McAfee, Intel Pursue SMB Security Opportunities
McAfee, an Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) security business, continues to accelerate its SMB push with channel partners, according to Senior VP of Worldwide Channels Gavin Struthers. But what exactly is McAfee doing in the SMB market with partners? Struthers, McAfee’s channel chief for about four months now, offered The VAR Guy some updates.
Struthers shifted into the McAfee channel chief slot amid sweeping changes in the IT security industry. In recent months, Kaspersky Lab, Sophos and Symantec each have made channel leadership hires or changes. Some of the changes simply involved executives pursuing new opportunities. But The VAR Guy suspects some of the changes also involved the security industry’s push toward cloud computing and recurring revenue models.
New Zip Code
As part of Struthers’ shift into McAfee’s channel chief post, he recently relocated from Australia to Silicon Valley. Instead of overhauling McAfee’s channel partner program, Struthers said he has been executing “on a great foundation” that was laid in place over the past two years.
“We’re investing in, growing with, and optimizing for our partners,” he said. The SMB security market is fragmented with no clear leader, he added, stating: “The market is looking for leadership and we’ll provide it.”
That statement sounds somewhat similar to up-and-coming rival Kaspersky Lab, where Channel Chief Nancy Reynolds last week said Kaspersky will work closely with partners to gain an “unfair share” of the SMB security market.
McAfee and End-to-End Security
In contrast, McAfee believes it’s the only vendor with end-to-end security solutions, starting with deeper and deeper hardware integration, stretching from endpoints to the data center and out to the cloud. “We’ve been doing the cloud for 10 years, since before the cloud became cool.”
Among McAfee’s SMB channel milestones, Struthers mentioned:
- McAfee SMB deal registration: Launched last year, deal registration grew 47 percent in Q1.
- More than 2,000 partners worldwide have registered to become McAfee SMB Specialized in less than a 12-month period.
- McAfee has had 30,000 new visitors (again in less than year) to the Partner Acceleration Resource Center, a portal for McAfee SMB Specialized partners. Of those 30,000 visitors two-thirds have made return visits to the portal.
- McAfee leaders have been attending Intel Solution Summits worldwide, explaining to attendees how McAfee is going down the stack into the hardware layer.
- Struthers is heading to partner gatherings in Hawaii and Europe over the next two weeks, continuing a steady drumbeat of information to those partners.
Over time, Struthers predicted, the security market will evolve much in the way that the networking market evolved in the 1980s and 1990s. There will be consolidation, integration and automation, he asserted. “The market wants end-to-end simplicity. Some niche players may promote a best of breed product here or other, but you need security integration across the endpoints, the network and the cloud.”
Struthers hit on some other SMB high-points. The VAR Guy intends to return with more analysis on this topic later this week.