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Dennis London, vice president of London Security Solutions, a solution provider based in Fountain Valley, Calif., said that it simply made logical business sense for Intel to leave McAfee alone, as opposed to attempting to align disparate channel programs or changing the fundamental nature of the company to something other than security.
"It would be foolish for Intel to do anything other than (keeping McAfee separate)," London said. "To break up something like that -- I can't even think of something that it could be compared to. It would be absolutely stupid."
Andy Welsh, director of partner alliance for Denver, Colo.-based Accuvant, agreed that it was a "far stretch to think that (McAfee) could assimilate" into the chip space.
"We've been very bullish that this is how they're going to operate," Welsh said. "It's nice to have someone at the top come out and validate it."
If anything, the possibility for security software to be embedded on the chip could open doors for McAfee partners, giving them inroads into the mobile space or security hardware such as medical devices or cars, London said.
It also provides a strong value-add for partners who can offer their customers an additional layer of security that addresses attacks against mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones, Android smartphones, now prevalent in the workplace.
"Intel is embedded into so many things. Adding McAfee into the mix means that there is now an easier integration path," London said. "If you can add security into the firmware, as well as having security at the gateway, you now have that extra layer of protection."
However, not every partner is ready to whole-heartedly embrace the newly acquired McAfee as a positive change for the channel.
One McAfee solution provider, who asked to speak off the record, said that even though keeping McAfee separate would be a smart move for the chip giant, he would still take Otellini's assertions "with a grain of salt" until the acquisition jelled down the road. He added that thus far, he had yet to see improvements in the way McAfee operated or communicated with its smaller partners.
"When they bought McAfee, I think they thought it would be a slam dunk and that nobody would question it," he said. "Nothing has changed at the foot soldier level. We'll just have to give it time and see where it leads."