Channel technologies, MSP

AVG Managed Workplace 10: Behind the RMM Upgrade for MSPs

Ryan Vallee
Ryan Vallee

When AVG Technologies recently launched Managed Workplace 10, I sensed that the company was also starting to re-engage both the media and IT service providers in the MSP world. The latest evidence involves Ryan Vallee, product management lead for AVG Business.

During a product demonstration and interview last week, Vallee explained several RMM (remote monitoring and management) product enhancements to ChannelE2E. But he also pulled back the curtains a bit on AVG's channel strategy -- assuring MSPs and IT service providers that Managed Workplace 10 is a "have it your way" platform. In other words, partners can either procure Managed Workplace from distributors or directly from AVG.

Throughout the product demonstration, Vallee described how Managed Workplace 10 allowed MSPs to more effectively manage network infrastructure, servers, desktops and other types of devices -- especially within the context of service level agreements (SLAs). Based on a point-and-click walkthrough, Vallee said the customer onboarding process for MSPs is vastly improved -- allowing IT service providers to focus on business goals rather than manual processes and reactive tasks.

Admittedly, I'm not an MSP. You should never (emphasis: never) count on me to compare and contrast the technical underpinnings of RMM tools. Generally speaking, I focus more on each vendor's business strategy, key moves and momentum (or lack there of).

As many readers know, my business partner (Amy Katz) and I took a hiatus from IT channel media in late 2014 and early 2015. When we launched ChannelE2E in September 2015, vendors flooded us with interview requests. But AVG seemed to be in transition at the time. Executives were coming and going. And executive management conceded that the company's SMB software business wasn't performing as well as planned. I suspected Managed Workplace -- part of the Level Platforms buyout in 2013 -- was struggling a bit. AVG certainly had a reseller model and a partner program, but I figured the MSP market -- which often requires intensive handholding -- was a bit foreign to the company.

Still, there are signs of progress. Managed Workplace 10 has arrived. And Vallee is available for extensive interviews about the platform and the company's channel strategy. He's also a former MSP, which could give some partners peace of mind as they contemplate various RMM offerings in the market.

Managed Workplace 10 is available both in the cloud and on-premises. Watch for continued integrations and more synergies to emerge with AVG's anti-virus business. Also, a new certification program includes sales and go-to-market strategies for MSPs.

No doubt, competition looms around every corner. A lengthy list of RMM providers are in fast-growth mode, and quite a few also own PSA and/or remote control components that are deeply integrated into their software stacks.

Earlier today, Autotask launched its unified PSA-RMM offering. And yesterday, SolarWinds N-able described newly integrated remote control capabilities. Plus, ConnectWise is extending the conversation from device management to cloud management, promoting CloudConsole for Office 365 management today, and Microsoft Azure management sometime this summer.

Still, AVG is finally raising its own voice and talking more about its own MSP strategy. And that's a healthy development.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.