At the end of November Symantec announced they are shutting down their Backup Exec.cloud service, a decision that leaves thousands of resellers and MSPs around the world wondering how to offer a sustainable future for their online backup customers. For AVG and the Online Backup team Christmas has come early as we respond rapidly to make it as cost-effective as possible for Backup Exec.cloud resellers to migrate their customers over to our CloudCare Online Backup platform.
To this end we are this week launching a special promotion that offers the AVG CloudCare™ Online Backup cloud-based small business protection platform free to existing Backup Exec.cloud customers. This special offer will run till the end of April 2014. Affected customers will immediately receive alternative protection through AVG CloudCare with Online Backup as well as full credit for their remaining Backup Exec.cloud licenses. They will also benefit from access to an increased range of integrated services from AVG such as managed AntiVirus, Email Security and Content Filtering for all of their backed up endpoints.
The fate of BackupExec.cloud will have done little to improve the confidence of small businesses in online backup. Our recent research into small business backup revealed that at least half of all small business owners are suspicious of the cloud. They are also concerned about security. 50% in the UK and 64% in the US said security remains biggest concern when it comes to cloud backup. This is where is believe our reputation for providing reliable, uncomplicated security to small businesses will give our partners an advantage as we go into 2014.
But where AVG and our partners will have the biggest advantage next year is in being able to offer small businesses simplified management for all of their IT. AVG Online Backup is a key part of the AVG CloudCare proposition but on its own it is just another backup tool competing in a crowded online backup market. Where we really score is in the added value of having a complete service offering and an integrated portal that can deliver everything via the same single pane of glass.
One of the key areas for further development in 2014 will be mobile device management. According to our study most small businesses have not experienced mobile device data loss yet. Yet almost 1-in-5 (19%) UK businesses (1-in-3 or 30% in the US) say that more than half of their data is business sensitive. For a small business workforce mobile devices will clearly have some sensitive data on them. According to the study, when a device is lost or stolen the priority for many businesses (39% of UK businesses and 41% US) is having the ability to remotely wipe them to ensure data cannot be viewed by unauthorised third parties.
For many small businesses IT management has not kept pace with technology trends such as BYOD. As the trusted IT providers for their small business customers, it’s this that makes the mobile management opportunity so such an exciting one for our partners.
So it’s shaping up to be a great Christmas for SMB’s but what do I want? As an owner of four very lively dogs there’s always plenty of clearing up to do. My choice for this year is therefore a robot vacuum cleaner – great for picking up dog hairs!