AVG emphasizes that having a foot in two separate sectors helps partners drive their business, and notes that AVG’s requirement their channel account people be certified in Channel Management through CompTIA is one aspect of their commitment to being easy to work with.
CHICAGO – Slow, deliberate channel growth is pretty much standard practice for vendors with established channel businesses these days. AVG, which is in a somewhat unusual position in that they are both a security software vendor, and, through their acquisition in 2013 of Level Platforms, a RMM vendor, is bucking that trend. Their AVG Business unit, which runs the company’s commercial operations, is aggressively recruiting quality partners in both areas.
“We are open for business,” said Francois Daumard, AVG’s Vice President of Global Channel Sales, who is in attendance at CompTIA’s ChannelCon 15 event talking with prospective new partners. “We welcome any new partners, and hope they will be excited to look into AVG Business.”
Daumard said that in a North American security software market with a couple dozen players of note, and an RMM one of half a dozen, AVG sees beefing up its ranks with strong partners as helping to separate them from the pack.
“We want to be perceived as a key player,” he said. “Channel partners are our only route to market. They have a choice of vendors in very crowded markets. We don’t have a specific metric to reach in terms of recruitment, and we certainly don’t have a cap. We want to attract partners who are disappointed by our competition, or who want to beef up their mobility practice.”
Daumard emphasized that AVG is in a position to offer partners more than just the typical promises given to the channel.
“Partners have a choice, and when they evaluate one of 25 security vendors and 6 RMM vendors, while they look at the technology, the real key is how the vendors do business with them,” he said. “The vendor’s systems, simplicity, and people are all critical. More than ever today, it is the channel people from the vendors who make a real difference in the company’s ability to succeed in the channel.
Daumard said that AVG really ‘gets it’ about understanding the channel. Interestingly, he said that in growing their teams, and adding new internal people to work with partners, it is a requirement to have a background in channels somewhere else – or a background in the hospitality business.
“We know people with a hospitality background will treat channel partners well,” he said. “We can teach them the channel.”
AVG also emphasizes that having a foot in both the security and RMM camps makes it easier for their partners to work in, and be successful, in both security and managed services.
“What we want to do is bridge that gap,” he said. “We want to make sure our RMM partners deliver our security solution to their end customers, and we want our security partners to be able to use our RMM solutions to reach their customers as well. We don’t see it as a dichotomy. It’s being a one stop shop vendor for the channel.
“Managed services are a very important differentiator for us,” Daumard added. “We are an online security company, but we are much more than just a security company.”
Daumard said that for partners who are in both areas, AVG makes their life easier with a single account manager to handle both.
“The last thing partners want to deal with is two distinct sales people from the same company not talking to each other,” he said. “We have also revamped how we do our internal sales management. All of our internal sales people are channel account managers, and each of them now has to be CompTIA certified in Channel Management. Every new employee has to get this certification as well. We are making sure we are being perceived as extremely channel-friendly.”
Daumard said that the new 2016 Business Edition of their Internet security products will be available in October.
“The remote access capability has been enhanced, and the console has been improved,” he said.