McAfee Bumps Up Channel Benefits, Updates Security Solutions for SMBs

By D.H. Kass

May 15, 2012

McAfee Inc. said that it has updated its security solutions to deliver the same level of security to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as large enterprises and, correspondingly, bumped marketing support and financial incentives for channel partners selling into the segment.

The vendor said that the SMB market for security solutions presents a $5.1 billion opportunity expanding at a 9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to figures from AMI Research.

McAfee suggested that budget constrained SMBs typically cannot afford to hire IT security specialists but also must avoid data breaches that could compromise their entire business, making the segment a fertile selling ground for suitable security solutions.

“SMBs face the challenge of increased threats including spam, phishing, viruses and Web attacks that can easily disrupt the network and the livelihood of the business,” said Gavin Struthers, McAfee senior vice president, worldwide channels.

The vendor said that it has tailored its security solutions for the SMB market by lowering complexity and cost and adding functionality to the latest version of its SaaS Endpoint suites, particularly to give clients more flexibility in the downloading of updates.

McAfee said that its SMB product lineup—which includes SaaS Endpoint Protection Suite, SaaS Endpoint and Email Protection Suite and SaaS Total Protection Suite--spans antivirus, antimalware, email protection and other security needs specific to SMBs.

“Without constant updates, security software becomes obsolete,” said Struthers. “Keeping the business continuously up to date requires total protection against known and unknown threats.”

Channel program inducements.

McAfee said that it as of June, 2012, it will add a new e-commerce marketing platform to enable channel partners to download and co-brand demand generation materials, including resources for SMB-tailored products.

The program is one of a number of channel program enhancements the vendor has initiated in the recent past to reward sales to SMBs. For example, McAfee’s nine-month old deal registration program, which offers channel partners up to 25 percent extra margin and features four-hour approval, grew 50 percent in Q1 2012 from the prior quarter.

In addition, McAfee said that its SMB Extravaganza Rewards program, which rewards channel partner sales representatives for sales of eligible SMB products, tripled its payout in Q2 2012, the vendor said.

McAfee has enlisted more than 2,000 SMB channel partners worldwide to its Specialization program, which the vendor launched nine months ago to provide enablement tools, marketing and profitability enhancements.