Antivirus software firm, ESET, is calling on resellers to join it at the "ground floor" as it aggressively pushes for market share with generous margins and a comprehensive partner program.

The Slovakian headquartered digital protection company, which has 135 million users worldwide, has appointed Blake Shave as Australian channel manager to oversee the roll out of its new partner program.

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ESET, which was founded in Bratislava in 1992 after two young programmers discovered one of the first computer viruses, currently has 1.4-1.9 per cent of the Australian market, 15 per cent in New Zealand and 10 per cent worldwide.

Shave, who has more than 10 years experience in the Australian channel, said his mandate was to develop a strategic sales plan to on board the resellers.

"We would like to significantly ramp up our market share and we have got a target to double our market share in the next 12 months" he said. "It's a very aggressive goal that we are tracking against."

Management system

Shave said ESET's renewal protection was often the most painful issue for a reseller. But one that ESET had solved.

"The actual physical product response is really good," he said. "One of the bug bears that we address, which is key, is around our renewable protection program which really resonates with our resellers.

"So what particularly frustrates them is that through other vendors they get the first bite of the apple in selling the software, then the renewable.

"We have a comprehensive management system behind where the license ran through, where it was purchased from, so for the life of that license the customer keeps renewing and we continue to send them back to our resellers and they continually get that annuity stream of revenue."

Shave said ESET also offered the best margins in the country for a reseller (35-60 per cent).

"There is a big appetite for the ESET product out there, having something that is fundamentally lightweight and easy to deploy. The brake fix on it is also really low," he said. "Those are the things that are grabbing the resellers attention."

Shave said ESET had a full gamut of products that started from consumer based products, all the way through to enterprise.

"So our product set can speak to pretty well every reseller," he said. "It's not that we want to take a shotgun approach to the market either. We want to be targeted in the type of partners that we bring on board.

"But it's speaking to those general channel tiers, so we are talking particularly to retail for those consumer oriented products and the small resellers, and also then those midmarket products and small business products are really key for growing their business portfolio, as well as the government and enterprise.

"However, our main focus is on distributors, VARS, online and offline retailers and MSP partners."

Strategic partners

ESET country manager, Florin Vasile, said the company now had 40 Australian partners. "ProOne sold $800,000 worth of our product in the first seven months. "That is a big bell for the resellers. they are very nice figures. Now is the moment to be on the ground floor."

ESET, which has 800 employees, has achieved a record of consecutive Virus Bulletin 100 awards for its NOD32 technology and and claims to have never missed a single "In-the-Wild" worm or virus since the inception of independent testing in 1998.

Vasile said the most important aspect to the reseller was ESET's market share. "It is 1.4-1.9 per cent in Australia -- the worldwide market share is around 10 per cent so there is plenty of room to grow.

"We have 15 per cent in New Zealand, so now is the moment for the resellers to join us because it's totally different when you join a vendor that has a stable market share and there is no room to grow. "We expect to grow around nine per cent in the next three or four years.

Vasile said 2013 was about laying the foundation after opening in Sydney where it now has seven staff. "We have done a very good job so far, but we had to build the foundation," he said. "Since July we have been doing that with our new office but it was not so easy to do.

"This year we will be focused on sales and we want to achieve 10 per cent market share. So far our new partners have really performed in terms of numbers and sales. All the figures were amazing."