Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus

May 10th, 2011

5 Questions with Christian Cantoro (Channel Sales Manager)

My first couple times meeting Chris Cantoro, I didn’t know what to think of him but, compared to the Czech personalities I most often work with, I initially thought he was ‘arrogant’. After a few months, however, I had the opportunity to work with him more on various projects,  and I discovered that what I’d initially (mis)perceived about him was actually more of an extroverted confidence. As a ‘foreigner’ myself in Czech lands, I started to suspect that his native Italy was somehow involved. ;-) The more I’ve gotten to know Chris, the more I’ve appreciated the worldly humor and relaxed energy he brings to our work environment. (BTW, the name ‘Cantoro’ means ‘Singer’ in English, and he can sing in five languages.) – Jason Mashak

Christian Cantoro (Channel Sales Manager)

1. The general public is often confused about how AVAST remains stable with a ‘freemium‘ model as our flagship product – can you explain how that works?

Everybody has a PC at home, in most cases more than one. We offer a FREE solution for domestic users as we believe everybody has the right to enjoy Internet and at the same time to be protected. If people are happy with our FREE product, then they will consider it also for their business, and they will buy it. Our key marketing strategy has been that the best way to show people we have the best product… is to offer it for free.

2. In your view, why does the AVAST approach of having avast! Business Partners for commercial products and using eCommerce for consumer products integrate so well?

Companies usually do not like to purchase their network security online, especially if they have a large number of machines. They want a professional from their own city or region to help and to recommend the best solution for their particular business operations. Tech support in a local language is also necessary. So avast! Business Partners are trained to provide that, making them more capable of providing the services that businesses need, whether SOHO, SMB, or large enterprise.

3. What are some of your overall goals in terms of continuing to develop avast! Business Partner channels?

The main goal is to increase the number of our partners and, of course, channel sales. It is amazing to see how good our relationships are with most of our partners. Some of them are real friends already! And this is probably the best part of the job, when you can see that all your efforts and work help somebody to be successful. After that, one of the key goals is to keep offering our support and to make our business partners feel a part of the avast! family, to share our worldwide success with them.

4. How does your Italian background contribute to your understanding of Czech and other cultures?

For me to talk about Czech culture and habits… I can tell you that it is sometimes the same as throwing water on a frying pan full of hot oil! The mentality here in Prague is so different from Italy, that sometimes I hardly understand things. Czechs use to say about us: “Italians don’t work in the winter and they dance in the summer!” – just to say that we are lazy?!  They are forgetting that we also play football!!!!!  ;-)

But at the end of the day, I’ve been here almost 10 years because I love the city, the atmosphere, and the fact that you can meet people from all around the world. To understand other cultures, and to be able to “dive” into them, the Italian spirit helps a lot. We are curious, talkative, and friendly… so, it’s pretty easy for us to “merge” with other cultures. I love being an Italian citizen abroad!

5. How would you describe your ideal day away from the office?

A combination of traveling, sporting, and eating. But the ideal day would definitely be at the sea. After a beach volleyball match, a nice swim and a bit of snorkeling, to go back to the beach and get refreshed with a cold watermelon. Then, the day ends with a fish barbecue and red wine (who said you have to drink white wine with fish?) and the rest you can always imagine……  Though this might be an ideal day for many people, it’s the standard in my hometown in southeast Italy….or “EATaly” if you prefer! :)



Read other interviews here:

History & questions with Charles O. Prince (avast! Forum “Evangelist”)

5 Questions with Vladimír Černík (Lead Virus Analyst)

5 Questions with Bob Gostischa (avast! Forum “Evangelist”)

5 Questions with Michal Krejdl (Senior Virus Analyst)

5 Questions with Lukáš Rypáček (Senior Software Developer)

5 Questions with Lukáš Hasík (QA Director)

5 Questions with Martin Cohen (Tech Support Specialist)

5 Questions with Julia Szymanska (Community Manager)

5 Questions with “Tech” (avast! Forum “Evangelist”)

5 Questions with Jitka Špačková (Reseller Admin Manager)

  • yanto chiang

    Rather than nobody put comment in here, then my comment is : “Christian, why your face was seems very sad in this picture?”


  • Ray

    As a repair technician I have installed Avast on at least 1000 computers. It is the anti virus solution that I have chosen as best for my customers. I have browsed your reseller program and glanced at some other pertinent areas of this website. I have not found what I am looking for. I also contacted customer support via email approximately a year ago to find out if what I am looking for is available.

    Since I do install Avast on quite a few computers and perhaps 2% of those computer owners purchase the product, it seems that others could do the same at great benefit to Avast. If there was a program where installers, like myself, could be compensated for our large numbers of installations, Avast would have a new market opening. Simply give us an installation file with a control number embedded, track the sales from our installation and compensate us for promoting Avast. Give us an incentive to start/continue to support Avast as the AV solution for our clients.

  • pato_lucas

    Felicidades por la entrevista y considero que sin su apoyo los reseller´s no trabajariamos en equipo.
    Porque todos nosotros somos un mismo equpo Avast! es el mejor.
    Gracias Christian por tu profesionalismo y apoyo.

  • chris

    @yanto chiang
    Hi Yanto….sad???? I am almost smiling, but I will see if I can find a better pic . Bye chris

  • chris

    Muchisimas gracias! saludos chris

  • chris

    Hi Ray, and thank you for your message. Please feel free to write me here: and we can discuss it further. regards, chris

  • Andres

    Yanto, mas bien se ve cansado y esa foto no es reciente, ademas Chris es super coll.
    Tuvimos la oportunidad de conocerlo aqui en Mexico y es una excelente persona

    Su trabajo es de lo mejor y sus colegas de Ventas tambien.

    Por cierto le facinaron los famosos tacos de Mexico y para ser Europeo eso habla muy bien de el.

    Saludos Chris

  • Tech

    “If people are happy with our FREE product, then they will consider it also for their business, and they will buy it.”

    With avast at 4.8 for business and the version 6 flying in home versions (or business not centralized), sorry, but I don’t think freemium is gold.

    Yesterday, talking to a IT person whom manages 5 servers and hundreds of computers he said: “Are you joking? avast for business?”…

    Other points, fully agree, the local resellers model & ecommercing seems very good.