AVG Takes a Bite out of Managing Apple

Luke Walling, vice president of SMB sales and operations for North America at AVG.

Luke Walling, vice president of SMB sales and operations for North America at AVG.

AVG has hooked into new management APIs from Apple, making the Managed Workplace RMM platform it acquired when it bought Ottawa-based Level Platform earlier this year capable of supporting Mac OS X and iOS devices across without the need for a software agent on the device.

As well as providing more seamless management for Mac computers, AVG says the update is the first in the industry to allow agentless management of iPhone and iPad devices with the same level of sophistication as has been available for Windows computers and Android mobile devices.

Luke Walling, vice president of sales and operations for SMB in North America at AVG, said the launch comes as the company’s MSP customers are looking to delve deeper into the Apple ecosystem, a byproduct of the impact of BYOD across SMB.

“Throughout our entire channel, there’s significant demand for the management of Apple products in general,” Walling said.

When the company bought Level Platforms earlier this year, one its main goals was to extend its ability to manage more mobile devices, and the release of an Apple-developed API for management with the launch of iOS 7 earlier this fall has made that a lot easier for RMM tools to pull off. Getting into the API allows Managed Workplace to manage iOS devices both inside and outside the firewall without the need for a software agent on the device, and enrollment is simplified to clicking a Web link on the device.

“We can do full network setting and configuration, security and privacy settings, passcode management, all of the energy saver controls, and software updates” while outside the corporate network, Walling said. And inside the corporate network, there are even more options.

No doubt part of Apple’s strategy to increase similarities between its OSes for mobile devices and computers, the company’s Mac notebooks and desktops can actually be managed off calls to the same API.

The new update for Managed Workplace is available now for on-premise users of the platform, and will roll out to the company’s cloud-based customers over the weekend.

It’s been a busy year for the AVG and Level Platforms combination, starting with AVG’s surprise purchase of the RMM stalwart earlier this year. Since then, AVG has brought together the traditional RMM functionality of Managed Workplace and its own upstart security services platform CloudCare, part of a broader attempt to combine the engineering and development teams of the two companies.

In addition to continuing to integrate operations and development efforts, Walling said AVG is “still knitting things together” to create “one unified AVG SMB support team.”