McAfee Embraces Services With Global Services Strategy

As managed services continues to dominate the tech scene for 2006, security vendor McAfee joins the fray with the launch of its Global Services Strategy. Under that initiative, the vendor will train and certify its channel partners to provide services around McAfee products.

"Our partners have been asking for more help from us on the services-strategy side," says David Roberts, senior vice president of North America channels at McAfee. "It's a constant request that they need access to more technical resources and other things." As part of its Global Services Strategy, McAfee will be offering partners a branded implementation methodology and packaged services offerings, which those partners can sell to their customers.

"We're not going to grow a services business internally here at McAfee," says Jim Sargent, vice president of sales engineering and solution services at McAfee. "We're going to bring that to market through our partners. It will be more of a cost-recovery model on our end, so we'll have the ability to go to partners and say, 'We're not going to compete with you. We're not going to have this be a complete cost center. We'll take revenue, but, really, we're just going to pay for ourselves.'"

Sargent says McAfee's packaged-services offering will include marketing materials, sales collateral and deployment guidelines. "We've worked with our marketing teams to design the information for our partners' salespeople around why a customer needs services and what roles, responsibilities and resources they are going to need for the deployments," he adds.

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Rafiq Hoque, president of Addison, Texas-based h2 Global, has already reaped benefits from McAfee's services offerings. "From a sales perspective, we're always looking for an opening to talk to our customers about more, and this is another point of entry for additional services," Hoque says. "The recurring revenue stream is definitely attractive, and McAfee provides the tools [we can use to manage service subscriptions]. We can use that to get our foot in the door for other services and develop additional business with the customer."

While the Global Services Strategy was announcedthis month, full delivery of the offerings is expected in mid-April. At that time, McAfee will also release specifics about partner requirements, certifications, training and SKUs.