AVG CloudCare: 5 Cool Features For Remote Virus Protection10:15 AM EST Wed. Jun. 12, 2013
One of the best things about AVG's CloudCare for resellers is that it requires no up-front investment. The cloud-based service for virus protection, content filtering, email security and remote administration is free until customers start paying for it. Then, pricing starts at around a buck a month for AVG's antivirus protection with a choice of monthly or yearly billing.
The AVG user interface is about as simple as they come. To add customers, diagnose a service call, push updates, remotely administer client machines or perform any of number of other services, the managed service provider starts with the same URL -- cloudcare.avg.com -- and sees a login screen like the one shown here. Access to particular features and data can be tied to user level, enabling some users to see and repair critical alerts while restricting their ability to add or delete users, for example.
From the Dashboard view, service providers can get a quick view of what's happening for each of their managed accounts. Stored information permits CloudCare to display trends over time and help resellers suggest preventative measures or avert pending disasters. Customers can tailor the default layout and widgets displayed to suit a particular need or customer type. This particular Dashboard contains a Tools widget in the lower right-hand corner for quick access to common administrative functions.
Acting as a to-do list for the quick-response team, the Alerts screen displays warnings of various degrees across single or multiple managed accounts, if desired. CloudCare's fully customizable alert system enables service providers to create their own set of thresholds for memory and hard drive utilization, Windows service levels, transmittal of credit card numbers or other sensitive data, application installations and removals and other criteria. Alerts are also sent via email or SMS for quick response. There's also a complete reporting system that can be brandished with the service provider's own logo and branding and delivered to client email addresses.
Like any antivirus solution, CloudCare requires some files be executed locally. But unlike many others, the AVG solution facilitates file distribution, and it can package multiple protection functions into a single executable or Windows MSI file for 32- or 64-bit architectures. Once prepared, installation files can be sent to clients as an email attachment or download link, or they can be push-installed remotely. The latter option requires an on-site PC be dedicated to the task. Existing AVG clients can convert their licenses to CloudCare. Customers also can be added as "partner users," able to add new users and devices within their company, as needed. Partners can customize their support page with logos and other branding, as well as support phone numbers and contact info.
AVG has organized numerous communities around CloudCare, including those specifically dedicated to AVG's remote-control and service tools; anti-virus definitions, treatments, installation procedures and policies; and partner forums for alerting, invoicing and reporting practices as well as other general topics.