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Webroot Software, maker of the anti-spyware solution Spy Sweeper, has tapped distributor Ingram Micro to extend its reach and channel abilities to meet a growing demand, especially in the small and midsize business arena, executives said.

The Ingram arrangement is designed to take some heat off Webroot’s limited fulfillment camp, extend the company’s reach to an additional 4,000 partners and deliver more channel support to its cadre of 400 VARs, said Vinay Goel, Webroot’s vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“At this point demand is beyond what we can achieve on our own and we want to make sure we capitalize on this moment,” Goel said. “Attacking it with 4,000 VARs is attractive.”

“From a logistics perspective, the burden—placing orders, supporting sales, etc.—[was] getting to be too big for a company of our size,” he said, whereas Ingram Micro has “done this before. They have the systems and the back-end that can offload that burden from Webroot, allowing us to focus investments and sales processes to stay close to [the] customer.”

Click here to read a review of Spy Sweeper Enterprise 3.0.

Another consideration, Goel said, was the fact that the bulk of Webroot’s 400 VARs were already Ingram members.

The Boulder, Colo., vendor is counting on its channel to keep it in accounts and to grab new ones, despite the bundle barricade presented by Microsoft’s Vista release, which is expected to include an anti-spyware application of its own. Anti-virus software giants Symantec and McAfee are also expected to include anti-spyware applications in upcoming releases.

Webroot launched a formal channel program, Channel Edge, in February with 320 partners, and has since increased channel sales by 62 percent to nearly two-thirds of its revenue, the company reported. It is also working with a handful of OEMs and system builders, but most of its channel energy is being focused on VARs, the company said.

Webroot is on track to increase enterprise sales 400 percent by December, according to a recent company statement.

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