McAfee Lays Out Plans For Partner-Led Services Push

McAfee’s new Authorized Partner Solutions Services program, slated for launch later this year, signals the vendor’s decision to move away from developing its own professional services arm in favor of training its partners to deploy and support products and get services revenue, said Kevin Weiss, president of McAfee.

Jim Sargent, vice president of sales engineering and solutions services at McAfee, is leading the initiative. Instead of driving growth and revenue, Sargent’s goals are to accelerate market adoption for products and build a partner ecosystem.

“This model allows us to build expertise and intellectual property that we’re packaging up and giving to certified partners to go deliver,” Sargent said.

Sargent provided details on McAfee Express Services, a training package that guides partners through a step-by-step certification process for selling services. After the partner has completed training and begins to deliver services, McAfee checks with the end customer to see if the partner has met its needs, and provides additional training if necessary, Sargent added.

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McAfee, Santa Clara, Calif., is realizing that partners can’t build business on products alone, said Gary Fish, CEO of Kansas City, Mo.-based solution provider Fishnet Security. “We’ve done a lot of outside-the-box stuff with McAfee, and they’re open to working that way,” he said.

Added Fish: “This is an opportunity for partners to get expertise and learn the delivery model for McAfee’s products. It’s in McAfee’s best interest for partners to be strong and healthy.” He estimates that 20 percent of Fishnet’s business comes from services and says he expects to see that rise to 30 percent as a result of the program.

Solution providers often have different approaches to delivering services, and McAfee has developed programs and road maps outlining best practices for implementing and installing products, Fish added.

Although McAfee’s Elite-level partners are the initial focus of the program, Sargent says over time the vendor will build a knowledge base of best practices and make it available via the Max partner portal to offer smaller solution providers an opportunity to take part.