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Avast, AVG Launch Unified Endpoint Security Portfolio for MSPs, SMBs

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Sean Sykes

Avast, roughly 12 months after acquiring AVG Technologies, has taken the two companies' individual anti-virus products and unified them into a single code base for MSPs and SMB customers. The new offering, known as the Avast Business solutions portfolio, is designed to "secure, simplify and optimize security" for SMB customers.

This is more than an anti-virus strategy. There are new developments involving MSP software (the former AVG Managed Workplace), cloud-oriented management (the former AVG CloudCare) and Avast's overall SMB partner program.

The Avast Business solutions portfolio includes three tiers of endpoint protection solutions for either Windows or Mac operating systems.

  • Avast Business Antivirus: This endpoint protection solution includes a four-shield, real-time security defense with file, email, web and behavior shields, and new anti-spam, smart scan, sandbox, real site, WiFi Inspector features and Avast’s proprietary CyberCapture technology.
  • Avast Business Antivirus Pro: Includes all features of Avast Business Antivirus plus data protection services to secure Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint servers, Software Updater for third-party software updates and Data Shredder to permanently delete files.
  • Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus: Includes all features of Avast Business Antivirus Pro plus identity protection for WiFi connections and password management to keep employees safe.

There are easy upgrade paths to the new products, along with a new partner portal to help MSPs and resellers manage their Avast deployments, Managing Director Sean Sykes tells ChannelE2E.

MSP and Cloud Management

The company is also offering the Avast Business Management Console as a complement to the endpoint solutions, via cloud or on-premise. The centralized console helps managers ensure that all endpoints are secure and up to date. If you are a Pro Plus customer, you might want to use Avast Business Managed Workplace instead as it offers the option of Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus, integrated right into the Managed Workplace remote monitoring and management platform. The latest version also includes site security assessment to easily identify, communicate, and resolve security risks. You could also use Avast Business CloudCare, the web-based security portal gives you the ability to remotely manage multiple networks from a central platform and deliver subscription-based security services.

Most of the new security and integrated management offerings will debut immediately or within the next few weeks, a spokesperson says.

Avast Partner Program

The Avast Business portfolio also now includes a consolidated channel of services for the company’s combined base of Avast and AVG global channel partners.

  • Avast Business Global Channel Partner Program: Replaces the existing Avast and AVG partner program, offering new resources, training and rewards to enable profitable growth.
  • Avast Business Partner Portal with Integrated Billing and Payment: Provides a dedicated portal with one integrated billing and payment platform to process product orders, invoices and payments. The new portal consolidates previous portals and resources, providing partners a main gateway to Avast Business products, billing and payment, sales and marketing assets, training and support.
  • Avast Business Partner Certification Program: Replaces the existing Avast and AVG certification programs and delivers the essential skills and knowledge to effectively secure clients’ IT environments, leverage the new product portfolio and accelerate channel business. Avast and AVG certified partners are automatically migrated to the new certification program and have one full year to certify.

Intense Competition

No doubt, Avast and the former AVG each have a huge installed base of endpoint protection products. But competition will be particularly fierce in the MSP market -- where entrenched rivals and recent upstarts are working hard to engage partners.

To wit, the ConnectWise IT Nation 2017 conference in November should reveal several major third-party surprises in the security sector, ChannelE2E believes. Moreover, next-generation players like Cylance are building out MSP- and MSSP-centric partner practices.

Still, Avast appears to be making progress with its own strategy. The company vowed to move quickly after the AVG buyout -- promising to unify product code bases and management platforms along the way. Today's announcements, if they work as advertised, appear to fulfill those promises.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.