McAfee Global Partner Day: 15 Keynote Highlights
During the McAfee Global Partner Day in Las Vegas, Global Channel Chief Alex Thurber and Executive VP Mike DeCesare (pictured) described how McAfee will streamline its go-to-market strategy in 2011, potentially opening up new opportunities for VARs and MSPs that want to target SMB and commercial customers. Moreover, Thurber described how McAfee will introduce new SaaS and xSP partner programs for the channel. Here are 15 highlights from today’s keynotes.
First, what’s off limits: Thurber opened his remarks by stating McAfee will not offer any updates on Intel’s buyout of the company. The deal, McAfee and Intel have previously stated, is expected to close sometime in early 2011. Now, onto the keynote highlights:
1. What Is McAfee’s Specialty?: According to the keynote’s opening video — packed with personal drama — McAfee is selling “safe.” The video claimed:
“Safe is pure peace of mind for you and all who depend on you… Let’s be clear: Every threat to you is a direct insult to us… Safe is our oath. Safe is where we’re going and we will take you there.”
Added Thurber, a 20-year veteran of the IT security market: “Every year I say this is the right year to be in security. [But] it seems like we’ve just begun.”
2. Think Bigger: McAfee continues to push beyond traditional endpoint security, increasingly focusing on embedded and mobile security — essentially growing the company’s addressable market opportunity from 1 billion connected devices to 50 billion devices.
3. Time to Simplify: In 2010, DeCesare said, McAfee focused on six market segments:
- Global, enterprise, corporate, mid-market, small and consumer.
But in 2011, DeCesare said, McAfee will consolidate those focus areas into four market segments:
- Enterprise, commercial, SMB and consumer.
4. Partnering and Competing in the Enterprise: On the enterprise front, McAfee will continue to sell direct to customers. But there will be some room for partner engagements as well. In fact, McAfee will reduce its named accounts by about 20 percent. DeCesare said the company will have roughly 5,000 named accounts, a list that includes subsidiaries. All other accounts will be left entirely to partners.
For those who want to partner up in the enterprise, DeCesare said McAfee is seeking partners that can focus on data center build outs and consolidation, virtualization and c-level relationships. “We’re looking for big, value-added partners that can handle complex deals” in the enterprise, DeCesare said.
Still, it sounds like McAfee will direct most partners toward commercial opportunities.
5. Leaving Commercial Markets to Partners: Noted DeCesare, “We’d like the channel to virtually own this space. Our goal is to have little personal resource n this market and have you play the role of account ownership.”
Still, McAfee is still learning how to generate and pass commercial sales leads towards partners. Also, McAfee will be looking to reward partners that invest in technology capabilities like labs and demo centers.
6. On the SMB Front: DeCesare says the MX Logic acquisition, in particular, has enjoyed SMB channel success. But he added, “Candidly, this has been the lowest portion of commercial for too long.” Looking ahead, McAfee will re-double its SMB efforts, assisting partners to win business within customer settings of 250 seats or below.
7. Beating Symantec: DeCesare claims McAfee has done a “pretty good job” getting market share vs. Symantec in the enterprise because “they have a not-so-good reputation there.”
Beating Symantec: We’ve done a pretty good job getting market share vs. Symantec in the enterprise because they have a not-so-good reputation there. Tremendous amount of growth [opportunity] for us in enterprise. Fair amount of opportunity in commercial and SMB segments, too.
8. Year In Review: Over the past year, Thurber asserted, McAfee overhauled its SecurityAlliance partner program. He conceded that the Secure Computing acquisition initially didn’t go all that well for channel partners and he apologized for that bump. But he added, McAfee’s Margin Advantage and Enablement Advantage efforts are paying off for partners.
9. What’s Next: Thurber says in 2011, partners can expect continued consolidation of vendors and more integration of technologies . McAfee, he added. is the only company that sells “all 12 areas of security” though he didn’t list the 12 areas by name.
10. Flexible Delivery Models: “It seems like we’ve talked about managed security and Security as a Service for quite some time,” said Thurber. But now, thanks to IT complexity, there’s a huge opportunity to deliver simplified security as a service, Thurber asserts.
11. Partner Ecosystem: The McAfee partner ecosystem includes reseller, services and innovation partners. But McAfee needs to do a better job helping systems integrators to profit from McAfee solutions, Thurber conceded.
For 2011, the channel organization segments will focus on:
- Resellers: Corporate reseller, solution provider, US federal partners, distributions partners, and a SaaS monthly designation partners.
- Services Providers: Managed services provider, outsource and advisory services. The MSP effort has been in pilot in EMEA and will be rolled out in 2011.
- Technology Partners: Global technology alliances, security innovation alliances and OEM partners.
12. The Difference Between SaaS and xSP:
- If you have a customer managing technology via the web, that’s a SaaS product like Salesforce.com.
- At the provider level with some type of centralized service operating center, the partner has the SLA with the customer. That’s the MSP model.
- If it’s on premise but managed by the provider, that’s the outsourced model.
13. Why Partners Care About Security as a Service and xSP
- The best way is you sell it once and it delivers recurring revenue for ever. Renewal rates are typically 90% or higher, said Thurber. Also, partners care because it’s an affordable up-front investment.
- In 2011, McAfee will roll out the SaaS monthly designation. You can just sell, or you can sell and bill, or you can sell, bill and support, said Thurber.
- In 2011, McAfee will roll out the McAfee xSP partner program, which is solely delivered through service providers and outsources.
14. Partner Acceleration Initiative: A new acceleration center portal focuses on coverage, products, enablement, marketing and profitability information for partners. Much of the effort focuses on SMB solutions.
15. McAfee Connected Partner Program: Citrix, Catbird, Cloud.com, AppSense and Atlantis Computing are among the first partners that have earned interoperability status with McAfee solutions.
No doubt, McAfee sounded confident during the Global Partner Day. And for good reason: Roughly 700-plus partners registered to attend the Las Vegas-based conference, up from about 270 partners last year. McAfee can’t yet discuss the coming Intel-McAfee integration. But the Intel deal has generated some unspoken confidence among the McAfee executives here.
The VAR Guy will be curious to learn if Symantec makes similar partner program moves during the upcoming Symantec Partner Engage conference, scheduled for the first week of November in Las Vegas. Previously, Symantec CEO Enrique Salem has stated that only about 15 percent of Symantec’s long-term revenue would come from SaaS and cloud moves.
Generally speaking, McAfee sounds far more upbeat about the SaaS partner opportunities ahead. The successful MX Logic acquisition seems to be paying dividends. But The VAR Guy is checking in with McAfee partners here for a reality check.