McAfee Emboldens Channel With 'Hot' Growth Opportunities, New Incentives

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Partners CRN talked to were generally pleased with McAfee's strategy, but they said the company's technical portfolio must be well executed for long-term success. Channel providers will wait and see if the company can deliver on its technology plans, said Carlos Carnevali Jr., managing director at Sao Paulo, Brazil-based McAfee partner Network1.

"My point of concern is execution," Carnevali said. "As a partner, there is huge opportunity, but on a day-to-day basis and in the field, they need to make it happen."

Businesses that have embraced McAfee's security vision have bought three or more products, said Steve Redman, executive vice president of global sales at McAfee. Redman said the company needs to better engage small and midsize businesses and take advantage of both cross-sell and upsell opportunities. Eighty percent of the top 1,000 customers had three or more McAfee products. Only 1 percent of the next 5,000 customers had three or more products, Redman said.

"We have to have the best Security Connected strategy and be nimble enough to have the hottest technologies when hot markets pop up," Redman said.

Ron Borsholm, a senior security consultant at Bell Canada, said the three-product strategy is a good one, but the solutions need to integrate for a sustainable long-term investment for the end customer.

"Other firms are creating products that are very successful and can integrate and meet specific customer needs," Borsholm said. "There seems to be more development work that McAfee needs to do with its acquisitions."

Redman also acknowledged competitors Palo Alto Networks, which has seen interest and strong market adoption with its next-generation firewall appliances, and Kaspersky Lab, which is also gaining traction in the U.S. and being adopted because it is easy to use and cost effective. McAfee will be rolling out its next-generation firewall built on its $389 million acquisition of Helsinki-based next-generation firewall maker Stonesoft. The company is also making headway with sales of its Complete Endpoint Protection Enterprise suite, which was the result of streamlining multiple suites into one product for enterprises, including Deep Defender for rootkit detection, application control, mobile security and a connection to the company's E-Policy Orchestrator, its centralized management platform.

To meet advanced threat detection, McAfee is debuting Advanced Threat Defense, a mechanism to not only detect advanced threats but also find and treat the infections by freezing the malware, Redman said. The new product has an emulation engine for advanced sandboxing; it treats suspicious files with static and dynamic analysis, and once a file is determined to be malware, it automates the process of freezing and addresses systems with infections. Over the next year, Redman told partners the company was working on ways to build context at the orchestration layer, adding intelligence and event correlation to provide deep security analytics at the data exchange layer of the enterprise.

PUBLISHED Oct. 1, 2013

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