Backup and security software distributor AVG (AU/NZ) is considering taking on a country manager for New Zealand.
An appointment would follow an intake of about ten new staff members over the last year at the distributor's Melbourne headquarters.
In November AVG also promoted Liz Cole to a newly created position focused on training and “on-boarding” resellers to add to its partner ecosystem, currently numbering around 4,000 region wide, with about 350 active resellers in New Zealand.
But the distributor, which sells Carbonite backup software alongside anti-virus products from its flagship vendor AVG, does not yet have feet on the ground on this side of the Tasman.
“At one stage 12 or 18 months ago we were going to put in a country manager [into New Zealand] but that didn’t work out,” says Peter Cameron, AVG AU/NZ’s managing director. “I still think having a country manager can add value to the business...we’re talking to some people, but we’re not advertising the position now, just keeping our eyes and ears open.”
Cameron says New Zealand shows a higher per-capita usage of AVG’s free antivirus software than in Australia, which he believs is helping build momentum for its SMB-focused products.
“That free product range creates a community of goodwill for us,” he says. “We do get a lot of upsell from free users that use the product at home and want to a look at that for their business.”
Cameron says 60 percent to 70 percent of AVG New Zealand turnover is in business sales, led by its resellers. He also says the software competes on price and customer service, which the distributor provides on behalf of AVG with extended business hours.
While the distributor, a division of Avalanche Technology Group which Cameron founded, is closely associated with AVG, the company is wants to “broaden its reach” with Carbonite, and an internet security product and service called shouldichangemypassword.com.
It also has plans to formalise a startup capital process that Avalanche has been developing over the past few years and which will look for potential investment opportunities among its AVG resellers and other tech businesses. Cameron says he believes there is a tech gold rush to tap into on both sides of the Tasman, driven by e-commerce and mobile devices. The company is in discussion with at least one Auckland-based start up now.
Meanwhile, the distributor will continue to develop its AVG business, with six reseller events planned for 2012, including an introduction “early in the New Year” of Michael McKinnon, who was named technology advisor to replace the outgoing Lloyd Borett.