Prague-based security vendor Avast Software has named Kevin Chapman the new chief of its global SMB business.
A 20-plus year IT industry veteran who served most recently in various channel-related roles at Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec Corp., Chapman succeeds Glenn Taylor, Avast’s senior vice president and chief of staff, who had been directing the company’s SMB unit on an interim basis since September.
Chapman, who’s official title is senior vice president and general manager for SMB, will report to Avast CEO Vince Steckler.
Avast purchased AVG Technologies in July for $1.3 billion. Chapman now oversees an SMB portfolio that combines AVG’s security and managed services solutions with Avast’s endpoint protection offerings. The company is hard at work integrating those products and eliminating areas of overlap, according to Taylor, who says Avast partners are eager to witness the results of those efforts.
“They’re looking forward to seeing how we can leverage the differentiating features from our remote monitoring in our security products, and how we can carry the security story into our RMM products,” he says, adding that Avast will publish a roadmap with rollout timing for its updated and unified solution roster early in 2017. The company will decide what brand or combination of brands that software lineup will utilize towards the beginning of next year too.
“It’s still a work in progress,” Taylor says of the process that will ultimately decide whether Avast phases out the AVG name. “There’s just a lot of different elements to that and we want to make it the very best possible brand moving forward.”
Integrating the Avast and AVG partner programs remains an ongoing project as well.
“It’s clear we need to bring those things into harmony and have one coherent [program] going forward,” says Taylor, who did not specify when Avast would complete that undertaking.
Chapman, who plans to spend a significant portion of the next few months collecting feedback from partners on their likes and dislikes, says that making Avast an easier company to go to market with will be one of his early priorities.
“We’re going to be working on processes, streamlining them, [and] bringing them together so there’s not lots of different types,” he explains. “I think if we get that right our channel will be in great shape and we’ll be in great shape because of it.”
Simplifying processes was also a key part of the strategy that Fred Gerritse, general manager of AVG’s business sales and channel organization, was pursuing before the Avast acquisition. Gerritse, who stepped down from his former post in September, was hired roughly a year ago to help AVG turnaround an SMB business delivering disappointing returns.