New partner opportunities afforded by McAfee's Mvision include managed EDR, threat hunting and forensics.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

October 17, 2018

6 Min Read
McAfee's Chris Young at Mpower 2018

(Pictured above: McAfee’s Chris Young on stage at McAfee’s MPower Security Summit in Las Vegas, Oct. 17.)

MCAFEE MPOWER — In 2016, McAfee CEO Chris Young committed to going big in cloud and becoming cloud-native.

At this week’s MPower Security Summit in Las Vegas, Young said his company has realized that vision with its acquisition of Skyhigh Networks, a provider of cloud access security broker (CASB) software, and its Mvision product portfolioAbout 3,000 partners and customers are attending the conference.

Also during the event, Ken McCray, McAfee’s head of channel sales and operations for the Americas, said his company is going to rebuild its partner program, and is seeking input from partners about what will most benefit them.

Mvision is a cloud-native suite that allows customers to deploy security on their terms as they move to the cloud.

New additions to Mvision were announced Wednesday:

  • Mvision EDR (endpoint detection response), which provides guided investigation, on-demand data collection and centralized management.

  • Mvision Cloud, which McAfee gained through SkyHigh, offers a single point of visibility, comprehension and control across the cloud services an organization uses. Organizations can set consistent data and threat-protection policies across their entire SaaS/IaaS/PaaS spectrum.

  • ePO unified data protection, which offers users a single-pane-of-glass experience when it comes to managing all data loss prevention (DLP) incidents and reporting via McAfee ePO.

“We now offer an industry-leading solution that protects workloads, data and users across SaaS, PaaS and IaaS as you move your infrastructure, data and users to the cloud,” Young said. “Mvision not only captures our vision, but includes your vision. It provides data protection as well as threat defense, from device all the way through the cloud. This approach has been what has brought us to this point in time.”

New partner opportunities afforded by Mvision include managed EDR, threat hunting and forensics, he said. Also, partners can offer managed CASB, he said.

McAfee’s long-term vision is “DLP everywhere; we cover you from all devices and cloud,” Young said.

Minerva Labs “very much believes in the Mvision promise” for end-to-end security in a connected world, from device to cloud, said Sharron Malaver, its vice president of marketing.

“As a certified Security Innovation Alliance (SIA) partner that natively integrates with the Mvision ecosystem, we look forward to delivering together with McAfee an advanced, evasion-proof defense for enterprises,” she said.

McCray said the overall message to partners at the conference is that “we’ve evolved our strategy.”


McAfee’s Ken McCray

“Partners have been asking us, what is our corporate strategy, where are we going, and I think the announcement of Mvision demonstrates that our new corporate strategy is around the cloud,” he said. “And for our partners it’s the opportunity for us to work with them with the Mvision product strategy, the Mvision platform, in order to migrate their customers there.”

Mvision SaaS puts McAfee back into the SaaS marketplace, McCray said.

“We haven’t been with them on this particular strategy,” he said. “This is an evolution of what we’ve been trying to get to.”

During a partner summit just prior to the conference, McAfee channel executives fielded questions from partners about strategy and opportunities.

“One of the bigger issues that was brought up was around …

… the partner program and what we are doing with the partner program,” McCray said.

“So we’re working with our partners to take a look at [it] and take the opportunity to rebuild a partner program that’s future-looking,” he added. “The current program is somewhat dated, so we’re taking this opportunity to ask for feedback from partners to make sure that we build [one] that actually resembles where the customers are going because that’s really what it’s all about right now. Where are customers, where are they making the buying decision, and a lot of that’s in the cloud. Our partner program didn’t address that before.”

There is no set timeline in terms of launching the new partner program because “we want to be make sure we interview our partners and we look at what’s happening in the industry,” he said.

“So many manufacturers rush to build a partner program that has platinum, gold or silver, whatever type of minerals you want to put in there, and I know that’s not what we’re going to do this time,” McCray said. “We’re actually going to step back and say, ‘Hey, the first thing that we need to continue to do is train and enable our partners,’ so that won’t stop. But what we’re trying to do is revamp the rewards within the partner program, the benefits of being a participant in the program. We want to give partners flexibility, so we’re not defining value for them; they’re defining value to us. That’s the biggest shift, because when you think about it, too many manufacturers build partner programs so they can determine what benefits you can get. If you’re going to invest with us, and you’re going to say, ‘I’m going to be loyal to you,’ then we should have a program that mirrors your business, not ours.”

Since it split from Intel a year-and-a-half ago, McAfee has invested in the back end of the company, he said.

“We’ve actually not only changed the face of the company in terms of what we’re going to customers with – Mvision – but we’ve also changed the back end to support partners,” McCray said. “So the investment in internal tools, that’s been a huge focus for us as a company.”

Raja Patel, McAfee’s vice president and general manager of corporate security products, said partners play a big role in influencing his company’s road map, “influencing how we as a company come together because, after all, partners are always at the forefront of touching our customers, and we want to make sure that they are an extension of our family.”

“With Mvision, it is a new path for us because we believe device and cloud are the new control points,” he said. “But you need to bring them together operationally — management, threat intelligence, insights, automation and orchestration all have to play well together. And so we see ourselves with Mvision fulfilling the promises that we’ve committed to. With Mvision, we’ve delivered on those promises.”

Joe Peruzzi, co-founder of Tychon, said as soon as McAfee makes Mvision available to partners, “I think a lot of us will move along with it.” His company fully integrates with McAfee’s platform.

He said channel partners and SIA partners need more time together at McAfee conferences.

“A big change that has to happen is SIA partners need to have more communication with the channel partners so they know what the integrations are and what they look like, and I don’t think that vision is there yet,” he said.

Peruzzi also said McAfee should provide more opportunities to brief customers during the conference.

“To expand into a partner panel would be helpful for customers to get more aware of what these integrations are … and how we enhance this framework that they’re investing into,” he said. “There [are] a lot of choices out there.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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