Security software-maker Avast, which acquired AVG for $1.3 billion a year ago, on Wednesday introduced a consolidated product set and a new global partner program that offers new resources, training and rewards.
Avast also is rolling out a dedicated partner portal with one integrated billing and payment platform to process product orders, invoices and payments; and a new partner certification program that replaces the existing Avast and AVG certification programs, and delivers the “essential skills and knowledge to effectively secure clients’ IT environments, leverage the new product portfolio and accelerate channel business,” according to the company. Avast-and AVG-certified partners are automatically migrated to the new program and have one full year to certify.
Sean Sykes, Avast Business’ managing director, tells Channel Partners the vision behind the new Avast Business portfolio has been “providing one unified set of security solutions that deliver advanced security protection with simplified and customized options for small and medium sized businesses, as well as new efficiencies for the channel.”
“To support this vision we have responded with new endpoint protection and managed service solutions that provide our most advanced business protection to date against ransomware, phishing and other persistent cyber threats,” he said. “We have also introduced new technology and a range of features for protecting devices, data and identities such as our proprietary CyberCapture technology to identify even more quickly whether unknown files are harmful, our password manager to make passwords more secure and easier to manage, and Wi-Fi inspector to actively scan networks for vulnerable devices and identify weak Wi-Fi passwords.”
The portfolio includes three tiers of endpoint protection offerings for either Windows or Mac operating systems with an optional management console available in the cloud or on-premises, and the company’s managed services platforms, Managed Workplace and CloudCare.
“One good example of partners leveraging the portfolio and channel program is with our ‘trusted network’ concept for Managed Workplace,” Sykes said. “Partners can manage IT services for their customers and provide endpoint security in one integrated seamless solution. Advanced features in Managed Workplace allow the partner to establish site policies that automatically install the latest Avast endpoint protection and patch any new devices that connect to the network. In addition, our partners do not have to worry about license availability stopping this process as all newly installed devices are tracked and any excess deployment over current licensing is trued-up each month. This lowers administrative costs for the partners while providing a consistent superior level of protection.”
The new portfolio has been influenced by both direct partner feedback and “shifts we have seen in the market that indicate a more specialized and simplified approach is needed to securing SMBs,” he said.
“We believe channel partners also require a new approach — one that grows their share of revenue and secures their customers’ IT environments, but also automates their daily work of implementing, managing and maintaining security services,” Sykes said. “We also see the growing need to educate SMB clients about security risks and provide ongoing training that is easy to consume and apply.”