McAfee Makes SaaS & Managed Security Services Partner Push

McAfee Makes SaaS & Managed Security Services Partner Push

At the McAfee Global Partner Day and McAfee Focus 10 conferences in Las Vegas, the security software provider is delicately balancing partner efforts that involve on-premise security, managed security services and cloud-based services. The effort comes as Intel awaits regulatory approval for the McAfee takeover, announced in August 2010. Here's the update, and the potential implications for managed services providers.

Within a three-part channel acceleration initiative, McAfee says it will promote a Flexible Delivery Model Initiative. According to a prepared statement from McAfee, the company in 2011 will launch two new partner programs that address the needs of many small to medium size businesses, the company claims.

A SaaS Monthly Designation will be available to all McAfee SecurityAlliance Reseller partners who are looking for improved profitability through a monthly recurring revenue model and features easy access to sales and marketing resources focused on this product line, McAfee asserts.

Also of note: A Services Provider program that has been running in pilot in EMEA will be the basis for the worldwide launch of the Managed Services Provider and Outsourced Services Provider partner types, McAfee says.

Have It Your Way

On the one hand, McAfee's buyout of MX Logic (July 2009) signaled McAfee's expanded focus on SaaS and managed security services for partners. But on the other hand, the company has been careful not to abandon the traditional on-premises security software market -- where the bulk of VARs still make their living.

Still, a growing number of security software companies have adjusted their licensing models to address the recurring revenue mindset. Most of the major anti-virus and endpoint security software providers now have service provider-type licensing available for partners.

Meanwhile, plenty of channel partners seem intrigued by McAfee's moves. More than 700 channel partners are registered to attend today's McAfee Global Partner Day, which is part of the broader McAfee Focus 10 conference here in Las Vegas. I'm catching up with McAfee Global Channel Chief Alex Thurber and North America Channel Chief Fernando Quintero today, and we plan to explore five channel-related questions during the meetings.

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