McAfee Focus: McAfee Unveils Best Practice Initiative For Channel Partnerships4:32 PM EST Thu. Oct. 25, 2012
At the company's annual partner conference in Las Vegas this week, McAfee rolled out a new framework for channel partners seeking to build success in the highly competitive and always changing security space. Known as "Partner Connected," the initiative is a five-step framework that is intended to reinforce solid go-to-market methodologies.
"We want to crystallize some of the key points that partners should be using, ranging from the selection of vendor partners to the enablement of their own teams," said Gavin Struthers, senior vice president of worldwide channels at McAfee. "The net result is to build higher levels of success for our partners and greater value for our customers."
The five-step process begins with vendor selection, which Struthers sees as a laser-like process that enables partners to reduce expenses by working with a more exclusive selection of vendors. "The decisions should be made on certain key attributes," he said. "Among them are capability, innovation, profitability and trustworthiness."
Struthers tied McAfee to each of these attributes, largely through the expanded resources now available following the company's acquisition by Intel, expanded channel commitment and a series of programs intended to bolster partner profitability. On the last point, he specifically pointed to McAfee's Profitability Stack, which includes a rewards point system, various rebates, deal registration and tiered pricing.
Focus was the second attribute. "You need to pick your solutions, identify key verticals and choose market segments," Struthers explained. "You can't be all things to all people, so it's necessary to focus."
Building a plan was named as the third area of focus. This comprises quarterly reviews, account planning and similar methods necessary to build a strong strategy. "Not only is it important to be methodical, you also have to measure results to check your progress," he said. He also pointed to the company's Penetration Matrix, which serves a variety of account control functions, such as renewal tracking.
The fourth component centers on channel team enablement. "This is about providing the training, the knowledge base and resources to make your people all-in," he said. To assist with that, McAfee has in place its StarTrac program to support business development, as well as its Accredited Channel Engineer (ACE) program, which provides training and support on the technical side.
The fifth component is profitability. "This is where the rubber meets the road," Struthers said. "It's the basic underpinning of doing business together, and McAfee does much to strengthen that component through the Profitability Stack and similar initiatives."
McAfee Focus 12 is a joint partner-customer security event that has been under way in Las Vegas this week. The event wraps up on Thursday.
PUBLISHED OCT. 25, 2012