AVG moves channel to cloud model
Security software vendor AVG is moving its channel and sales model entirely into a cloud-based offering that it claims helps partners upsell additional services and retain customer loyalty.
Upgrade to the new CloudCare platform is initially free till the end of the year, as a way for both partners and customers to test out the new service. As Mike Foreman, general manager, SMB at AVG (pictured) explains, the main difference is that customers move to a true pay as you go (PAYG) monthly licence and partners can gain additional margin through aggregated licence volumes. The platform will also allow partners to “deliver extra value added services,” he adds.
AVG partners will also have complete control on pricing and billing of the service, which will initially offer antivirus and end-point content filtering. CloudCare will offer an integrated remote desktop control and system monitoring tool for common issues such as low disk capacity, backup failures and high processor utilisation to alert partners to sales opportunities for related services or hardware.
Although AVG has less than 10 percent of the antivirus market share, Foreman believes that its aggressive push into cloud is a clear differentiator. As the vendor adds more services onto CloudCare he believes the stickiness of the service will help it win new customers and also stop churn.
Although touted as “cloud”, the service still uses an on device “agent” to anchor service delivery and AVG is working with MSP software vendors such as Kaseya and Autotask to allow its cloud hosted management platform to coincide and potentially integrate with common MSP helpdesk functions.
Channel Pro comment
The antivirus sector has been shaken up over the last few years by vendors like AVAST, AVG and Avira that have effectively offered “good enough” protection for free. The incumbents in this sector namely Symantec and McAfee (now part of Intel) have re-focused on the enterprise and almost given up on fighting in the smaller SMB / soho sector. AVG has to be commended for trying to prise market share out of a segment that is all about churn.
However, a monthly PAYG model means that if AVG has a “bad version” or vulnerabilities like Sophos has experienced recently, the lack of commitment makes it easier for customers to jump ship. However, the risk vs. reward for both vendor and partner makes the CloudCare concept definitely one to watch.