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AVG Technologies targets the Canadian channel with help from Ingram Micro

Software company has goal to increase its Canadian business up to 10 per cent

AVG Technologies, perhaps best known for its free anti-virus software solutions, is expanding its presence in Canada and the reseller community with help from distributor Ingram Micro.

On Tuesday, the company announced an expanded distribution agreement with Ingram in both the U.S. and Canada, which will see AVG business-class security solutions offered to both resellers and the retail channels.

While many people are aware that AVG offers free anti-virus software, some may not be familiar with the company’s pay-for software solutions that are designed for business customers.

Bob Gagnon, vice-president of sales for AVG, said AVG’s corporate strategy is to lead with its free software product in order to build the company brand.

“More free (solutions) drives more pay,” Gagnon said. “We’ve always been known and will be known as the free company, so this will ultimately help drive our sales going forward. Our channel partners are able to use this and they’re the ones who are recommending us to their business customers.”

Gagnon also says that up until last year, the company had been directing business through its reseller portal. The company forged a distribution agreement with Ingram to provide partners with more flexibility when purchasing AVG products. The partnership with Ingram allows AVG to further expand its Canadian business and increase the number of resellers it works with by working with Ingram’s channel base.

“Working with Ingram gives our resellers, including VMRs (vertical market resellers) and VARs (value-added resellers) more flexibility in how they buy products from us,” Gagnon said. “This is a way to extend our business in Canada and to engage in other partnerships.”

Currently, AVG has about 6,000 resellers, partners and distributors worldwide. In Canada, there are about 1,800 resellers with plans to increase this. Today, between 80 to 90 per cent of AVG’s U.S. and Canadian business goes through channel partners, he added.

Besides Ingram, Gagnon said AVG also works with value-added distributors, however, he said most are based out in the U.S. That’s why Ingram plays an important role in helping to support AVG in the Canadian market right now. Right now, less than five per cent of AVG’s overall business comes from the Canadian market. This is a percentage that Gagnon says he’d like to see raised to 10 per cent.

With Ingram’s help and support, AVG is also extending its presence in the retail space at stores such as Future Shop and London Drugs, Gagnon said.

AVG has an Internet Security software solution, as well as an Antivirus Protection solution. Both of these are available in two editions for networking and Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS).

The Internet Security suite provides users with antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, identity theft protection and firewall capabilities, Gagnon said. The Network edition protects workstations and file servers and is available for U.S.$119.99 for a one-year subscription. The SBS edition is targeted towards Microsoft SBS networks and is available for $339.99 for a year. AVG’s Antivirus Protection Network edition is $79.99 for a year and the SBS edition is available for $247.99 for a one-year subscription.

Gagnon says partners receive aggressive margins that are aligned with what’s currently being offered in today’s industry.

“A basic reseller gets 20 per cent margin and if partners reach the $4,000 level over a 12-month period, they get 30 per cent margins,” Gagnon said. “If partners do $7,500 or more over a 12 month period, they get 40 per cent margin. We’ve made it easy for our partners to attain these goals and margins.”