Security vendor AVG Technologies has announced the first step in its integration of the newly-acquired Managed Workplace with its CloudCare managed service, giving its partners a single management dashboard for both products. It acquired Managed Workplace last June, when it purchased Ottawa-based Level Platforms.
Aimed at small and medium businesses, CloudCare allows partners to remotely administer their customers’ systems through AVG’s cloud without any investment in infrastructure. From a browser, the CloudCare dashboard lets the partner deploy AVG products to customer systems, monitor them, receive alerts, and provide remote support to the systems through AVG’s Remote IT tool. The AVG AntiVirus and Content Filtering services come with a 30 day free trial to let prospective customers kick the tires before they sign up; the partner can simply flip a switch to convert them to paid subscriptions, or disable them equally easily.
The CloudCare Service Module for Managed Workplace gives Managed Workplace MSPs a single view of their clients’ infrastructures, including the security status of each machine. It lets resellers scan systems for infections and update AVG Anti-Virus definitions on devices, creating an opportunity for a remediation service offering. The product can also aggregate threat information from several customers, or across multiple sites for one customer, to present a view of the overall customer landscape.
For partners, use of the CloudCare infrastructure is free, said Mike Foreman, AVG’s GM, SMB. AVG only begins charging the partner for usage of the services, at what Foreman calls a trade price, after the trial period. Partners had told AVG that they wanted the billing relationship with the client, so it built in an integrated billing engine to help partners track their clients’ usage. The engine integrates with partners’ accounting systems, and allows them to include CloudCare in bundles of services, or bill it separately.
The CloudCare alerting system provides sales opportunities for partners, Foreman said; they can report to the client on systems without anti-virus software or content filtering.
“(With CloudCare), partners can dip their toes into managed services with no risk,” said AVG’s VP of sales and operations, Luke Walling, adding that if they then find their customers are interested in broader services, they can add Managed Workplace; for Managed Workspace partners, it’s easy to add CloudCare.
Managed Workplace licensing currently starts at $2400 per year, and is usage-based, but Walling said the company is looking at revising and simplifying its pricing. The product provides an agentless mechanism for monitoring anything with an IP address. Its audit function allows the partner to put a computer onsite and do a complete audit of the infrastructure, at no cost, to demonstrate the value of a subscription to the prospective customer.
With the breadth of features in Managed Workplace, CloudCare partners will need to do some learning, said Walling, but the technical account management team provides onboarding, tech enablement, and quarterly best practice reviews to help.
“Partners are vital in showing value to customers,” said Foreman. “AVG enables the partners, and helps them show value to the SMB.”