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With more than a year-and-a-half as a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, McAfee executives point to two key improvements to the way their company now does business. The company’s leaders in both business management and channel management point to resources and an increased emphasis on planning as two of the more prominent shifts since the Santa Clara, Calif.-based security company joined the Intel brand.
The acquisition, which was finalized on Feb. 28, 2011, initially shocked industry observers who wondered aloud what strategy shifts at Intel might precipitate such a move. While there was no shortage of speculation, it soon became clear that security had gained a much higher profile at Intel, which had already begun to recognize that effective security was growing increasingly dependent on a strong presence at all levels of technology, from the application layer, down to the silicon, across the wide area, and even in terms of human behavior such as social engineering.
To a certain extent, management by Intel has forced McAfee executives to look at their business from an extended and longer-term perspective, according to McAfee Co-President Michael DeCesare.
“No doubt we are stronger with Intel,” he said. “Being a security company, we tend to get focused on the ongoing threats and exploits. We’d look a short distance down the road in terms of our planning process. But the first time the people at Intel asked about our five-year plan, I had to look and find out if we even had one. So in addition to moving quickly based on current threats, we now have to look farther down the road than we have traditionally done. I think this is a good thing.”
DeCesare added that such longer-term thinking forces McAfee strategists to develop various scenarios for how security threats and customer needs will evolve over the long haul, and then use those concepts to help fine-tune the company’s technology road map and business plans.
“In terms of our impact on our parent company, we help them to build security into the product development process from the very start,” he said. "And that’s a good thing as well.”
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