When AVG's senior management decided to aggressively target the managed services market for its new cloud-based security solutions, they turned someone who understood the problems that MSPs face every day: an MSP himself.
Luke Walling, a former MSP and AVG partner, was brought in about three years ago to help set AVG's future channel. The result of that endeavor was released last month in AVG's CloudCare portal for MSPs.
Walling is now vice president of North America sales at AVG and spent time showcasing CloudCare to MSPs at ConnectWise's IT Nation conference in Orlando, Fla., this week.
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"What we've been is traditional endpoint security. CloudCare is our first step to reach customers that we want to reach and customers we lost," Walling said. "Especially recently, the shift to managed services and cloud has changed [security]. We had to create a product to support the channel first. With a move to recurring revenue, MSPs can create a billing model and a system for the way customers want to pay for [security]."
AVG is counting on its CloudCare portal to attract MSPs and cloud providers that previously viewed the company as consumer-centric, Walling said. AVG plans a formal integration with PSA platform companies ConnectWise and Autotask in the second quarter, which should begin to attract the number of partners it's seeking. Future partnerships with MSP platform companies are also likely, he added.
"We've spoken a great deal with Level Platforms and we have integration with LabTech and Kaseya on our traditional products," Walling said. "There's nothing on the road map yet for CloudCare, but partnerships are key to our growth."
In the meantime, AVG is offering CloudCare free to service providers until 2013 as a means to hook them in, Walling said.
"It's the old car dealer approach. Drive it now and no bill until February. We're letting them upload unlimited endpoints through the rest of 2012 and then we hope we'll have more to talk to them about in 2013," he said.
PUBLISHED NOV. 9, 2012