When Mike Foreman was chosen to lead the small business group at AVG Technologies, he was quick to tap into his own experience as a small business owner, having managed and sold two IT businesses before joining AVG. As a former reseller, he was also determined to create products and programs that work for both the partners and SMB customers.
That was the mindset that created AVG CloudCare, a cloud-based administration platform that allows remote deployment and management of IT and security services for SMBs at an affordable price. Since its launch six months ago in October 2012 at the SMB Nation Fall Conference, AVG CloudCare has been adopted by more than 1,000 channel partners serving thousands of small businesses in the US, UK and Ireland.
“One of the first things we did was ask our channel for feedback while the product was in its initial development phase, and we’ve relied on that feedback loop ever since to fine tune the product and evolve our roadmap,” said Foreman, General Manager SMB for AVG Technologies. “You might say that since its inception, AVG CloudCare was designed to be an ongoing work in progress – continually improving.”
There have been a series of product releases since October 2012, when the AVG CloudCare IT administrative platform with the award-winning AVG AntiVirus technology and AVG Content Filtering services was introduced commercially. In early 2013, AVG introduced the commercial edition of AVG Remote IT, an essential - and free – capability that allows SMBs and reseller partners to remotely access and deploy services, and trouble-shoot a wide range of issues on client devices. In March 2013, AVG added to the versatility of the service with the launch of AVG Email Security Services to expand protection to establish safer, more efficient, and spam-free business emails.
It’s the channel feedback and adoption that Foreman also credits with AVG winning five SMB Channel-related awards during the past six months, including SMB Nation’s 2012 Hot Shot Award for Security and the ASCII Group’s Esteemed Noble Partner Award.
Partner input has helped both prioritize the features and the pace of improvements. For example, remote mobile and tablet device management consistently has ranked as a top request*. The latest version of AVG CloudCare, formally announced today, includes a new iOS administrative console that allows management of AVG CloudCare via an iPhone or iPad– helping IT providers provide faster response time to their customers. This is the first of many mobile applications on the roadmap planned for AVG CloudCare.
“Using the new iOS app I was able to view all my customers devices and to actively manage those devices right from my iPhone as if I was using the web interface,” said AVG partner, Dwayne Smith, Executive Director, Vivid Clouds Limited in the UK. “This makes working on the go so much easier and will prove to be a valuable tool for partners in the day to day management of their customers accounts.”
Other new and improved features in the latest release of AVG CloudCare include scheduled reporting, improved sales alerts, enhanced policy templates, and customizable support pages.
In addition, AVG has launched the AVG CloudCare Community, a new web forum exclusively for AVG CloudCare partners –and another vehicle for AVG partners to communicated directly with AVG and provide their input.