be added.
“We don’t have a certification program today, but we will,” Munir said.
Initial feedback has been very positive.
“The partners like that the new portal is very simple,” Munir said. “They like that it has a lot more content on training than before, and that we have made it much easier to manage, and given them better visibility into their account.”