COMDEXvirtual: Otellini Pledges Intel Commitment To McAfee Brand, Business Model


Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini Wednesday pledged the chip giant's commitment to the McAfee security brand and business model.

"Our intent is not to change the business model, the sales practices, the terms and conditions, the products, the branding," said Otellini during a keynote session at COMDEXvirtual. "All that stays the same for the foreseeable future."

That is the strongest statement yet by Intel's CEO on his commitment to keep McAfee's brand and the robust McAfee security partner network firing on all sales cylinders. Some partners had expressed concern on what impact the $7.68 billion blockbuster Intel acquisition would have on the future of McAfee's SMB security products.

Otellini, however, said the "deep collaboration" between the two companies to make McAfee's product's "work better" with Intel's microprocessors and silicon spells an upsell opportunity for McAfee solution providers.

"For the resellers I think that allows for an upsell that you don't have today that is better than the one you have today," he said. "So I am fairly optimistic."

Otellini's comments came in a wide ranging 30 minute question and answer session with Intel Vice President Steve Dallman, who oversees the $35 billion processor giant's channel organization. The session is available one the Web from COMDEXvirtual, the online conference hosted by CRN parent company Everything Channel. The show takes place November 16 - 17, and sessions are available on-demand until May 17, 2011.

Intel announced the McAfee acquisition, the largest in the company's 42-year history, in August. At that time, Intel said it plans to run the $2 billion McAfee security business as a wholly-owned subsidiary reporting to Intel's Software and Services Group. The acquisition still faces regulatory approvals.

Otellini's comments should go a long way toward easing partner fears about the acquisition, said Andrew Plato, president and chief technical architect of Anitian Enterprise Security, a Beaverton, Ore.-based security solution provider that does about $1 million in McAfee business.

"This will make people feel more confident to go forward with McAfee purchases," said Plato. "Now they won't feel that McAfee is going to wither on the Intel vine or get gobbled up by the Intel beast."

Plato said he sees "great promise in Intel and McAfee delivering a very integrated and powerful set of security products that take full advantage of Intel's architecture." Furthermore, he praised McAfee as a security company that has shown a "great deal of business acumen and maturity."

"If things keep going the way they are with McAfee, I see that business increasing," he said. "I think there will be greater confidence among myself and my sales reps to continue to put McAfee out there as a (security) option."

 

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