Partners Hope Avast-AVG Deal Will Spur Investments In Both Companies' Technology

After Avast Software said Thursday that it plans to acquire AVG, partners of the security vendors say they hope the move will kick-start investments in both companies' technology.

Avast Software, Prague, Czech Republic, intends to acquire Amsterdam-based AVG for $1.3 billion to "to gain scale, technological depth and geographical breadth" and allow it to "be in a position to take advantage of emerging growth opportunities in internet security," as well as organizational efficiencies, according to both companies.

That will be critical, as partners on both sides of the table brought up problems with the companies' software, with some saying they have moved away from partnering with one or the other in recent months.

[Related: Avast Strikes Deal To Acquire AVG For $1.3B]

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Rick Bennett, service manager at LaVale, Md.-based Smart Choice Computer Solutions, which partners with Avast and AVG, said he has seen problems with both vendors' technology, although he said AVG CloudCare "seems to be doing really well with us." He said he hopes the quality of the technology at each company will increase as a result of the merger.

"I think it will be good for both," Bennett said. "I hope they come together and serve each other well when it comes to updates for Avast and AVG."

The acquisition is the latest example of turmoil in the anti-virus space. AVG has, in recent months, been looking to transform itself from its anti-virus roots toward a full platform player, adding remote monitoring and management capabilities and investing in adding features to its CloudCare security platform. The transformation mirrors that of other anti-virus companies, including Intel Security (formerly McAfee) and Symantec, which also have been emphasizing a platform-focused model.

Stephen Brooks, president of Penn Systems Group, an Edgemont, Pa.-based AVG partner, said he has been moving away from partnering with AVG recently because of issues with its technology, calling it a "question of core competency." Brooks said he hopes industry consolidation examples, like this one, help drive better technology development from all sides.

"I hope we continue to see development and better awareness as to what the potential threats are and how we can identify and mitigate on somewhat of a real-time basis. If consolidation offers more R&D, then that's probably a good thing. It's all about how much money they're putting into this," Brooks said.

Sam Coyl, president and CEO of Harrisburg, Pa.-based AVG partner Netrepid, said he is "excited" about the acquisition and the potential it offers AVG.

"We are looking forward to seeing the acquisition unfold. We are still very excited about our partnership with AVG and we expect that to continue with the same success we have experienced in the past," Coyl said in an email to CRN.

In an email to CRN, an AVG spokesperson said there are "no changes in regard to channel partners" or to product lines planned at this time.

"Avast greatly values the partnerships AVG has built," the spokesperson said in an email to CRN. "It is business as usual until we have a chance to evaluate all products. We value our partners and business customers and will continue to invest in new products that keep their business safe."