Webroot kicks off next generation of their platform with new version of Webroot Business Management Console

The new console is the first stage of Webroot’s Meru project, which has been designed to completely rework and modernize the platform and simplify it further, and which will be followed by a series of next-gen enhancements over the next 18 months.

Webroot, an OpenText company, has announced the release of its next-generation Webroot Business Management Console. The first stage of a Webroot development project that has been ongoing to two years, the new console provides a simpler and more intuitive user experience, and also provides many feature upgrades over the older version.

The new Webroot Business Management Console represents a next generation approach to the product.

“For 8-9 years we were growing very fast organically, but we decided to relook at it and rearchitect it going forward,” said George Anderson, director of product marketing at Webroot. “This was our internal Meru project, which we wanted to start with a clean sheet of paper. The launch of the console is really the start of Meru from a deployment perspective. It would be more accurate to say that with the console, we reached base camp and haven’t reached Meru yet. [Meru was named after a mountain in the Himalayas.] Getting this version out the door is key for the raft of things we want to deliver over the next 18 months.”

Several enhancements involve improving the product’s ease of use.

“From a usability perspective, it’s a big step up from where we were – and the old platform won an award last September,” Anderson said.

The new console has what Webroot is terming a new and contemporary design that include significant user experience improvements, as well as improvements to site navigation.

“We’ve done a lot more things around the left hand navigation, and brought things together that were separate in the old console,” Anderson said. “If they need to move between sites they can do it more smoothly, and thus very quickly. It’s also easier to create global policies.”

Administrator visibility of policy usage has been improved, to allow for easier management of site permissions.

“It is now more like a cascading sheet, so its easier to see policies,” Anderson said.  “There are also more logical layouts in the way that we brought things together.”

Automatic user error prevention now blocks users from leaving pages without saving progress or acknowledging exit.

“Before, when you made a change, it wasn’t really clear to the admin,” Anderson noted. “Now there is a permanent toolbar across the bottom, and if you try and leave without saving, it pops up a reminder. This will stop loss of work because of user error. It’s part of a lot better user tracking in the console generally, to see what they are using and where and how we can improve performance.”

Several improvements are also focused on security.

“We have a desire to bring some of that resiliency that comes from Carbonite into the MSP space,” Anderson said. “In the past, we did stuff with Datto and Veeam, but now everyone is doing their own platform.”

Webroot Evasion Shield has been improved with the addition of Webroot Foreign Code Shield, a new patented and proprietary behavioral analysis engine.

“This was part of the Maru project,” Anderson said. “We have also made it more  lightweight on the device, and automated as much as possible. Doing that with scripts was complex. We originally had thought we would have this to market a little earlier, but Microsoft and Intel earlier this year changed the way that the hardware and software talked to each other, so we had to do some recoding.”

Webroot Security Awareness Training now supports the creation of distribution lists and the ability to customize training from the console.

“It allows for matching things in a different way, which for MSPs is a time saving refinement” Anderson said. “Adding distribution lists means, for example, that you can look at all sales department in companies that you do business with, and do training for them en masse. That was the biggest barrier before to getting training done. Now the barrier will be getting clients to see the necessity for this!”

Anderson pointed out that security measures already in place could be extended further.

“We launched 2FA but haven’t yet forced users to use it,” he said. “Lots of MSPs didn’t want it, which is somewhat worrying. MSPs still vary tremendously in their attitudes to security. I think eventually that we will have to move to some sort of compulsion.”

Anderson emphasized that more major changes from Maru are on the way.

“This is just the beginning,” he said. “We are still working on the dashboard.”