McAfee Poaching ISS Customers For Risk Management

McAfee's ISS Switch Program is based on the premise that ISS customers are worried about IBM's approach to security in the wake of its $1.3 billion acquisition of Atlanta-based ISS, which closed in October.

"We're hearing from customers that they are concerned that their level of security will decrease following IBM's acquisition of ISS," Chris Kenworthy, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at McAfee, said in a statement.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor's North American channel partners are eligible for the program, which also includes onsite technical training. To entice ISS customers to switch, McAfee is also offering free installation, training, and Platinum level support, which includes assistance from a designated technical account manager.

McAfee is well positioned to leverage its position as an early mover in the security risk management space, said Steve Goldsby, CEO of Integrated Computer Solutions, Montgomery, Ala. "If they can pull it all together, McAfee has built up a good solutions set in risk management," he said.

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Differences between the corporate cultures of ISS and IBM could cause some members of ISS's X-Force research division to jump ship, said Andy Swensen, managing director of information security at Tribridge, a Tampa, Fla.-based solution provider. And because X-Force drives a lot of ISS' security technology, this could dilute the security of ISS products, he added.

"Customers who are considering a switch should look at multiple options, as the marketplace is shifting pretty quickly, with new technologies and vendors appearing as others are gobbled up by the larger providers," Swensen said.