Spotlight by Mr Philip Griffiths
Today i spoke to Pete Johnson (UK Channel Manager) at Bullguard, and asked him how BullGuard stands out and how BullGuard can help independent re-sellers.
Tell us about BullGuard history and how it started
BullGuard was founded in 2002 by two Danish entrepreneurs Morten Lund and Theis Søndergaard. Their aim was to create an Internet Security product that included all the security features necessary to protect home users, without being complicated to use.
The first version of this flagship product, BullGuard Internet Security, was launched in June 2002. By 2009, BullGuard’s products had gained mass adoption around the world with Internet Security gaining particular prominence in the UK market.
Today BullGuard is a leading cybersecurity company with offices around the world including Silicon Valley. We are a global, privately-held company and our revenues have grown considerably since start up. In 2016 we acquired Dojo Labs, an Israeli start-up providing Internet of Things (IoT) security.
Our guiding principle remains the development of robust and reliable security software that is easy to use for an average user. Because of this exclusive focus, we have developed a unique and market-leading position.
The channel is also very important to us and as such we have developed an industry-leading partner programme that provides extensive support, delivers healthy margins and offers compelling financial incentives.
What products and services do you offer?
Our core offerings are BullGuard Premium Protection, BullGuard Internet Security and BullGuard Antivirus. Premium Protection provides next-gen malware protection with identity protection as a central component. This protects customers’ personal data such as bank account numbers, card details and so on. For instance when a user provides the information they want to protect, Premium Protection then scans the Internet, including the dark web, for this data. If it is hacked from somewhere and hackers either attempt to sell it or, for instance, try to use stolen card details to make online purchases this is immediately detected. The user receives an instant alert via SMS or email and also advice on what steps to take to safeguard themselves.
Our products are always evolving and we add in new features as the threat landscape develops. For instance, we recently added a Home Network Scanner into Premium Protection which scans a home Wi-Fi network and highlights vulnerabilities and potential points of entry for hackers.
BullGuard Internet Security provides leading malware protection alongside other components such as a layered firewall, parental controls, PC Tune Up, a game booster and cloud integrated backup, all of which are included in Premium Protection too. BullGuard Antivirus delivers next-gen anti-malware protection to safeguard against all types of malware including ransomware and phishing campaigns.
You won the 2018 PCR Award, how does that make you feel and what does it mean to you?
It’s a great accolade and testament to our endeavours in providing the highest levels of protection and support for our customers. Our mission is to provide best in class protection and continuously improve our products to achieve this.
Receiving this industry award, voted for by industry experts and peers, is extremely gratifying. It recognises that our efforts to transform from a traditional consumer AV player to a cybersecurity leader have been a success.
We’re proud to offer a 100% protection rate against both zero-day attacks and widespread malware. We also offer unrivalled customer service to end-users backed by an excellent track record of customer satisfaction and a strong and compelling partner programme. The award is recognition of this and as such is very important to us.
Why would you say there has been an increased popularity in security products?
There is greater awareness of the threats posed by cyber thieves. Large scale hacks such as Experian, in which millions of customer records were stolen, have penetrated the public consciousness. Last year’s WannaCry ransomware attack, which hit several NHS organisations also raised awareness.
Phishing campaigns have become a fact of cyber life and many people recognise this. The media also frequently covers the devastating effects of identity theft often focusing on individual lives, which tends to hammer home the message about cybercrime. Furthermore, there is increasing awareness about the dangers posed by insecure IoT devices for the home.
What makes your products different?
Our products stand out because they do what they say, are simple to deploy and use and above all, protect consumers.
Last year our next-gen antimalware engine, which consists of three layers of protection, won four awards for the strength of its protection from independent testing labs.
These awards ranged from the Gold Malware Protection Award to the 100% Malware Detection Award. In fact, we typically do better than many other security software brands. This is because we never stand still. We are always developing our products to not only reflect the ever-changing cyber landscape but also to stay one step ahead.
What is the revenue share and how can people benefit from it?
BullGuard enjoys the highest customer renewal rates in the industry, with partners typically experiencing up to 85% of their customers renewing their BullGuard licence each year.
One of the reasons we won the 2018 PCR Award was because of our ‘Advantage programme’ for channel partners which rewards their commitment to the BullGuard product portfolio with a 25% share of online revenue from all renewals for the life of the product.
What are your future plans?
We will continue to evolve our core products to address changes in the cybercrime landscape. We will, and do, always endeavour to ensure our customers have the best and most innovative protection against malware, whatever form it takes.
In the near future this is most likely to be blended threats, that is, a combination of worms, Trojan, virus and other kinds of malware. E-mail exploits and social engineering are also going to develop even further. We will most certainly concentrate on protecting against these new types of threats.
That said a large slice of the future security landscape will also focus on IoT devices. In 2017 we saw a 140% increase in IoT botnet controllers from the previous year, and these numbers are expected to increase. As such the threats to smart connected devices will most certainly grow. As a consequence, this will be a key area of BullGuard’s focus.
What distributors are your goods available at?
If someone wanted Point of sales materials, who would they contact?
POS can be requested via: firstname.lastname@example.org and is usually dispatched the next day.
If someone is having an issue, and the distributor could not help how would they contact you?
If it is technical query, resellers can email email@example.com and receive a reply usually within 15 minutes of receipt of an email. For any other questions, BullGuard’s channel managers are always on hand to assist.
How can you help resellers (POS)?
In addition to BullGuard’s industry-leading revenue share from all online product renewals, BullGuard provides the support of a dedicated channel manager, POS material and a 24/7 365 day a week customer support online chat.
How do you find Tech for Techs is helping the industry?
Tech for Techs is an innovative and important service for the channel. Its independent review of technologies help resellers cut through the clutter and gain a good and objective understanding of new products within minutes. The focus on technologies that get to the heart of many resellers’ businesses, such as motherboards, cooling fans, memory upgrades, new keyboards and so on is invaluable for resellers. As such I’m sure it is very well received by its members.