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ESET launches new channel programme with promise of margins and growth

By Anthony Caruana, Fri 27 Mar 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Security software vendor ESET has launched it's new AUSTAR ONE partner programme, offering margins as high as 45% with the opportunity for lots of growth as the brand moves from challenger to the mainstream in the Australian market.

The AUSTAR One programme is a four-tier programme with bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. At the entry bronze level, partners are able to earn 20% margins along with discount vouchers for their first three orders and other benefits.

ESET sells exclusively through its partner and channel network with some sales through their own website.

To make the move up to the platinum level, with a base 40% margin, partners will need to have certified sales consultants and engineers. Margins for silver, gold and platinum partners can be boosted by an additional 5% if they sell ESET products exclusively.

The higher margins are possible as partners are required to have some certified ESET sales consultants and engineers on staff. As a result, the level of direct support required from ESET's corporate resources are redcued.

Australian managing director Florin Vasile has a long history of C-Level positions with a speciality in distribution and channels. In the time he has lead the company, from when it first set up shop in Australia during 2013, he has seen the company's market share increase from under 1% of the local market to almost 3%.

Although those numbers are small, Vasile sees huge potential for growth.

"This is an opportunity that only ESET, in the AV security field can offer. We have a big market share worldwide - we are top five - we are the only vendor that can take a distributor up to 10% or even 15%," he says.

And he says the margins ESET offers to its partners are the highest amongst the world's top five AV vendors.

Vasile says that part of the attraction for resellers and distributors is ESET's reputation.

"Our products are the most awarded products. We have over ten consecutive years of Virus Bulletin Awards. And this is key - since 1998 when testing started we have never missed a virus in testing," says Vasile.

Another feature of ESET's program is their renewal tracking system. Vasile says while the challenge of making the initial sale rests with the channel, their renewal system makes it easy for businesses and consumers to continue their subscriptions so that partners receive ongoing annuity revenue.

Lukas Raska, the chief operating officer for ESET in the APAC regions says renewal rates for ESET's products are very high. As a private company, ESET doesn’t report renewal rates publicly but Raska did reveal some indicative numbers to us.

"In business products, it's never lower than 85%. For consumer products it's never lower than 65%-70%'" he says.

Sales and marketing, as well as technical, support is all on-shore from Sydney. Local staff numbers were doubled in January this year with a further doubling planned for later this year.

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