AVG's New Tech Leader Puts Faith in the Channel
Similar to many companies in the security space, AVG Technologies has two distinct routes to market. One is consumer-focused in the form of a business unit that primarily offers anti-virus software, while the Business Division of AVG Technologies focuses mainly on corporate customers via partnerships with the channel.
As the new general manager of the business division of AVG Technologies, Fred Gerritse said that going into 2016, the company's partners should look for the company to enable more sophisticated approaches to security that can be delivered as a managed service. For years now, AVG Technologies has provided both security software and a managed services platform through which partners can deliver a broad range of IT management services.
As security continues to get more complex, Gerritse said it's apparent that channel partners need more help from vendors such as AVG Technologies to deliver both managed security and IT services based on the remote management and monitoring (RMM) capabilities built into the company's MSP platform. Gerritse said AVG Technologies isn't quite ready to reveal what it has in mind but that the end goal is to make it easier for the company's partners to deliver a robust set of services more profitably.
Gerritse clearly has an appreciation for what the channel can do for AVG Technologies. Prior to joining AVG, Gerritse was managing director for services strategy and operations at Cisco. He was also director of partner organization and commercial business for the Netherlands and Northern Europe at Cisco. Before that, he held leadership roles at Copaco, one of the largest ICT distributors in the Netherlands, and Compaq.
As the threats that managed security service providers (MSSPs) are being asked to mitigate become more sophisticated, it's clear that the cost of delivering security services is rising. For example, investments in big data analytics frameworks that are needed to proactively identify vulnerabilities and threats will be substantial. Gerritse noted that via its RMM framework AVG is in a better position than most other security vendors to deliver higher-value services that channel partners can resell along with their existing IT management services.
At this point, every solution provider needs to figure out how they will better address security issues going forward. The simple fact is that customers are not implementing new IT projects unless they are assured that the security of that endeavor has been addressed. Naturally, there's no such thing as "perfect security." But there are clearly ways not only to proactively contain more potential threats, but also to deliver those services in a way that makes them simpler to consume.
Of course, how much customers will be willing to pay extra for those security services remains to be seen. But the one thing that is for certain is that solution providers that can't address security will see the number of opportunities in which they might be invited to participate starting to decline materially.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.