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Webroot Software and Email Systems have merged to form a security software-as-a-service provider, capable of delivering e-mail archiving, encryption, anti-spam and anti-phishing services in an on-demand model.

Webroot, traditionally an on-premises security software provider, and Email Systems, a SAAS security provider, will continue to run in their respective markets, although Webroot will eventually take on all support and functions for Email Systems’ customers and offerings. Webroot will now offer e-mail and Web management, protection and compliance services integrated with its Webroot AntiSpyware Corporate Edition with AntiVirus end-point protection suite. Both companies reiterated their commitment to channel partners, particularly in the SMB (small and midsize business) space.

“The new organization will incorporate the management, sales, marketing and technical teams of our two companies to create a true global partnership,” said Mike Irwin, chief operating officer of Webroot, in a statement. “Our customers will now be able to easily engage a multilayered security strategy that includes industry-leading end-point and SAAS-based perimeter security in a unique and integrated package. Additionally, it will all be offered through our combined global network of channel partners.”

IDC expects that worldwide spending on hosted messaging security services, which totaled $300 million in 2006, to reach $1.4 billion by 2011.