McAfee's Struthers: New Incentives, Level Playing Field Paying Off

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McAfee is continuing to make strides with its channel program, addressing partner concerns with a revamped portal, continuous outreach and incentives that help level the playing field between its sales reps and partners.

Gavin Struthers, McAfee's channel chief, said the company remained firm with its certification program, weeding out VARs over the past year that did not meet the stringent standards to get sales engineers certified on McAfee's security product portfolio. McAfee is seeing double-digit growth with its committed channel partners, said Struthers, who serves as senior vice president of worldwide channels at McAfee.

Despite global economic pressures, the market for security technologies is projected to be in the tens of billions of dollars with more than half devoted to services, Struthers said. "Everyone is under pressure to cut costs, but if you look at our customers there is a great desire to do more security across the board," he said.


[Related: 2013 Partner Programs Guide: Security Vendors]

Struthers and other McAfee executives were in New York this week, talking with some of its more than 2,000 partners to get feedback on the channel program and learn about where sales growth is happening in the field. Most partners are in a transition phase with pure reselling in decline and increased growth in providing cloud-based management services, according to Struthers.

While cloud adoption may be sluggish, BYOD is of interest to potential McAfee customers, he said. In addition, improved antimalware technology using sandboxing technology to quickly isolate and address sophisticated malware attacks is a boon for channel partners, with potential clients concerned about targeted attacks and intellectual property theft.

Some partners are finding success by choosing to commit to three or more McAfee products, selling the company's ePolicy Orchestrator and pieces of the product portfolio that integrate with the management console. McAfee is seeing 30 percent growth in deals of more than $1 million, which typically include three or more products.

McAfee is in a heated battle with archrival Symantec as Symantec is in the midst of reworking its entire product strategy. Symantec executives are remaining tight-lipped, offering few details about how the company's retooled go-to-market strategy may look in the coming months. McAfee and Symantec each have a firm grip on the North American market.

NEXT: McAfee's Struthers Says Program Changes Paying Off

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