AVG Unveils CloudCare Antivirus Swap Program For Partners

Security software maker AVG is introducing a new program for channel partners that will offer its customers free antivirus service in exchange for replacing a competitive antivirus offering with AVG CloudCare.

CloudCare, AVG's new cloud-based security management platform designed for small businesses, was launched in November as part of the security vendor's strategy to build up its cloud presence and also court more managed service providers to its partner program. The company announced it has added more than 1,000 new solution providers to its worldwide reseller program since CloudCare's launch.

Now AVG is offering an incentive program for partners around CloudCare, which is free to download with a "pay-as-you-go" model. Customers that switch from a competing antivirus program, such as Kaspersky or Symantec software, to CloudCare will get free antivirus service from AVG in return.

[Related: AVG Targets Channel With New Cloud Platform, Streamlines SMB Security ]

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Luke Walling, vice president of North American sales at AVG, says the swap offer is only available through the channel. "We'll match whatever the client is using," Walling said. "If they're using a competing AV program for the next year, we'll pay for it for the whole year."

The offer will cover competing antivirus subscriptions through 2014, so if a customer recently purchased a two-year subscription, AVG will give the customer two full years of its CloudCare antivirus service. Qualifying small business customers must have at least five seats for a consumer-level antivirus program or one seat for an enterprise version, according to AVG. As a small business product, AVG says CloudCare is aimed at companies with 100 employers or fewer.

The offer is valid through March 31, but Walling said depending on the reception from partners, the offer could be extended. "We'll see how it goes," he said. "If the channel response is good, then we may extend it."

Walling said he hopes the program will attract new partners in the managed services and cloud markets. "CloudCare is a whole new SaaS direction for AVG," he said. "For partners, it's a step into managed security services, and as a cloud platform, it's easy to deploy and use."

Cloud-based software has emerged as a key area for security vendors like AVG. Walling said his company is getting more inquiries from channel partners about CloudCare and the cloud in general, which he sees as evidence that the cloud-based security market is maturing. "We are definitely seeing more demand for cloud apps and managed security platforms in the AVG channel," he said, "and it's being driven by both partners and their customers."