McAfee Makes New Channel Program Official

Vendor streamlines program structure, adds marketing benefits, incentives, finalizes Secure Computing integration.

McAfee Inc. officially launched the makeover of its SecurityAlliance channel program, a re-design the vendor initially previewed last January, featuring a simplified structure, additional profit opportunities, and an enhanced portfolio of sales and training resources.

The security vendor also said that it had completed the integration of Secure Computing partners into its channel program. McAfee bought Secure, a maker of security appliances and services, in September, 2008 for some $465 million.

Officials said that McAfee has re-classified its profit boosting offerings for channel partners as the Margin Advantage program, and segmented it by three main categories, namely, opportunities to enhance margins, build demand, and gain from incentives.

“We’ve heard very clearly from our partners was that margin was critical, not just more margin but also using margin to distinguish partners that are adding value to McAfee,” said Pedro Abreu, McAfee vice president, go-to-market strategy and partner programs.

“We’ve built a program with three goals in mind,” he said. “The first one is a set of programs to add to the margin on a specific deal. The second type of program is about profitability and the bottom line, and the third is about business building and pipeline building. If you’re really investing in your sales and your sales cycles you can make a lot of margin with McAfee.”

New Margin Advantage program

Under the new Margin Advantage banner, McAfee has initiated a reworked deal registration program, called Deal Protection, which provides quote exceptions or special pricing to the original McAfee partner on pre-approved deals or teaming plans, and Incumbency Advantage, which offers additional margin to the reseller closing the original business.

In addition to deal registration, McAfee is offering channel partners tiered pricing and teaming plans to boost margins, market development funds (MDF), which it is urging resellers to use to build relationships and create demand, and incentive programs aimed at sales representatives and engineers.

“At the end of the day, [channel partners] have to make money, it has to be a profitable business and just hardware or software resale doesn’t always make that happen, so we’re really trying to be creative in different ways to support [them] both upfront and behind in the deal,” said Alex Thurber, McAfee senior vice president, worldwide channels.

The vendor also has tapped a new group for technical and sales support, called Channel Technical Enablement Engineers, who are tasked with helping channel partners with training and certification, as well as provided supplemental pre-sales content such as solution sizing, demonstration capabilities and technical provisioning.

Another new enablement program, called Ready, Set, Sell, provides channel partners with a checklist to guide them through the entire gamut of resources and opportunities offered under the SecurityAlliance platform.

The ACE Partner Readiness program rewards reseller sales representatives and technical professionals who achieve the highest levels of certification in a particular area of technology.

McAfee said that a recent study by researcher IPED showed that about 85 percent of its channel partners are satisfied with the vendor’s overall incentive program.

“The comprehensive security solutions from McAfee fit into the business model of our SMB and enterprise customers,” said Andrew Lebus, business development manager at AppSec Consulting Inc., a San Jose, CA-based IT security provider.

“The support from our channel reps and product management team are a big part of our past and continual success,” Lebus said.

TAGS: security,McAfee,channel program,channel partner

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