This year we are participating in more networking engagements and leveraging more partner relationships than ever as we seek to broaden the appeal of our simplified, centralized cloud services to a wider range of IT providers and the small business community at large. In this respect last week’s short visit to meet with the London media – where partner relationships provided a central focus – was a great example. I had the opportunity to talk to the Channel press about our new partner enablement program as well as work alongside our partner organizations BusinessZone.co.uk and Enterprise Nation to provide small business owners with useful facts and advice about easy ways to keep their data safe.
Recently we introduced a new partner enablement program to support sales of the AVG Managed Workplace RMM platform. In the UK this has meant creating a couple of new roles and realigning the work of existing team members at the UK head office in Lincoln. As part of this the sales team there has been joined by new faces from some of the industry’s biggest names. We therefore spent some time bringing CRN and Channel Pro up to speed with the program.
Support for our business-as-usual activity is this year also focused around partnerships – with groups that play a key role influencing small businesses to be precise. One of these is Enterprise Nation, an organization that has around 70,000 small business members across the UK. Enterprise Nation had invited me to join them as a guest panelist on a web chat talking to business owners about keeping on top of IT and Internet security.
Among the top things people wanted to know were: what are the biggest IT and Internet security risks facing small businesses today (for me the answer is mobility); whether businesses that rely on mobile are particularly at risk (yes, because their ability to sync with network files goes right to the heart of your company data); and are free Wi-Fi hotspots safe places to work (if there’s any doubt about authenticity then best to avoid).
As mentioned another of our business-as-usual partnerships is BusinessZone, a leading UK small business publication. Every year BusinessZone organizes The Pitch – a competition to find the nation’s top entrepreneurs. At the heart of the competition is a desire to provide help and support to small businesses. This closely matches our own belief that businesses should have access to the expert services and professional mentoring they need to help them grow and prosper and that is one of the reasons AVG has agreed to be lead sponsor of the contest in 2014.
We wanted to promote the top findings from our recent online backup research with a series of interviews on the radio. The aim was to highlight some of the key lessons in the research and invite listeners to visit our new free Keeping Your Data Safe eBook for more facts and advice. Dan Martin, editor of BusinessZone and founder of The Pitch, joined us to lend us his support as a small business expert and, of course, to give his competition a plug.
Let me conclude with some key points of interest. According to the eBook, 76% of network intrusions exploit weak or stolen credentials. And it seems there is an increasing chance that such intrusions might be as a result of attacks on mobile devices which are the focus of 71% of attacks. In the research as many as 1-in-3 businesses believe more than half their mobile data is business sensitive. And around half of respondents admitted to having lost mobile data.
What all this proves beyond doubt is that the smart small business should seriously consider partnering with a cloud storage provider right away because ultimately it is a far more secure way to keep your data safe than tidying your desk.
You can listen to a short clip from one of the interviews here.