We had the pleasure of chatting with Jason Roper from Ascend Business Technology about his experience of offering managed services through Avast CloudCare. 

Ascend Business Technology is a managed service provider (MSP) and integrator who focus on providing flexible and customised solutions for companies who do not have their own in-house IT. 

They also service businesses in the 100 seat tier who have their own IT managers.

Ascend Business Technology would manage the projects and make recommendations for them, such as infrastructure and backup needs and even office365 licenses.

Ascend Business Technology’s accommodating approach is what set them apart from other MSPs, who only offer a per device, fix pricing plan.

Q1: How has Avast CloudCare benefited your business?

We were already using the end-point protection suite from Avast prior to CloudCare. 

The great thing about the CloudCare platform is that we find it a lot easier to know what is going on in the end users’ devices.  We can configure email alerts, so we get notified when someone goes to malicious websites.

Recently, one of our clients got redirected to a malicious google impersonator site because they typed an extra “o” in the address bar and Avast blocked it.

Another example was that we had someone who tried to run a password review on a client’s computer. 

CloudCare allowed us to spot the end user who had the terrible password and helped us identified someone else was using their client’s account. 

We didn’t need to stop anything because Avast already stopped it. 

The major benefit of CloudCare is that we can react immediately versus in the past when we possibly would not even realise for days or weeks.

Q2: How is CloudCare compared to other Anti-virus (AV) products?

What we find with Avast compared to other AV products is that Avast is a lot better at picking up things that aren’t traditionally viruses like malware.  

To give you an example, we were using a competitor AV product three years ago, it ticked all the boxes except for the most important thing, which was stopping malicious software.

After that, we investigated a lot of AV products on the market, checked who was getting good reviews and Avast was up there. 

We went to a measure of getting a machine from our network and infected as many viruses as we could find and ran various AV products over the top of it. 

The result was that Avast found the most viruses.

Avast is so easy to install and manage, we have no regrets.

Q3: What are some of your most loved features that CloudCare offers?

We like the fact that we can log in to the console and it will tell us how many critical alerts and warnings we’ve got. 

It allows us to drill down to the individual client and set policies that pretty much work for everyone, and if required, we can overwrite the policies for the clients.

Having the remote-control app is quite handy, we use it when dealing with users who can’t follow instructions on the website.  We like that we can provide remote support through Avast.

The disk space alerting is quite handy as well.

Another thing that we like is the update and scanning agents that you can set per network. 

When you go to the cloud, everything has to talk to the cloud constantly. 

When you set up the update and scanning agents in CloudCare, you can still get the benefit of what in-house IT does; having a central agent on the network that is downloading updates and distributing to clients. 

Q4: What would you tell other service providers who were thinking of transitioning to provide managed services from Anti-Virus products?

We have been using Avast for 3 years and never had any major infections and intrusions with clients running on Avast. 

Their AV products have been very good at keeping on top of things. 

One of the typical things a tech is going to do when someone gets something is that you would worry that malware is running on top of it. 

Avast has always been able to pick up viruses and malware so we can clean it up. 

We saw CloudCare as a natural progression from the Avast endpoint protection suite so we can use one console to manage all of our clients, rather than one console per client.

Q5: What does the rest of 2018 look like for Ascend Business Technology?

For the rest of the year, we will be growing steadily. 

We grow our business mainly through WOM and have very loyal clients.

More and more IT companies go towards the managed service provider model.

We are offering that as part of our product suite but it is not something we insist on clients doing. 

Avast is our Anti-virus model of choice and it helps us to keep a good eye on our clients’ business and as a result, help them to be more productive. 

Q6: What are your thoughts on what MSPs need to focus on to ensure success?

Our mantra is always focused on the clients – to be a successful MSP you need to streamline your processes so you can service more clients with just as many technicians you currently have and make sure you are using the best application. 

There is no point running clients on free Anti-Virus products because if the machines get infected, you will need to send engineers out under your managed services model and you don’t get to charge them extra. 

You may as well spend a little money, so your clients don’t get to call you.

Q7: What are a few common things that your customers ask of you?

I get asked a lot around cloud technologies from my clients, what they should be doing and whether they should jump in.

My answer is always no, and I would recommend my clients to use the cloud that would benefit their businesses. 

They don’t need to decide to go cloud or not, because they can always adopt a hybrid approach.

Sometimes we get asked what they should do for websites since this is something Ascend Business Technology is not specialised in. We would make recommendations and referrals for them. 

Other questions include; what should they do for their phone systems and what Microsoft office365 plan do they we need and so on. We do get asked a wide range of questions and generally, clients just want us to manage their IT so they can get on with the rest of their business.

CloudCare Testimonial with Ascend Business Technology on Wednesday, 15th August 2018 3:00pm. 

If you have any comments about this blog piece, comment below. If you have any questions for Avast CloudCare, please contact the Synnex Cloud team at team@synnexcloud.com.au